Can I Use an Old Mac to Get Pictures Off an iPhone? [Ask MacRx]

Iphone with old mac

Apple is all about the cutting edge, but in the real world people use older computers that may not have the latest and greatest software. Here’s how to use an old Mac with a new iPhone:

My mom is about to get an iPhone for the first time. She has an older iMac that only supports Leopard, no Snow Leopard or Lion, so she cannot sync with her pc at home. The new iOS 5 allows her to get an iPhone that does not need to sync to a pc. How can she get her photos off her new iPhone 4S onto her existing iMac to load into iPhoto? Will the iMac recognize the device as a camera source even if otherwise unsupported by her version of Leopard and iTunes?


Hi Toby,

Yes, your Mom’s older iMac should recognize the iPhone as a camera. If iPhoto doesn’t work straight off, the Image Capture application, inside your Applications Folder, is bundled with every Mac and serves as a basic way to get pictures off of any digital camera. I just tried this with my iPhone 4 and a PowerBook G4 with Leopard installed, things worked fine.

  • trrosen

    iTunes 10.5 is supported on leopard 10.5.8 so her system should be able to fully support the iPhone through iTunes. She won’t be able to use photstream since the current iPhoto requires snow leopard but wired access will work fine.

  • SocialExpert

    Nice news what about google +1 services?

About the author

Adam RosenAdam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.

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