iPhoto Won’t Import iPhone 4 Media: a Fix

iPhoto blank when you plug in your iPhone 4 ?

Has this happened to anyone else? My old iPhone 3G and 3GS always connected fine with iPhoto 9 (v 8.1.2 424). You plug in the phone, it shows as a device in the left side of iPhoto and the images/video are there to be imported. With my new iPhone 4, i plug it in, open iPhoto, it shows as a device BUT there is no media to be imported, even though the camera roll has items in it.

By following the steps below, I am able to get iPhoto to see my iPhone 4 and its contents for ONE TIME ONLY. Then the process below must be repeated and the computer restarted before iPhone 4 media can be accessed in iPhoto again. It appears that you do not always need to restart the computer.

  • Quit iPhoto
  • Open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.app)
  • In the search window at the top right, search for PTPCamera
  • Click on PTPCamera in the list of results to highlight it
  • Click on Quit Process (the red stopsign icon in the upper left of Activity Monitor)
  • Choose “Quit”
  • If you don’t already see “Image Capture Extension” in the list, search for it in the search box. Click on “Image Capture Extension” in the list of results to highlight it
  • Click on Quit Process (the red stopsign icon in the upper left of Activity Monitor)
  • Choose “Quit”
  • Go to Macintosh HD > System > Library > Image Capture > Devices and double click PTPCamera.app to open it back up.
  • Unplug and re-plug the iPhone 4. iPhoto should open, if you’ve set it to do so when a camera is plugged in. Otherwise, open it. You should see your media available for import from the iPhone 4 when you click on the iPhone 4 in the devices list.

11 thoughts on “iPhoto Won’t Import iPhone 4 Media: a Fix”

  1. You can also go directly into iTunes, synchronize all your photos,(in the tabs when you click on the device) and then delete the ones you don't want on the phone. This bipasses the issues with IPhoto completely. Takes a little while, but then on each subsequent download, you have all the photos connected.

  2. this works on iPad 2 as well by the way. I just accidently searched for 'iphone 4' instructions, but this worked out fine with this same issue. in my case, iphoto "pretended" to copy the photos, until the fix was applied. cheers mate

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