Connect a Digital Camera to Your Surface and Import Photos

Nobody likes viewing photos on a camera’s tiny screen. Thankfully, Windows makes it easy to import your camera’s photos onto your Surface, where they shine on the big screen. And you can do it all from the Start screen, making it an easy task to perform while in the field.

Best of all, you needn’t install any of the software that came with the camera; Windows handles it all.

To import your camera’s photos into your Surface, follow these steps:

1

Turn off your camera and then plug the camera cable’s USB connector into your Surface’s USB port.

Plug the small end of your camera’s cable into your camera. The cable’s larger end plugs into your Surface’s USB port found on the Surface’s right side (Surface 2 and Surface RT) or left side (Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2).

2

Turn on your camera and wait for your Surface to recognize it.

Wait for a little announcement in your computer screen’s top-right corner. The announcement, called a toast in some manuals, lists your camera’s name and, if you’ve plugged in a camera for the first time, asks you to Tap to Choose What Happens with This Device.

Tap the announcement and then move to the next step. (If the announcement disappears before you can tap it, turn off your camera, wait a second, and then turn it on again; the announcement reappears.)

3

Choose how to import your photos.

The next announcement offers several options for how to handle your newly recognized digital camera. These three options always appear:

Open Device to View Files: If you prefer to import your files from the desktop, choose this option. The desktop offers more control but works better with a mouse and keyboard than your fingers. This option fetches File Explorer, where you can manually copy the photos from the camera to a folder of your choosing.

Import Photos and Videos: The easiest method, this imports your photos with the Start screen’s Photos app. Then move to Step 4.

Take No Action: An option to avoid, this cancels the importing process and tells your Surface to no longer recognize your camera when plugged in.

After you’ve chosen an option, Windows remembers it, automatically taking the same route the next time you plug in your camera.

4

When the Photos app appears, choose your options; tap the Import button to import your all camera’s photos and videos.

The Start screen’s Photos app tries to keep things simple: It offers to import all your camera’s photos and videos into a folder named after the current date. To make a quick and easy transfer, tap the Import button in the screen’s bottom-right corner to copy all the camera’s photos and videos onto your Surface. (You can safely unplug your camera from your Surface after importing your photos.)

But if you don’t want to import every photo, choose the Clear Selection option from the screen’s bottom menu to deselect all the photos. Then tap just the photos you want to import. (If you have too many photos to fit on one screen, scroll to the right to see the rest.) Finally, tap the Import button to import your selected photos.

When you tap the Import button, the Photos app imports your camera’s photos and videos. When the Photos app announces that it’s finished importing the photos, tap the announcement box’s Open Album button to see your photos.

The Photos app only copies your camera’s photos onto your Surface; it doesn’t delete them from the camera. Your camera’s own menu offers an option to delete the photos or format its memory card.

If your Surface stops recognizing your camera when plugged in, open the Charms bar, choose Settings, choose PC Settings from the Settings pane, and tap PC and Devices from the PC Settings screen. When the PC and Devices screen appears, tap AutoPlay in the left column. Then tap your camera’s model number from the right pane; when the drop-down menu appears, choose Ask Me Every Time.

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