Photoshop: File > "import from iphone or ipad" not active

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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  • (Edited)
I have a Macbook Pro (15 inch, late 2019) running Mojave 10.14.6. I'm running Photoshop 2020, version 21.0.1 (but I also saw this problem in v21.0.0).

When I choose File > Import from iPhone or iPad, I don't see any options to import. I'm on a WiFi with several of my iDevices nearby and on the same WiFi network. I've also tried this on a different WiFi network with the same results.



I've seen this question asked in the Community forums, and see that from someone who has it working, I should see a list of my devices and then further options for import:
https://community.adobe.com/t5/Photoshop/MacOS-Photoshop-2020-File-gt-quot-Import-from-iPhone-or-iPa...

Is there some sort of device setup required? Some setting that I haven't activated?
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Michael Hoffman

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Posted 9 months ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Try this: Log out of iCloud (on the computer with Photoshop) and then log in again. This function depends on Apple's Continuity and that sometimes needs to be reset this way. Also check this page: https://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/03/15/troubleshooting-continuity-ios-mac/ Maybe you do not have Bluetooth on, for example.
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Michael Hoffman

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Johan, Thanks for the reply. I did try signing out and back in, this had no effect.

I was able to use Continuity to "Insert from iPhone" within the Mac Pages app, and successfully transferred a photo. However, even there (in Pages), the devices aren't consistently shown (some seem to come and go from the menu).

But for Photoshop, I never get the second level of menu to appear at all.

Here's my view from Pages:

(Edited)
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Michael Hoffman

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By the way, I tried this with my phone connected via USB cable, and it still did not show up in Photoshop.
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Yves Crausaz

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Hello, be careful that the Mac and the iPad is connected to the same WIFI network, otherwise it does not work!

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Michael Hoffman

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Thank you, Yves. I have confirmed this, and in fact it even works with other Mac apps (as I demonstrated above), just not with Photoshop.
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Stefano Martini

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me too!!!
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Goran Thulin

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Same problem...

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Goran Thulin

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Work for me now when I reset preferences using this method:

With Photoshop closed, press and hold Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Win) / Shift+Command+Option (Mac) on your keyboard and relaunch Photoshop the way you normally would.
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Laurel Eby

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This did make the options show up, but my phone was still grayed out so I can take a photo or scan a document, but can't open an existing photo on my phone! 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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I believe the name is always greyed out. It’s just to tell you which device it is, in case you have more than one device (see the screenshot of Pages).
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Laurel Eby

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But then what's the point of importing from iPhone if the only option is to take a photo after you're connected to Photoshop? I don't want to import photos of my office, I want to import photos I've taken elsewhere! 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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You probably have to ask Apple, because this seems to be an Apple functionality that Adobe just hooked into. There are other ways of getting photos from your iPhone to your computer (and then into Photoshop).
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Laurel Eby

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Ditto!
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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It's working for me here. I can take a photo or scan using the camera have that import into Photoshop. I did connect my iPad pro via USB-C first and go through the Trust this Computer dialogs prior to doing it over wifi.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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This may be a new bug. It used to work fine for me, but now I don't see the sub menu either anymore in Photoshop 20.0.1 and MacOS Mojave... Connecting my iPhone and making sure it is trusted (like Jeffrey says above) did not fix it. And indeed, the menu is available in Pages, so this is something with Photoshop, not with the Mac in general.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Ok. Apparently engineering is looking into this one. Sounds like restoring Photoshop prefs makes this work again.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
This issue should be fixed in the 21.0.2 update that was released yesterday.
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Erik Freeland

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Did anyone get this to work?  I reset my preferences but my iphone is still ghosted.  I can take picture through that menu, but won't let me import an existing photo on my phone.  Thanks
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I don't think that is supported from the feature. Try Apple's text edit. It only allows the same 3 option as Photoshop.
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Russ Ravella

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What does Apple's text edit have to do with PS's "File>Import from iPhone" function greying out a user's iPhone" ?
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Michael Hoffman

