The Best Features of the macOS Image Capture App That You Are Not Aware Of

The Image Capture application is one of the best kept secrets of macOS. It allows users to import photos and scans from a variety of different sources without the need for drivers. Mac users can find this handy little utility in their Applications folder. Image Capture lacks some of the flash present in the default Photos app, but it handles the basics very well. We’ve rounded up some of the best features of Image Capture below.

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macOS’s Photos app is a gorgeous organizational tool for all your photos, but as a file utility it can be clunky and time-consuming to use. Luckily, Image Capture allows you to bypass the Photos app when transferring images to your Mac. Plug in your camera, iPhone, camcorder, etc., into your Mac and run the Image Capture app. From there, the simple interface allows you to dictate where on your Mac the files should be sent, such as the Photos app or directly to your email.

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You’ve successfully imported your photos and videos to your Mac, but those same files are still taking up precious space on your device. Those redundant files can be the source of a lot of grief for someone with an iPhone or iPad who has a fixed amount of storage and is in constant danger of their device becoming full. Manually deleting them is tedious, but how else are you going to reclaim storage space? Fortunately, there is a much easier way with Image Capture. When you use Image Capture to import your files, you’ll notice a little checkbox in the bottom-left corner of the app that says “Delete after import.” Putting a check in this box will tell Image Capture to automatically delete all of the files you nominate to import off of the source device once they have been safely transferred to your Mac.

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Most scanning peripherals come with proprietary software, but Image Capture renders them all DOA. Connect a scanner to your Mac and fire up Image Capture. On the left side of the app you’ll notice a pane labeled “Devices.” In this pane Image Capture will list all of the compatible devices that are connected to your Mac. Select your scanner in the “Devices” pane, and you should see a whole slew of options appear on the right of the app. Here you will find various settings you can adjust to your liking such as DPI, image format, orientation and more. In addition, Image Capture can “see” any scanners that are connected to your network. That means if you have a WiFi-enabled multi-function printer or scanner, you can use Image Capture to import scans to your Mac over your network – no cables necessary.

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Image Capture allows you to designate which applications open automatically when a certain device is connected to your computer. In the bottom-left corner of the app, you’ll notice that Image Capture lists the name of your device. Underneath that it will say “Connecting this [device name] opens:” along with a drop-down box. Click the drop-down box to reveal a list of compatible programs. From there it’s as simple as selecting the one you want to automatically launch. Want Adobe Lightroom to open when you connect your DSLR? Just nominate it with Image Capture. Don’t want iPhoto to open when you plug in your iPhone? Just use Image Capture to change the default application.

In addition to these more common day-to-day applications, Image Capture also boasts other useful features. Users can create contact sheets and even do some basic photo editing like cropping and rotating. The fact that Image Capture supports both physically-connected devices as well as networked ones makes it quite versatile.

Do you use Image Capture? If so, what features do you find to be the most useful? Let us know in the comments below!

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