How to use camera uploads

Camera uploads is a feature that automatically uploads photos from your mobile device to Dropbox.

Note: Camera uploads is not available for Dropbox Business teams that use Dropbox Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for Android or Dropbox users on Linux.

Dropbox Business admins: Learn how to turn camera uploads on or off for your team.

Turn camera uploads on or off on the Dropbox mobile app

Android:

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

iOS:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the person icon.
  3. Tap Camera Uploads.
  4. Tap Ok to give Dropbox access to your photos and videos.
  5. Choose what you’d like to back up and whether you’d like to use cell data.
  6. Tap Back up my photos.

Turn camera uploads on or off in the Dropbox desktop app

When you plug a camera or mobile device into a computer with the Dropbox desktop app installed, you’ll see a prompt asking if you’d like to enable camera uploads for that device. Once you accept, that device will automatically upload your camera roll each time the device is plugged in to that computer. 

You can also turn camera uploads on or off at any time. To do so:

  1. Open your Dropbox desktop app preferences.
  2. Under Backups check the box next to Enable camera uploads for.
  3. Choose Photos only or Photos and videos from the dropdown.

Note: If you’re using macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or higher, you’ll see a notification that says “Dropbox would like to access files on a removable volume.” Clicking OK will allow camera uploads to work. You can change this preference any time:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click Security and Privacy.
  3. Click the Privacy tab. 
  4. Click Files and Folders.
  5. Check or uncheck the box next to Removable Volumes under Dropbox.

FAQs about camera uploads

Can I choose which folder my photos upload to?

By default, your photos will be uploaded to a folder in your Dropbox account named Camera Uploads. You can’t change this; however, you can move your photos to a different folder in your Dropbox account after they’ve been uploaded.

Why did camera uploads use all of my battery power?

Camera uploads can use a large amount of battery power the first time your photos are uploaded. After the photos are uploaded, battery usage should return to normal. By default, the Dropbox app stops auto-uploading when your battery is low to save battery life.

Why did camera uploads use all of my cellular data?

By default, camera uploads uses cellular data when WiFi is not available. You can change this setting by following the instructions for your device below.

Android:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Under Camera uploads, toggle Use cell data to back up to off.

iOS:

  1. Open the Dropbox mobile app.
  2. Tap the person icon.
  3. Tap Camera Uploads.
  4. Toggle Use cell data to back up to off.

What should I do if camera uploads isn’t working?

If camera uploads isn’t working, follow the steps in our troubleshooting guide.

Why don’t I see the option to turn on camera uploads?

If you’re on a Dropbox Business team and you don’t see a camera uploads option, your admin may have turned the feature off for your team.

Can I use camera uploads on my personal and work account?

If you’ve linked two Dropbox accounts, you can only have camera uploads turned on for one account at a time.

Why do I see someone else’s photos in my Camera Uploads folder?

When you plug a camera or mobile device into a computer with the Dropbox desktop app installed, you’ll see a prompt asking if you’d like to enable camera uploads for that device. This means that if someone used your computer to charge their phone, they may have clicked OK to that pop-up without realizing it.

To find out who uploaded photos to your account:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Hover over the photo you don’t recognize, and click the “” (ellipsis).
  3. Click Version history.
  4. Look for a name next to Added by.

If you don’t recognize the name, you can remotely sign out of any devices you’re currently signed in to.

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