Monday, August 10, 2020

Fixing Error 9956 When Trying to Import Videos from iPhone using Image Capture

I have spent months troubleshooting an issue that I was having when trying to import videos (MOV/HEVC) from my iPhone to my MacBook. I experienced the issue on three different MacBook Pro machines, and four different iPhone models (from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11). The issue is that when using the Image Capture app on macOS to import videos directly from your iPhone, it aborts and randomly shows the following error, "The operation couldn't be completed. ( error -9956.) (-9956). An error occurred while importing. The item [filename] was not imported":

I spent days troubleshooting basic stuff with Apple support, and was escalated a few times to senior specialists, but never could get anywhere. I re-opened the case after still seeing the error with a new MacBook Pro and new iPhone. Here are some settings that an Apple support rep suggested that I try that actually resolved the issue for me for the time being. Here's what you need to do:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings -> Camera -> Formats, and select "Most Compatible"
  • Then, on your iPhone, go to Settings -> Photos, and select "Keep Originals" under the section "Transfer to Mac or PC"

After completing the steps above, try again to import the video using Image Capture, and the videos should transfer quickly and without error. Hope that helps someone who may be struggling with the same issue.

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