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How to fix ‘Trouble connecting’ when importing in Photos app on Windows 10

The Photos app can import photos from various types of devices. This includes, but is not limited to, phones, cameras, and external drives. In fact, if you connect any of these devices, importing photos is likely to be listed as one of the default actions to be performed each time the device is connected. That said, sometimes you get the message ‘Trouble connecting’ when importing in Photos. Here are a few things you can try to fix it.

The fixes will depend on the type of device that you’re importing photos from and in some cases, the steps will be generic. If these fixes don’t work for you and you’re not particularly invested in the Photos app, there are quite a few alternatives that you can try.

Check permissions and security

Devices such as phones and drives have security that prevents unauthorized access. On phones, you may have to unlock the device and on storage devices, you may  have to grant special read/write permission to the drive or to the folder you want to import photos from.

If you’re trying to import photos from a phone, unlock it before you connect it to your PC. If the device is a storage device, check its permissions and unlock access to it. Close and open the Photos app again and then try importing it.

If you’re trying to import photos directly from a camera, it is possible that you need to change a setting on it first. Some cameras cannot export photos directly and their storage card needs to be removed and inserted into a card reader to get the photos out of it. In other cases, cards sometimes need to be unlocked.

Check connecting cable

Regardless what type of device you’re importing photos from, you will have to connect it using some sort of cable. If the cable is damaged in any way, it may prevent Photos from communicating with and accessing the data. It’s not enough that the device is just detected. It won’t guarantee that the data from it can be read. Make sure you’re using a good quality cable and try a different one if you can.

Check drivers

Although most devices that you can import photos from are generally plug & play, it is possible that you need a driver to connect to it or special software. This may most likely be true in case of cameras and some rare cases, phones as well. Install any software that is recommended for your device. Generally speaking, if it’s a driver problem, you won’t be able to view the photos from File Explorer either.

Change USB ports

Any device that you connect to your PC, you likely do it via a USB port. It’s possible that the port isn’t working right. It might be able to charge a device, and the device may be detected but there is still no guarantee that it is working correctly. Change USB ports and avoid using USB hubs or extenders to connect to your PC.

Restart everything

Try restarting Windows and also quitting and running the app again. Also, if the import option from Photos doesn’t work, connect the device and from the list of actions that pops up, select Import. It might do the job.

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