By Glenn Fleishman

Miranda wants to transfer photos from iOS to OS X. She asks, “I have an album of pictures I want to upload. Is there a way I can just upload the album?”

You’d think, right? And you’d be sadly wrong. If you’re using iCloud Photo Library, all your albums and related settings are synced among devices logged into the same iCloud account that have the library feature enabled.

But if you don’t, albums are peculiarly locked away through any built-in methods. This is a long-running complaint. Search on this topic on the Internet, and you’ll find variations of this question spanning back years.

If you use a USB cable to connect your iOS device to a Mac, you can use iTunes to select the device and then in the left-hand navigation bar, select Photos. You’ll see a list of photo albums to import, among other options. However, many users report this method doesn’t preserve albums; for them, it imports the images without the organizational structure. (Also, your iOS device has to be set to sync photos with the computer on which you’re running iTunes, which isn’t always convenient.)

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