Using camera uploads

Camera uploads can automatically add photos and videos from your camera, phone, or tablet to Dropbox. Any time new files are uploaded to your Camera Roll or Gallery, they'll be added to your account. 

Your photos and videos are then accessible from wherever you log in to Dropbox. 

You can use camera uploads in two ways:

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

Your photos and videos upload into a folder called Camera Uploads in your Dropbox account.

If you’re experiencing any issues or error messages with camera uploads, visit the camera uploads issues article.

Sections in this article:

Who can use camera uploads?

Camera uploads are available to all users (Basic, Plus, Professional, and Business), with the following exceptions:

What are the requirements for camera uploads?

To use camera uploads, you must use the following software and devices:

Camera uploads won’t work if:

  • Your device battery is low
  • Your mobile device is roaming

Select your system for instructions:

Android

Enable camera uploads

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Under Camera uploads, select Turn on camera uploads.
  5. Select Allow.

You can also choose how camera uploads works on your phone:

  • What to upload: choose if you want to upload photos only, or both photos and videos into the Camera Uploads folder.
  • How to upload: choose if camera uploads works when you’re using your data plan, or only on Wi-Fi.
    • Note: If you have camera uploads set to WiFi-only, and you then connect to WiFi over a mobile hotspot, camera uploads won't work.
  • Use data plan: if you choose to upload using your data plan and Wi-Fi, you can choose if camera uploads uses your data plan for all files, or only for files under 25 MB.
  • When to upload: choose if camera uploads works only when your phone is charging or set a battery level limit. If your battery goes under this limit, camera uploads will stop working.

If you want to disable camera uploads, use the same instructions and select Turn off camera uploads.

iOS

Enable camera uploads

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the person icon.
  3. Under Account settings, select Camera Uploads.
  4. Toggle Camera Uploads on.

You can also choose how camera uploads works on your phone:

  • Uploads Videos: choose if you want to upload photos or both photos and videos into the Camera Uploads folder
  • Use Cellular Data: choose if camera uploads works when you’re using cellular data. Dropbox won’t upload videos using cellular data.
    • Note: If you have camera uploads set to WiFi-only, and you then connect to WiFi over a mobile hotspot, camera uploads won't work.
  • Use Cellular Data for Videos: if both Upload Videos and Use Cellular Data are toggled on, you have the option to choose if videos are uploaded using cellular data.

If you want to disable camera uploads, use the same instructions and toggle Camera upload off.

Windows Mobile

Enable camera uploads

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the gear icon.
  3. Select Camera upload.
  4. Toggle Camera upload on.

Once enabled, camera uploads will add photos automatically, even when the Dropbox app is closed. Photos will only be uploaded when:

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

If you want to disable camera uploads, use the same instructions and toggle Camera upload off.

Change camera uploads settings

  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: If you have camera uploads set to WiFi-only, and you then connect to WiFi over a mobile hotspot, camera uploads won't work.

Note: Automatic video upload is not currently supported for Windows Mobile.

Mac

Enable camera uploads

  1. If you haven’t already, install the Dropbox desktop app and sign in.
  2. Plug your camera, phone, or tablet in to your computer. You'll be prompted to upload photos to your Dropbox folder.
  3. Select Import Pictures and Videos using Dropbox

If you previously decided not to use camera uploads with your device, you can enable it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your menu bar.
  2. Click the gear icon.
  3. Choose Preferences…
  4. Under Import, check the box next to Enable camera uploads for. You can choose to enable camera uploads for photos and videos, or only photos.

Your photos will automatically save to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox account.

  • Android devices: Select Connect as a Disk Drive from the status bar
  • iOS devices: Unlock the screen to allow camera uploads to continue
  • Note: If you have camera uploads set to WiFi-only, and you then connect to WiFi over a mobile hotspot, camera uploads won't work.

Windows

Enable camera uploads

  1. If you haven’t already, install the Dropbox desktop app and sign in.
  2. Plug your camera, phone, or tablet in to your computer. You'll be prompted to upload photos to your Dropbox folder.
  3. Select Import Pictures and Videos using Dropbox

If you previously decided not to use camera uploads with your device, you can enable it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon in your system tray.
  2. Click the gear icon.
  3. Choose Preferences…
  4. Under Import, check the box next to Enable camera uploads for. You can choose to enable camera uploads for photos and videos, or only photos.

Your photos will automatically save to the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox account.

  • Android devices: Select Connect as a Disk Drive from the status bar
  • iOS devices: Unlock the screen to allow camera uploads to continue
  • Note: If you have camera uploads set to WiFi-only, and you then connect to WiFi over a mobile hotspot, camera uploads won't work.

Linux

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

Uploading photos from multiple devices

Camera uploads only uploads each photo and video into your Camera Uploads folder once. If you disable and then reenable camera uploads, or if you have camera uploads enabled on both your phone and computer, your photos and videos are each only uploaded once.

View your photos in the Dropbox mobile app

Basic, Plus, and Professional users can view all photos in Dropbox by selecting the Photos tab (the photo icon) at the bottom of any page in the Dropbox mobile app.

Dropbox Business users should navigate directly to the Camera Uploads folder in their Dropbox account to view photos in the app.

Dropbox Business users should navigate directly to the Camera Uploads folder in their Dropbox account to view photos in the app

Background uploading

Background uploading allows camera uploads to finish adding photos to your Dropbox, even if you don't open the Dropbox app. By default, the Dropbox app doesn’t upload files when the app is closed. If you turn on background uploading, Dropbox resumes uploading photos and videos when the app detects a significant change in your device’s location.

Note: Background uploading helps camera uploads work more efficiently; it doesn’t collect your location information in any way.

Dropbox Business: How to avoid adding personal photos to your work account

When you enable camera uploads for your Dropbox Business account, every photo in your camera roll (or the default place where your photos are kept in your phone) will be automatically uploaded to the Camera Uploads folder in your business account. If your camera roll contains personal photos, then those will also be uploaded to your business account.

To avoid adding your personal photos to your Dropbox Business account, we recommend the following:

  • Make sure there are no personal photos in your camera roll before turning on camera uploads for your business account
    • If there are personal photos, back them up elsewhere (like your personal Dropbox account), and then delete them from your camera roll before using camera uploads with your business account

Note: Users that have connected their personal and business accounts can only have camera uploads enabled for one account at a time (personal or business). As with all Dropbox Business users, when a user with connected personal and business accounts switches their camera uploads to their business account, every photo in the camera roll is uploaded to the business account. 

Dropbox Business team members: Turn on camera uploads

Camera uploads are on (by default) for your entire team, unless your team admin has turned them off. Each team member has the option to turn them on (or off) for their own account, individually. 

Learn how to turn camera uploads on for your account.

Dropbox Business admins: Turn on/off camera uploads for your team

Camera uploads are on by default, but if you’re a team admin, you can switch them on or off at any time for your entire team. 

To turn camera uploads on or off for your entire team:

  1. Sign in to your Dropbox Business team admin account on dropbox.com.
  2. Click Admin Console in the left sidebar. 
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click Camera uploads.
  5. Toggle camera uploads to On or Off
  6. Click Save

Note: Each team member has the option to turn camera uploads on (or off) for their own account, individually. 

Users that have connected their personal and business accounts can only have camera uploads enabled for one account at a time (personal or business). If you're a Dropbox Business user and the admin has disabled camera uploads for your business account, you can still use camera uploads in a personal account

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