Why aren’t my photos uploading in the background?

Updated Dec 11, 2023
Your phone may set limits on how much battery or data background apps can use. These limits sometimes delay or block camera uploads. Click your operating system below to learn more on why camera uploads may not be working in the background.

Check your battery settings

Android limits background apps to extend battery life. To change this setting for Dropbox:

  1. On your phone, open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap Settings.
    • If you’re logged into a linked account, tap the account with the media you’d like to upload.
  4. Under Features, tap Camera uploads.
  5. Tap Background restrictions.
  6. Tap Stop optimizing battery.
  7. Tap Allow.

Update Samsung settings

Samsung phones have another setting that limits background activity. To change this setting for Dropbox:

  1. On your phone, open your Settings.
  2. Tap Battery and device care.
  3. Tap Battery.
  4. Tap Background usage limits.
  5. Tap Never sleeping apps.
  6. Tap “+” (plus sign).
  7. Choose the Dropbox app from the list.
  8. Tap Add.

“Lost permissions”

If you don’t open the Dropbox app on your phone for a long time, Android revokes its access. This prevents Dropbox from uploading new media. To opt out of this feature permanently:

  1. On your phone, open your Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select the Dropbox app.
  4. Toggle Remove permissions and free up space to Off.

Check your background settings

iOS limits background apps to extend battery life. To change this setting for Dropbox:

  1. On your phone, open your Settings.
  2. Select the Dropbox app.
  3. Be sure Background app refresh is enabled.
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Note: You can help prevent this issue if you:

  • Regularly charge your device.
  • Avoid the Low Power Mode setting.
  • Don’t turn your phone off regularly, like when you go to bed.

Check your data settings for Dropbox

If you use cellular data, your plan may restrict how much data apps can use. To check this setting:

  1. On your phone, open your Settings.
  2. Select the Dropbox app.
  3. Be sure Cellular data is enabled.

Turn off Low Data Mode

If you still can’t upload photos, make sure you’re not in Low Data Mode. To turn off Low Data Mode:

  1. On your phone, open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Cellular.
  3. Tap Cellular Data Options.
  4. Tap Data Mode.
  5. Tap Standard or Allow More Data.
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