How to backup iPhone Video to a PC

I recently purchased an iPhone 3GS and have found the video feature with YouTube uploading very useful. In fact, it has changed the way I think about “home movies” having to be long, painful to watch videos that mostly collect dust. Using the iPhone, I am constantly capturing video clips of precious moments of my daughter growing up. In short, these video clips have become very important to me.

Today I sat down to take a backup of these videos and could not figure out where iTunes was storing them. I had wrongly assumed that iTunes had been synchronizing photos and videos with my Windows 7 PC automagically.

After searching around in the iTunes help (not very helpful), I found a page on the iTunes camera sharing how-to website which states:

For PC: Follow the instructions that came with your camera or photo application

This would imply that I would need a third party application to download the iphone videos and pictures. So, playing along, I spent a few minutes searching the ‘nets and turned up a bunch of slimy looking crippleware applications which would do the trick. However, they wanted $30 for a full version in order to backup more than 20 files. ¬†FAIL.

I then had an idea to just check Windows Explorer to see if the files were available there. Sure enough, you can simply copy (and/or cleanup) photos and videos directly from the iPhone (or iPod) using Windows explorer.

I thought I would blog about this because I was a little disappointed that Apple didn’t just say that to begin with. Hopefully, I stop some other unsuspecting iPhone user from purchasing an application just to copy files for them.