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I think the key point is that the "File > Import from iPhone" is a MacOS feature, built into OS X... so testing it on another Mac app like TextEdit or Notes would let you see whether it is working at all on your Mac (i.e. maybe not a Photoshop issue).
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Russ Ravella

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Thanks for the response but I still don't get it.  TextEdit and Notes don't interact with the iPhone in any way that I know of.  I can see that the iPhone is talking to the computer in a large variety of other ways that are designed to do so.  I connect them both using Wifi and via USB but nothing ever "ungreys out" my phone in "File>Import from iPhone" in PS.
(Edited)
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Michael Hoffman

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Here's a screen snapshot from Apple Notes. As you can see, the exact same feature that is in Photoshop, because it is a Mac OS feature:



Note that the phone *name* is greyed out, because it's just a section header to let you know which device. But the actions (Take Photo, Scan Documents, Add Sketch) are available.
(Edited)
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Russ Ravella

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Yeah, I see that.  Mine looks exactly the same.  Ok, I get it.  That makes sense.  It seems like an odd way to do it though.  I think I would have not greyed it out (since that's got a pretty universal different meaning in the computer world) and would have underlined it instead.  But you're saying all adobe did is incorporate this same function in PS so that's on apple, not adobe.  Ok, thanks Michael !
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Russ Ravella

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To Jeffrey Tranberry - It didn't.  And, there have been more updates to PS and I STILL have this exact same problem.  Would be nice if Adobe actually fixed something - ANYTHING - once in awhile.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What exact issue are you seeing? Are you seeing it work the same or differently from an Apple app like TextEdit?
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Russ Ravella

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Well, to start off with, since adobe can't be bothered with creating a proper users manual, finding information about how to use ANY feature in PS is catch-as-catch-can.  The help system is almost always useless, the adobe webstie information only addresses very basic things, and adobe's support is ALWAYS utterly useless.  And that leaves guessing.

So  I GUESS  if PS was connected to my camera so it could do whatever this function is supposed to do, my camera listing in "File>Import from Phone" wouldn't be greyed out.  But it is.

I have ensured PS and my LrM camera are both on the same WiFI (in case it connects via WiFi - which, of course, I have no way of knowing since there are no instuctions on how to use this) and I have connected my phone to the same computer running PS via a USB cable and ensured the computer was "talking" to the phone.  Still, the phone is greyed out.  Since it's greyed out, there is nothing further I can do to play with the feature to try to figure out how it works.

I'm using the latest version of everything except MacOS which is running Mojave.
(Edited)
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Michael Hoffman

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Ah, but there is a user's manual for Photoshop:
https://helpx.adobe.com/pdf/photoshop_reference.pdf

But, as I've learned, this is really a continuity feature on the Mac, not a Photoshop feature. You can find more about this here:
https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/insert-photos-and-scans-from-iphone-or-ipad-mchl9aebdc99/ma...

Key point: this feature does NOT allow access to your camera roll. It only allows you to insert a photo or scan that you take at that moment.
(Edited)
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Russ Ravella

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Hi Michael, and again thanks for the respone.

Yeah, I know about this document and it can be helpful but it is not an actual manual.  It isn't even called a manual, they call it "Help".  And all it is is a description of how to perform (a lot of) certain basic functions.  It doesn't actually explain the software itself like proper software manuals do.  For example it doesn't address this as far as I can see.

On your second link: right, yeah, forgot about that - thanks for reminding me !

And as for your key point, I didn't actually ever think it would allow access to my camera roll - though that would have made some sense - I never presumed WHAT it's supposed to do.  I intended to play with it to figure it out (as is usually the case with PS) but my phone is greyed out so I can't even select it to find out.  My question is simply, "why is my phone greyed out".  It's listed there so PS knows about it, it's presumably supposed to DO something, but it's greyed out so I can't get it to do whatever that is.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Michael is correct. This is an OS/Apple feature - It was even hard to find on Apple's site. It's called "Continuity Camera": https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209037
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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(Note there was an issue originally - but it's currently working as designed from the Apple documentation)