You have had a great time taking photos with your amazing DJI Mavic Pro, and now it is time to upload them to your computer so you can edit and share them.
The Mavic Pro features both built-in and detachable SD card storage, but how do you get your images from the drone to your computer?
Your Mavic Pro offers multiple options for transferring photos to a computer. Although DJI Assistant 2 and USB-C cable are popular methods of downloading photos to a PC, SD card transfer is more commonly used.
There are a number of options for getting your pictures from your DJI Mavic Pro onto your computer.
To keep things manageable, I will stick to just three strategies, all of which are probably already familiar to you in some form.
Simple ways to transfer photos from Mavic Pro to PC
- Remove the SD card from the drone and insert it into your PC
- Use a type-C USB (USB-C) cable
- Install DJI Assistant 2 software
SD (Memory) card transfer
If you have been using drones for a while, you are probably aware that memory card transfer is one of the most popular methods for transferring images and even film footage from a drone to a PC.
Step 1: Remove the SD card
Of course, one issue with the Mavic Pro is the location of the SD card port.
It is difficult to reach the SD card since you have to remove the lip that covers the USB and SD card ports before inserting your finger into the slot to pull out the card.
You can grab the memory card by clicking it, but it is still difficult. Simply remove the battery, flip over the cover that protects the SD card, and remove the card.
Because of the DJI Mavic Pro’s high price, we totally get it if you are nervous about doing anything to damage your drone.
If you are having trouble removing the battery, click the two buttons on either side of the battery and then pull it out.
Step 2: Insert the SD card into your PC
Insert the SD card into a card reader, then into your computer’s SD card slot. Typically, the SD card slot will be on the front or side of the machine.
Make sure your external card reader is wired into your computer. For the computer to access the memory card, you must first place it in the card reader’s appropriate slot.
Step 3: Access the photos
When you insert the SD card into your computer, a little window may pop up asking you what you would like to do with the files.
Otherwise, File Explorer or Finder should launch and display the memory card’s contents.
Step 4: Copy/paste
Now that you can access the photos you took, courtesy of your drone, select those that you want to copy, then drag them to your desktop or any other folder of your choice. You can also select the photos and copy them.
Then, copy and paste them anywhere you want on your PC.
To create a new folder:
- Navigate to where you want to create the new folder
- Right click
- Click New
- Choose New Folder
- Type the name of your folder
- Press Enter
- Navigate to where you want to create the folder
- Right-click inside of an existing folder, or the desktop, or anywhere you want to create the new folder
- Choose File
- Click New Folder, or press Shift-Command-N
- Enter a name for the folder
Please remember to detach the SD card and reinsert it into your Mavic Pro once you have finished transferring data from the card to your computer. To properly insert a card, you should push it all the way in until you hear a click.
If your computer does not come equipped with a card reader, you can purchase a third-party reader that connects through USB and then proceed with the instructions above.
Note: I bought my DJI Mavic Pro in January of 2022, and at that time, it did not come with a memory card. So, it seems like nothing has changed, at least not significantly. Therefore, if you need more space or wish to copy files from the card to your computer, you will need to buy a memory card.
DJI deserves credit for providing 8GB of internal capacity in Mavic Pro, but that’s simply not enough, and you may still need external storage.
In contrast, the Cine version has a whopping 1TB of built-in storage space.
Transfer via USB cable
When transferring images via USB-C cable, make sure the cable is of excellent quality and free of flaws.
Step 1: Connect your drone to your PC
To get to the USB-C port, open the little door above the battery (where the memory slot is). Connect the drone to your computer through the USB-C connector.
If you have not already, start the drone up. There should be a whole new drive in your documents, possibly labeled USB Drive.
With Windows, the card will become accessible as an external drive after a driver is installed.
And on a Mac, it will show up as an external hard disk. Launch your computer’s file browser (either Finder or Windows Explorer), and the card will appear as a removable drive.
Step 2: Access the photos and copy/paste
Open the appropriate folders to access the photos you wish to copy. Just choose all the files you want to copy and then paste them into the folder of your choosing on your computer.
After transferring the necessary photos to your computer, you can remove them from your drone.
DJI Assistant 2 transfer
Aside from the immediately preceding approach, I have also used this one to transfer files from DJI drones to my PC. Although this approach is not often used, it could be useful if you value the security of your files.
You can also copy files from your drone’s internal memory to your computer using this method.
Step 1: Download Assistant 2 for Mavic
Go to the DJI Download Center (link) on your PC. Everything related to DJI software is available here. Keep in mind that these are the same programs used to upgrade the firmware on your devices.
Select DJI Assistant 2 for Mavic and then your operating system.
When you visit DJI, a box will pop up asking for permission to download files to your computer. Do this by selecting “Allow” from the menu.
The download time will vary based on your connection speed.
Step 2: Open the file to begin the installation process
At this point, you may receive a warning that you are going to access a file created by an unknown developer. You can ignore the notice indicating Safari was unable to open the file by clicking the file anyway.
If necessary, you may want to alter your current system settings. Install the DJI software only from the DJI website.
Enter your password and continue with the installation. After the installation is complete, your computer may require a restart. If you are still having trouble running apps, head back into the System Preferences.
To launch DJI Assistant 2 for Mavic, just look for it in your computer’s application folder.
Step 3: Agree to Terms and Conditions
When you launch the app, you will be prompted to accept the DJI Assistant Terms of Service. Toggle the DJI account details and then hit the login button.
These are the same credentials you used to purchase your drone. If you do not already have an account with them, you can sign up.
Next, connect your Mavic Pro to your computer through a mini-USB cord. To link your PC to the drone, click Allow.
This will take you to a page that displays the most recent firmware versions as well as a few features on the left side of this window.
Step 4: Access photos and transfer them to your PC
You will see two folders on your desktop: one for your SD card and one for your drone’s internal memory. Here, you can view all of your files, including images and movies.
Drag the photos you want to transfer from your drone to any folder on your PC. You may also transfer your photos by pressing Command-C and then Command-V.
I find that the memory card transfer option is the easiest way to upload images from your DJI Mavic 3 to your PC.
It is the quickest and least time-consuming if you take the battery out of the device first and then remove the memory card.
Furthermore, in my experience, I have found that connecting via USB causes the battery to die prematurely and causes the PC to work harder.
However, the SD card’s tiny spring may break with repeated use, so if you’re worried about that, the USB cable transfer technique is your best bet.