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Fix issues with camera uploads

The camera uploads feature automatically adds photos and videos to your Dropbox account.

Sometimes, camera uploads may not work as expected. This article helps you troubleshoot common issues with camera uploads.

If camera uploads isn’t working as expected, try these steps first:

Note: If one of these steps works, you can stop there.

  1. Change the way you upload:
    • Try uploading with only Wi-Fi enabled
    • Try uploading with both Wi-Fi and cellular data enabled
  2. Try uploading with a full battery or with your phone plugged in.
  3. Disable other apps that upload photos. 
  4. Update to the latest version of the Dropbox app.
  5. Upgrade the operating system on your device to the latest version.

iOS only: Try enabling location services. Camera uploads pauses if no change in location is detected after a certain amount of time.

If you tried these steps and you’re still seeing the problem, select the relevant section of this article to find a solution.

Sections in this article:

I’m seeing someone else’s photos in my Dropbox account

To find out where these unfamiliar photos or videos came from, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Locate the photos that you’re confused about. These photos should be in either the “Camera Upload” folder or a shared folder.
  3. You can check which user and device added a file to your account by clicking the (ellipsis) icon. Choose Version history from the menu.

The photos were uploaded from a mobile device

If the photos or videos were uploaded from a mobile device, then your account is signed in on a phone or tablet. You can review the devices linked to your account and unlink any that are unfamiliar to you on the Security page.

The photos were uploaded into Camera Uploads folder

If the photos were uploaded from a computer, someone could have connected a phone to your computer. 

Before uploading from a connected phone, a pop-up asks if you want to use camera uploads. If you confirm, photos and videos upload to the Dropbox account that’s signed in on that computer. After a phone is approved, that phone automatically uploads photos and videos when it’s connected to that computer.

For example: imagine that your friend used your computer to charge their phone and clicked OK on the camera uploads pop-up without realizing it. Their photos and videos would be uploaded to your account. 

To remove these photos and videos, delete them from your Dropbox account. Deleting the photos or videos from Dropbox doesn’t delete files from the device that uploaded them.

The photos were uploaded into a shared folder

Shared folders are an easy way to share content with others. Anything that is placed in a shared folder is available to all the members of that shared folder.

If the files are in a shared folder, then a member of the shared folder added the photos. If you don’t believe that these photos should be in the shared folder, ask the person who added the photos to move them.

The photos aren’t in the Camera Uploads folder or a shared folder

Contact Dropbox Support with the names and locations of a few of the unfamiliar photos. 

Camera uploads shows a “Waiting to upload” error

Dropbox waits for your phone to have a good Wi-Fi or data connection to begin uploading your photos.

If you’re seeing a “Waiting to upload” error, try these steps to solve the problem:

Note: If one of these steps works, you can stop there.

  1. Keep the Dropbox app open for a few minutes. If the message goes away on its own, then your photos should upload. 
  2. Change the way you upload:
    • Try uploading with only Wi-Fi enabled
    • Try uploading with both Wi-Fi and cellular data enabled
  3. Upload using a different Wi-Fi network.

If the message doesn’t go away after trying these steps, then contact Dropbox Support.

I'd like more than one "Camera Uploads" folder

Camera uploads adds all the photos from your connected devices to the same "Camera Upload" folder in your Dropbox account. You can’t have different “Camera Uploads” folders for different devices.

You can move files from the Camera Uploads folder into other folders once the photos upload.

Camera uploads is missing files

To prevent duplicates, camera uploads checks if a photo or video was previously uploaded. Photos and videos already imported using camera uploads don’t upload again, even if you deleted the files from your account.

Note: Camera uploads does support the upload of raw files. However, your experience may vary depending on how your phone or operating system handles raw file types. If your phone or operating system doesn't recognize a raw file as a photo, then it won't be uploaded to Dropbox using camera uploads.

Learn more about approved image file formats on the Android MediaStore or the iOS Developer page.

Camera uploads used all my battery power

Camera uploads can use a large amount of battery power during its first sync with your Dropbox account. After the photos on your phone upload, battery usage should return to normal.

By default, the Dropbox app stops auto-uploading when your battery is below 30% to save battery life. If you use an Android phone, you can choose when camera uploads stops auto-uploading.

Error message: Couldn't upload photo

If you’re seeing the “Couldn't upload photo error message, we couldn't upload one or more of your photos or videos.

This can happen if a photo or video file is corrupt. Camera uploads can't import corrupted files, but will continue to upload any non-corrupt photos or videos into your Dropbox account.

Review the photos and videos on your phone, and remove any corrupt files to dismiss this error message.

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