May 28, 2024

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How To: Use Dropbox To Backup iPhone Photos

3 min read

Dropbox_logo_(September_2013).svgEveryone has a smartphone or mobile device with a camera on it. Chances are you own an iPhone. Like many others users I would bet you are struggling with the thousands and thousands of photos you have taken on your new device and how to back them up. One slip of the hand and the phone is submerged in the toilet, ran over by a car or lost on the bus. Tragedy can happen at anytime and you need to be comforted that your photos are backed up and still retrievable.

I live with the attitude that my phone is not my primary storage for anything I want to keep. Nothing is safe on my phone from being lost. Photos, files, saved games, emails, whatever. I have setup services around my phone that if I lost it tomorrow I wouldn’t lose a thing. Can you say the same thing?

There are many methods to backup your photos, some more manual than others and some require more technical skills than others. Regardless, you need to backup now and backup regularly. You don’t want to be another name on the list of people that didn’t back up and your phone dies or is lost. This post will show you one of the ways to backup your photos consistently, safely and be assured your memories are safe.

Apple offers the iTunes and iCloud backup services which is fine. If you are in the habit of backing up regularly to your home PC that is a good start. This post will ensure your photos aren’t lost in-between backups.

This backup solution is using a service called Dropbox. You may of heard of it, maybe not, but you should get familiar with it. Dropbox is a free online storage service, you can pay for more space of course, that offers apps and plugin services to send files to. By using the Dropbox app for the iPhone you can set it up to sync all your photos to Dropbox. It’s free, takes a few minutes and is one more assurance your files aren’t lost.

  1. Goto and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one.
  2. On your iPhone download the Dropbox App.
  3. Launch the app on your phone and go into the Settings.
  4. Select Camera Upload.
  5. Turn on Camera Upload and Upload Videos.
    1. I recommend to turn OFF Use Cellular Data. This way you only upload when you are on Wi-Fi to save data.
  6. Background Uploading is up to you whether to upload in the background.

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The first load will take some time, especially if you have lots of photos.

When you have that setup just keep the Dropbox app running in the background and when you are on Wi-F- your photos will be copied to the ‘cloud’. You can let that run until your initial 2 GB is full. Dropbox will send you a warning email that your space is getting close to full. Use that as your task to go download and clean up the photos you want to keep to your home storage, a PC or external USB hard drive you use for archiving.

This method is purely for backing up your photos as soon as possible. It’s not really intended for using it as a gallery or permanent storage location. You can pay for more storage to do that but I wouldn’t recommend it.

In the near future I will also post how to do something similar to Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box and SkyDrive. I use multiple to backup my photos and files and if one goes down I know it’s going to be on another.

Use your iPhone, love your iPhone, embrace it…. but don’t completely trust it. It is a piece of hardware and they do fail, it’s just a question of how and when.

End of line.



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