How to download pictures from camera to computer

Before you can make any edits to your pictures, you first need to get them from your camera to your computer. This can be done in a few simple steps.

Before you can begin, you’ll need a photo software program. In this guide, I’ve used the free Windows Live Photo Gallery (see our guide How to download Windows Live Photo Gallery for more information). However, you’ll find that other programs such as Photoscape and follow a very similar process.
You’ll need:Camera memory card
  • a computer with an internet connection
  • a digital camera
  • a memory card from your camera (see right) to insert in your computer’s memory card slot. If your computer doesn’t have a memory card slot, you’ll need an external hard drive or memory card reader. Alternatively, if you have an appropriate USB cable, you may be able to connect your camera directly to your computer.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to download pictures from camera to computer in Windows Live Photo Gallery
Step 1: Whatever you store your pictures on, insert this into your computer. Many people take the memory card straight from their camera and insert it into a slot in the side of their computer. If the computer is relatively old and doesn’t have a memory card slot, the card can be inserted into an external memory card reader, that is connected to the computer via a USB cable. Alternatively, if you have a CD or DVD with pictures on it, insert this into your CD/DVD drive.
Step 2: With Windows Live Photo Gallery open, ensure you’re in the ‘Home’ tab, located along the top left of your screen.
Step 3: In the row of buttons beneath the Home tab, click Import on the far left.
Import photos
Step 4: A window will now appear listing all the storage devices available to your computer. Find your memory card among these (it will probably say ‘Removable Disk’) and click Import at the bottom of the pop-up window.
Removable disc
Step 5: Another pop-up window will appear, which states how many pictures were found. Click More options.
Import photos options
Step 6: In the ‘Options/Import Options’ menu, you can choose which folder you’d like your images to be imported into. You can also set automatic file names to be applied to your pictures, such as ‘Date + Time’. In addition, you can instruct Windows Live Photo Gallery to rotate any upright photos that your camera has recorded horizontally.
When you’ve dealt with all the options you need to, click OK.
Import options
Step 7: Windows Live Photo Gallery will ask you in another pop-up window to select the pictures you’d like to import. Your photos will already be organised into groups according to the dates you took them. You can click on one of these dates to expand the folder and select certain photos. If you want to import all the photos taken on specific dates, tick each group you want. Click Import.
Select import photos
Step 8: Windows Live Photo Gallery will now start transferring your photos from your memory card on to your computer. When it’s done, your photos will appear in Windows Live Photo Gallery’s picture viewer, where you can start editing and sharing your pictures.
Importing photos
Jeff Meyer writes about camera techniques and other aspects of photography for


Beryl Yeo's picture

By Beryl Yeo on 11th September 2012

Do you have the instructions for downloading to an Apple Mac please?
Rakesh Prajapat's picture

By Rakesh Prajapat on 10th August 2014

DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 12th September 2012

Dear Beryl, Good question! Currently we only have this guide for a PC but we will make a note of your interest and see what we can do. In the meantime, please do post any queries on our Q&A message board and someone will be sure to help you with any questions.
Kate 's picture

By Kate on 27th September 2012

I've just downloaded photos from my camera with the erase after import box ticked. I successfully downloaded and started to move them to files but have now 'lost' over half of what I imported and cannot find the pistures anywhere on my computer. Can you help
Wendy H's picture

By Wendy H on 25th January 2013

First, try Downloads If not, have you tried this: Click on Start (bottom l/h corner of Desktop) Click in the Search box Key in the number, or part of it, of one of your lost photos - all the ones you do have will have been numbered in sequence, so just use the first or last number and omit the last digit A list of files should show up in the window Click on one Then click again to open it in Windows Live In the left-hand window, it will show you where the photo is stored
DU Community Manager's picture

By DU Community Manager on 28th September 2012

Dear Kate, We have posted your question on the Q&A board and hopefully someone can help you asap. Here is a link to your question: Best wishes
Sarah's picture

By Sarah on 8th March 2013

Do you have suggestion of how to download from a digital camera made in China, it has no other name, and my computer doesn't have a cd reader for the small driver that came with it. I have 26 pictures inside this camera, that I can't download using the USB card, and I don't have a memory reader either. Help,
stevebarret's picture

By stevebarret on 25th November 2016

Mine comes very handy, plugging my <a href="">action camera</a> USB port and I can easily transport files in my PC.