How to Set Image Capture as the Default Application and Use it to Quickly Delete and Import iPhone Photos

Image Capture

Image Capture is one of the hidden gems of Mac OS X operating system which people don’t know about or don’t use it as it deserves. Let me confess that even I didn’t open it from last two years.

Recently I was searching for an alternative method to quickly delete the photos from my iPhone without importing them to the PC first and without using iTunes or iPhoto.

Mostly people use iPhoto or iTunes to transfer the photos to Mac and then delete them from iPhone. But the big disadvantage with these softwares is that they are very powerful and take a lot of time to load and synchronize. They are so heavy that if you are already using 1-2 other applications like a browser, mac store etc, you’ll experience significant sluggishness in the performance. To combat with such problems I was desperately looking for an optimal solution and finally found Image Capture.

Image Capture

Image Capture is very light-weight software. It loads very fast and performs its functions quickly. Though the application is very simple and self explanatory, but I’d like to summarize the three steps / methods I used to get the maximum benefit out of it. These include:

  1. How to set Image Capture as the default Application to open when my iPhone connects with Mac
  2. How to Quickly Delete the Pictures from iPhone or any other media storage without Importing first
  3. How to Import the photos and delete them in one step

How to Auto-launch Image Capture when iPhone Connects:

We can assign a compatible application, like iTunes, to launch whenever an iPhone or any other media storage device is connected with mac via USB cable. Image Capture can also be configured such way, but the option to enable this feature is little bit hidden inside a small “CD Eject” like icon present at the bottom of left side. When we click on that icon, we can see “Connecting this iPhone opens” option. Select the “Image Capture” from the list. Now when the iPhone is connected, Image Capture will automatically launch.

This step is very important if you regularly import photos from your phone to PC and at the same time don’t want to compromise with the performance.

default app for iphone images

How to Quickly Delete Photos from iPhone Camera Roll or in Batches:

If you don’t install many applications on your iPhone, the camera roll is the next main culprit which could eat up the memory of your device. Whenever you get “low memory” alert on your device, the first thing you should check is the camera roll.

Tip: Are You Getting Startup Disk Full Warning on Mavericks (Mac OS X)? 8 Tips to Increase Space

It is always suggested to store your photos either on any online storage site (like iCloud) or on your PC so that you don’t lose your precious moments captured in the form of photos if anything bad happens to your phone. After you have made the backup of videos and snaps, you could clear out the camera roll in single step by using Image Capture.

After connecting your phone with Mac, launch Image Capture. Use “Command+A” keyboard shortcut and then click on the red delete icon. That’s all. The camera roll is now empty.

delete images all

How to Import the photos and delete them in one step:

Another beautiful feature in the software is that you can easily import the photos to any location of your computer. Before starting the import process, if you select “Delete after import” option, you can easily perform import and delete functions in one step.


Image Capture is really small, lightweight and handy software to import and delete the images from iPhone’s camera roll or any other media storage device in a single click.

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By A. Usman

Loves new tech, especially from Apple and Google.

View all of A. Usman's posts.

1 Reply

  1. RaymondLeungsays:

    ” Image Capture … to enable this feature is little bit hidden ….”
    Great !

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