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Using the Dropbox camera uploads feature

The camera uploads feature allows you to automatically add photos and videos from your camera, phone, or tablet to Dropbox. They're then safely backed up to Dropbox, available and viewable from anywhere.

You can use camera uploads in two ways:

  • Wirelessly from your phone or tablet, using the iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows tablet app
  • Connecting your camera, phone, or tablet to your computer, and using the Dropbox desktop app for Mac or Windows

Before getting started, check that these requirements are met:

  • You have a strong WiFi connection
  • Your device has sufficient battery life available (camera uploads will pause when battery life is low)
  • If you have a free Dropbox account, you have connected your computer to your personal Dropbox account, or

    • You have upgraded your personal account to Dropbox Pro

Once you've verified that these requirements are met, select your operating system from the dropdown below and read instructions for your device.

Use camera uploads from the Android app

Get started: enable camera uploads

Next steps

Once camera uploads is enabled, the following things happen:

  • Dropbox automatically adds eligible photos and videos to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox
  • When you launch Dropbox from your phone or tablet, the Dropbox app adds any photos or videos taken since:

    • The last time the app was open, or
    • The last time the app was connected to your computer

Use camera uploads from the iPhone app

Get started: enable camera uploads

Next steps

Once camera uploads is enabled, the following things happen:

  • Dropbox automatically adds eligible photos and videos to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox
  • When you launch Dropbox from your phone or tablet, the Dropbox app adds any photos or videos taken since:

    • The last time the app was open, or
    • The last time the app was connected to your computer

You can view all photos in Dropbox by selecting the Photos tab (the photo icon) at the bottom of the screen.

Background uploading

Background uploading allows camera uploads to finish adding photos to your Dropbox, even if you didn't open the Dropbox app. To enable:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Open the Settings menu.
  3. Scroll to the Camera Upload section.
  4. Toggle Background Uploading to On.

Notes on background uploading

Normally, camera uploads only runs while the Dropbox app is open and for a few minutes after you close it. This is due to a limitation in iOS. However, if you turn on background uploading, the app will automatically resume uploads whenever it detects a significant change in your iPhone's location.

  • Note: This feature is designed to make camera uploads work more efficiently; it does not collect your location information in any way

When the background uploading option is set to On, you'll see the location services arrow appear at the top of the screen:


Background uploading uses a low-power version of Apple's location services. If you have a large backlog of photos to upload, you may notice that the app uses some power. But once that's done, uploading new photos should have little effect on battery life.

Use camera uploads from the iPad app

Get started: enable camera uploads

Next steps

Once camera uploads is enabled, the following things happen:

  • Dropbox automatically adds eligible photos and videos to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox
  • When you launch Dropbox from your phone or tablet, the Dropbox app adds any photos or videos taken since:

    • The last time the app was open, or
    • The last time the app was connected to your computer

You can view all photos in Dropbox by selecting the Photos tab (the photo icon) at the bottom of the screen.

Background uploading

Background uploading allows camera uploads to finish adding photos to your Dropbox, even if you didn't open the Dropbox app. To enable:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Open the Settings menu.
  3. Scroll to the Camera Upload section.
  4. Toggle Background Uploading to On.

Notes on background uploading

Normally, camera uploads only runs while the Dropbox app is open and for a few minutes after you close it. This is due to a limitation in iOS. However, if you turn on background uploading, the app will automatically resume uploads whenever it detects a significant change in your iPhone's location.

  • Note: This feature is designed to make camera uploads work more efficiently; it does not collect your location information in any way

When the background uploading option is set to On, you'll see the location services arrow appear at the top of the screen:


Background uploading uses a low-power version of Apple's location services. If you have a large backlog of photos to upload, you may notice that the app uses some power. But once that's done, uploading new photos should have little effect on battery life.

Use camera uploads from the Windows Phone app

Get started with camera uploads

Once enabled, camera uploads will add photos automatically (even when the Dropbox app is closed). However, upload will only happen when the following conditions are met:

  • Your phone is plugged in, and has a full or nearly-full battery
  • You're connected to Wi-Fi
  • Your phone is locked

Alternatively, you can enable camera uploads from the Photos tab of the Dropbox app.

If you already have photos in your Dropbox account, you may see a button that says Enable at the top of the screen. If you don't have any photos, you may see a prompt that says Turn on Camera Upload.

Other camera uploads options

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Open the Files, Photos, or Favorites tabs.
  3. Tap the (ellipsis) icon.
  4. Tap Camera Upload.

