Importing Digital Photos with Windows 7-Use Windows Explorer

by on Jan.03, 2010, under crop photos, Digital Camera Basics, Helpful Stuff, Windows 7

I talked to my friend Bob (he is the retired teacher/financial advisor turned artist) the other day and he had bought a new Windows 7 computer to replace his old Mac. Can you believe a Mac user admitting he switched to Windows? Now he had to learn how to import (download) his photos from his camera into the computer so he could fix them with “my” software. Of course, he was talking about CorrectPhoto. Since Bob Is in Florida for the winter and I am up here in Minnesota freezing (it was -15 degrees this morning) I decided to help him out by posting instructions on using Windows 7 functions to import the photos. I have written about downloading and organizing photos using Windows Explorer in previous posts so this post will focus on Windows 7 and my importing preferences.

Photo Import Options
I normally use a card reader when importing pictures but decided to use the USB cable that came with the camera for this example. When I connected the camera cable into the computer Windows 7 automatically installed the driver for my Canon PowerShot G5. Then the Auto Play window popped up giving me several import options. The same option window will appear if you use a card reader or if you plug in the memory chip into a slot on your computer if it supports camera memory chips.

Windows 7 Auto Play Photo Import Options

 I prefer using Windows Explorer to organize and manage my photo files as opposed to Photoshop Elements, Windows Photo Gallery, or other photo organizing software as they tend to take over one’s computer and complicate the process.  The easiest import option is the first one in the list, “Import pictures and videos using Windows”.  The disadvantage of this option is that it forces you to import all of the photos in your camera to a single folder. Since most people are like me and have photos from multiple events in the camera by time they get around to downloading them I generally use the “Open device to view files using Windows Explorer” option. Here is a brief description using both methods.

Import pictures and videos using Windows
Selecting the Import pictures option will pop up the following window.

Windows 7 Import photos with AutoPlay-Enter Folder Name in Tag Field

The first time you use the import function you should click on Import settings and select the settings according to your preferences.  The “Tag” will become the destination folder for the imported photos.

Upload Photo Preference Window

I would suggest setting the Other options as shown. When you click the Import button Windows 7 will automatically create the new folder and transfer the photos to it.  When the transfer is complete Windows Explorer will open and by right clicking on a photo you can select the next action you wish to take. If you just want to look at the photos click on Preview. If you want to edit the photos click on Open with and select the photo editor

Right Click on thumbnail to select action

Open device to view files using Windows Explorer.
The the import method I generally use is the “Open device to view files using Windows Explorer as it provides the flexibility to put the photos into multiple folders. When you click on this option the following window will appear.

View camera photo files in Explorer-Select view Large Icons

Actually, when the window pops up it will probably show the “Tiles” view of the photos which are really too small for me. Windows 7 gives you a few more optional views. On the right side of the menu bar click on the little arrow and select Large or Extra Large Icons to increase the size of the thumbnail and it will be easier to select the photos you want to import into a particular folder.

Now left click on the first photo of the group and then hold the Ctrl key down and click on the remaining photos in the group (or, hold the Shift key down and click on the last photo in the group if they are in sequence). Then right click and select Copy.

Select photos to be copied to My Pictures folder

Open the My Pictures folder on your Desktop and select the destination folder for the photos. If you haven’t created a New Folder for the photos you can do so by clicking on New Folder in the Menu bar.

Select destination folder for photos

Then right click on the folder and select Paste and the photos will be transferred to the folder.

Copy photos to selected (Christmas 2009) folder

When the transfer is complete you can open the folder and select the next action or simply close it and go have a cup of coffee or whatever.

Well, Bob, I hope this helps answer the question, “How do I get my photos from my camera to my Windows 7 computer?”  Here are links to some other posts that might be helpful as you explore the wonderful world of digital photography and Windows 7.

A Simple Way to Organize Your Photos

Storing and Archiving Digital Photos-A Simple Way.

Previewing Photos in Windows Vista (Win 7) and XP

Get the Red Out–What to do about Red Eye?

Downloading Photos to Your Computer. Use Windows Explorer.

Crop Photos for a Purpose.


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