How to Copy a File from iPhone to Computer with iPhone Explorer


iphone explorer feature image


Have you ever needed to grab a file off of your iPhone, and been unable to, because your iPhone is synced to your other computer?

Here’s a situation that came up for us last weekend. We were out of town, and our main computer was at home. We had our MacBook Air, but we needed to grab a file off our iPhone. It was an audio file, and the computer insisted on having us sync our iPhone to the computer. We didn’t want to do that, we just wanted to grab an AIFF we were trying to pass to a friend.

Luckily, we remembered iPhone Explorer, which, fortunately, works for both Mac and PC.

This is a nice iPhone how to for those who run into a similar situation. Whether you need to copy music from the iPhone or copy files to iPhone this little tip may come in handy. Just have the software on hand (here) and keep your iPhone charging cable with you.

The downside is that there are all kinds of crazy file names, so you must have somewhat of an idea what you are looking for. Ours was an AIFF, so it stood out against the MP3s and it was something we had loaded onto the phone earlier that day, so we knew at least two things that would help us identify the file. At worst, you can drag the files onto your computer.

Audio imported from iTunes will be under:

            (iPhone name)>iTunes_Control>Music

iphone explorer music

Content is sorted in folders titled F00, F01, F02 and so on. You can expand these and see the files within them. Unfortunately, they have strange names, so you may have to drag them into the computer and take a listen.

There is no need to really do this for photos, but if you’re curious, it’s under Media>DCIM. (the nice thing about photos is they can be previewed directly thru the application)

iPhone Explorer images



If you imported PDFs to iBooks, they will be under Media>Books in their .PDF format, but under different names.

This is useful for iPhone to iPhone transfer or sharing files with friends, or simply just an iPhone to computer transfer.

Again, it’s convenient to just transfer stuff direct, but if you are in a situation where you don’t have your main computer and you don’t want to sync to the computer that’s on hand, this will let you do simple transfers back and forth. It was handy for us when we needed to transfer music to the iPhone.

Don’t forget that this all applies to the iPod touch and iPad as well. That can be useful if you have both and aren’t by a wifi connection (so long as you already have iPhone explorer installed on the computer.)

Also see how to  transfer your game saves between iOS devices  or go from iOS to Mac with iPhone explorer. And to prevent future problems, with syncing between your computers, you can check out how to sync your iPhone to multiple computers with iTunes 10.

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