    • Toggle the Upload When Open option within the camera uploads settings. This ensure that photos are uploaded even if your phone is not locked and not plugged in, as long as it isn't in Power Saving mode.
    • Toggle the Use Cellular Data option to upload your photos while the app is open, but you're connected to the cellular network.

Note: Automatic video upload is not currently supported for Windows Phone, due to operating system limitations.

Use camera uploads from the Windows tablet app

Get started with camera uploads

Once enabled, camera uploads will add photos automatically (even when the Dropbox app is closed). However, upload will only happen when the following conditions are met:

  • Your tablet is plugged in, and has a full or nearly-full battery
  • You're connected to Wi-Fi
  • Your tablet is locked

Alternatively, you can enable camera uploads from the Photos tab of the Dropbox app.

If you already have photos in your Dropbox account, you may see a button that says Enable at the top of the screen. If you don't have any photos, you may see a prompt that says Turn on Camera Upload.

Other camera uploads options

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Open the Files, Photos, or Favorites tabs.
  3. Tap the (ellipsis) icon.
  4. Tap Camera Upload.

    • Toggle the Upload When Open option within the camera uploads settings. This ensure that photos are uploaded even if your phone is not locked and not plugged in, as long as it isn't in Power Saving mode.
    • Toggle the Use Cellular Data option to upload your photos while the app is open, but you're connected to the cellular network.

Note: Automatic video upload is not currently supported for Windows Phone, due to operating system limitations.

Use camera uploads from your Windows computer

For camera uploads to work, you'll need:

Get started with camera uploads

  1. Plug in your camera, phone, or tablet to your computer. You'll be prompted to upload photos to your Dropbox folder.
  2. Select Import Pictures and Videos using Dropbox. Your photos will automatically save to your Dropbox folder's Camera Uploads folder.

    • Android devices: Select Connect as a Disk Drive from the status bar
    • iOS devices: Unlock the device to allow camera uploads to continue

Use camera uploads from your Mac

For camera uploads to work, you'll need:

Get started with camera uploads

  1. Plug in your camera, phone, or tablet to your computer. You'll be prompted to upload photos to your Dropbox folder.
  2. Select Import Pictures and Videos using Dropbox. Your photos will automatically save to the Dropbox Camera Uploads folder.

    • Android devices: Select Connect as a Disk Drive from the status bar
    • iOS devices: Unlock the screen to allow camera uploads to continue

The camera uploads feature tries to be smart about importing photos and videos. It will pick up wherever it left off, uploading only photos and videos that it has not uploaded to the Camera Uploads folder before.

Use camera uploads from your Windows computer

For camera uploads to work, you'll need:

Get started with camera uploads

  1. Plug in your camera, phone, or tablet to your computer. You'll be prompted to upload photos to your Dropbox folder.
  2. Select Import Pictures and Videos using Dropbox. Your photos will automatically save to your Dropbox folder's Camera Uploads folder.

    • Android devices: Select Connect as a Disk Drive from the status bar
    • iOS devices: Unlock the device to allow camera uploads to continue

The camera uploads feature tries to be smart about importing photos and videos. It will pick up wherever it left off, uploading only photos and videos that it has not uploaded to the Camera Uploads folder before.

Camera uploads and Linux

Camera uploads is not available on Linux. Check the Dropbox Forums for updates and more information.


Camera uploads and Dropbox Business accounts

  • Photos or videos added prior to April 9, 2014 remain in your work Dropbox
  • After April 9, 2014 camera uploads is only supported on personal Dropbox accounts
  • The Photos page on dropbox.com only shows the photos stored in your personal Dropbox

These changes were made to help you avoid mixing personal and work files. If you'd like to add photos and videos to a Dropbox Business account, you can select individual files and add them manually.

To enable camera uploads on your mobile device, you must either:

  • Connect your computer to your personal Dropbox account, or
  • Upgrade your personal account to Dropbox Pro

Learn more about storing photos in a Dropbox Business account.

Note: Camera uploads will only upload photos that are located in the Camera or Screenshots folders of your device's photo or gallery app. If your photos are not in this app then they will not be uploaded to Dropbox.

What if camera uploads is missing some of my files?

Camera uploads is designed to check if a photo or video was previously uploaded—this is done to prevent duplicate files. As a result, photos or videos that have already been imported using camera uploads will not upload again, even if you've deleted the files from your Dropbox.