How to fix issues with camera uploads

Camera uploads is a feature that automatically uploads photos and videos from your phone or tablet. 

Learn more in our camera uploads overview article.

To get help with common issues with camera uploads, click the question that best fits your needs.

Frequently asked questions covered in this article

Common error messages

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

If you get an error message while using camera uploads, or camera uploads isn’t working, try these quick troubleshooting steps:

  • Check your internet connection or connect to Wi-Fi
    • You won’t always need to do this, but camera uploads might be slower if your data signal is weak
    • Try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network
    • Turn on airplane mode, and then connect to Wi-Fi (so that your phone is only connected to Wi-Fi and not data)
  • Make sure your battery is charged
    • Camera uploads may be slower when your battery is low
    • Plug in your computer, phone, or tablet to see if it resolves the issue
  • Update to the latest version of the Dropbox app
  • Upgrade the operating system on your device to the latest version
  • Delete or disable any other app that is automatically receiving uploaded photos from your computer, phone, or tablet (such as Google Photos or iCloud Photos)
  • If you have an iOS device, enable location services
    • Camera uploads pauses if no change in location is detected after a certain amount of time

Note: Camera uploads is available to all Dropbox users (Basic, Plus, Professional, and Business), with the following three exceptions:

Dropbox Basic users must have the Dropbox desktop application installed on their computer to use camera uploads.

Can I have my photos upload to a different folder?

If you’re using camera uploads, your photos will always go to your Camera Uploads folder. You can’t change the destination of your photos to a different folder. However, you can move photos to a different folder after they’ve been uploaded to your Camera Uploads folder.

Why did camera uploads use all of 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 low to save battery life. 

If you’re still experiencing an issue with battery life, try the troubleshooting steps in this article.

Why is camera uploads missing some of my photos or videos?

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

If you apply an edit or filter to a photo, the altered version will only be added to camera uploads if it is in your camera roll when the original is uploaded. If you apply a filter after the original has been uploaded, you will need to upload the filtered photo manually to your Camera Uploads folder.

Note: Burst and live photos on iOS are not automatically added to camera uploads. If you would like to add burst and live photos to your Camera Uploads folder, you will need to upload them manually.

RAW files

Some RAW files may not upload with camera uploads. Learn more about approved image file formats on the Android MediaStore or the iOS Developer page.

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

If you’re seeing someone else’s photos in your Camera Uploads folder, you have a couple of options:

  • You can view any devices that are linked to your account and unlink any that are unfamiliar to you on the Security page
  • You can view who uploaded the photos, which might help you figure out how they got there

How did these photos get there in the first place?

When you connect a phone or tablet to a computer with the Dropbox desktop application, a pop-up asks if you want to use camera uploads. So, for example, if someone used your computer to charge their phone, they may have clicked OK to that pop-up without realizing it.

How can I find out who uploaded their photos to my account?

To find out who uploaded photos to your account:

  1. Hover your mouse over the file.
  2. Click the (ellipses).
  3. Click Version historyLearn more about how to find Version history. 
  4. Look for a name next to Added by.

How can I unlink a device?

You can view any devices that are linked to your account on the Security page. Learn how to unlink any devices that you don’t recognize.

Why do I see an error message about “corrupted files”?

There are a lot of reasons that Dropbox might identify a photo or video file as corrupt. This typically has nothing to do with security, and there’s a chance the file will still open normally on your computer or phone.

If you remove the corrupted files, the error message will go away and camera uploads will resume.

How can I tell which files are corrupted?

There may not be a simple way to tell which camera uploads are corrupted. You may have to contact Dropbox support for help. Before you do, we recommend these steps:

  • Find the most recent file that uploaded successfully to your Dropbox account
    • The next photo or video file in your camera roll might be the corrupted file
    • Move it elsewhere or delete it from your your camera roll, and then try uploading again
  • Check to see if any of your photos or videos aren’t displaying correctly 
    • Move them elsewhere or delete them from your camera roll, and then try uploading again
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