How to Fix OneDrive Camera Upload Not Working on iPhone

OneDrive’s Camera Upload functionality isn’t as adequate compared to Google Photos. But it still offers the best way to sync the photos and videos shot on the iPhone across the Windows-based devices.

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However, the Camera Upload feature in OneDrive does have problems. At times, it may fail to back up your photos and videos to the cloud. Thankfully, there are some fixes that you can use to resolve this issue. Let’s get started.

1. Update App

OneDrive’s development team for iOS is very diligent and releases updates quite frequently. If there's a known problem with Camera Upload, then a new update is almost bound to fix it. Before you go through any of the other troubleshooting tips, consider updating OneDrive.

To do that, open the App Store on your iPhone, tap Updates, and then swipe downwards to check for updates. If OneDrive has an update available, tap Update.

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After updating, launch the OneDrive app on your iPhone and check if it’s taking a backup of your photos and videos without issues. If not, continue reading.

2. Clear OneDrive Cache

Usually, iOS is quite adept at managing temporary files of all apps installed on your iPhone. However, OneDrive has its own cache-clearing mechanism (which is a rarity for iOS apps) that you can use for specific instances where the app’s functionalities fail to work properly. Time to use it.

Step 1: Start by tapping the profile icon to the upper-left corner of the OneDrive app. Next, tap Settings. On the Settings panel that shows up, scroll down and tap Advanced.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 3

Step 2: Tap Clear Cache to purge the OneDrive cache of temporary files.

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Now that you’ve cleared the cache, it’s a good idea to force-quit OneDrive. To do that, bring up the app switcher (swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold briefly), and then swipe the OneDrive app card upwards. Afterward, relaunch the app. Camera Upload should likely function without issues from now onward.

No luck? Let’s move to the next solution.

3. Toggle Camera Upload Off/On

Try disabling and re-enabling Camera Upload. That will force OneDrive to re-index your local photo library from scratch. Don’t worry. Any items that you’ve already uploaded won’t be affected.

Within the Setting panel of OneDrive, tap Camera Upload. Now, it’s just a matter of turning off the switch next to Camera Upload. Wait for a few seconds, and then turn it back on.

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Check if that got things moving once again. If not, let’s see what you can do next.

4. Disable Optimize Storage

iOS has a distinct space-saving mechanism dubbed Optimize Storage, which will automatically replace original copies already backed up to iCloud with low-resolution placeholders.

However, that will conflict with OneDrive, which can only upload your original copies. Hence, you need to turn it off.

Note: If you have iCloud Photos disabled, this tip isn’t applicable. Move onto the next fix.

To do that, open the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap Photos. On the subsequent screen, select Download and Keep Originals.

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Wait for at least 30 minutes so that iCloud has sufficient time to replace the placeholders with their original copies. Then, visit OneDrive and turn Camera Upload off, and then back on.

If the issue was caused due to this conflict, your photos and videos should start backing up right away.

5. Pause Video Backups Temporarily

If you are on a slower internet connection, then OneDrive’s upload capabilities may grind to a halt if you have videos in the mix. To at least upload your photos, consider pausing video backups temporarily.

To do that, tap Camera Upload from within the OneDrive Settings panel, and then turn off the switch next to Include Videos.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 10

If your photos start to back up again, only turn on video backups either once they’ve finished uploading or if you are on a stronger internet connection.

6. Enable Background Refresh

If Camera Upload only works when OneDrive is open, then you need to enable the app to run in the background.

To do that, open the Settings app, scroll all the way down, and then tap OneDrive. On the subsequent screen, turn on the switch next to Background App Refresh.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 12

However, if you have lots of items to back up, you may have to open OneDrive once every 15 minutes or so. That is because iOS tends to restrict apps that run in the background for extended periods as a means to conserve battery life on your iPhone.

7. Enable Location Services

OneDrive has a built-in setting that requires you to enable location services. Whenever your location then changes, OneDrive will initiate a backup if new photos and videos are available. That further bolsters the app’s ability to run in the background.

Step 1: Get to the OneDrive Settings panel, and then tap Camera Upload. Next, turn on the switch next to Upload in Background.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 14

Step 2: Tap Turn On and then tap Always Allow on the confirmation box.

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Once again, iOS restrictions apply here. If you have lots of items ready to be backed up, open OneDrive once every 15 minutes or so until everything is uploaded.

8. Change DNS Settings

If OneDrive’s Camera Upload functionality acts slow or fails to work on a certain Wi-Fi network, consider using the Google DNS servers. Most issues related to connectivity can be resolved with this action alone.

Step 1: Tap Wi-Fi within the Settings app, and then tap the tiny i-shaped icon next to the connected Wi-Fi network.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 18

Step 2: Tap Configure DNS. Next, replace the existing DNS servers with that of Google’s.

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Tap Save. Open OneDrive and see if things are back on track.

9. Enable Cellular Data

If you were going to upload your photos and videos to OneDrive using cellular data, then don’t be surprised to see that fail. You need to first enable cellular data usage for OneDrive via iOS. And then there’s a OneDrive setting that you also need to turn on to allow cellular data usage for media backups.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap OneDrive. On the subsequent screen, turn on the switch next to Cellular Data.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 22

Step 2: On the Settings panel of the OneDrive app, tap Camera Upload, and then enable Use Mobile Network.

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You should be good now.

10. Reset Network Settings

It most likely won’t come to this, but if Camera Upload still fails to function properly, that might be caused due to corrupted network settings on your iPhone. It’s time to reset them.

However, that means you will lose all saved Wi-Fi networks and passwords during the reset procedure. Cellular network settings will be automatically updated by your carrier after the reset so you need not worry about that.

Step 1: On the Settings app, tap General. Next, tap Reset.

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One Drive Camera Upload Iphone Not Working 27

Step 2: Tap Reset Network Settings, and then tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm.

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After the reset, manually connect to a Wi-Fi network via the Settings app or enable cellular data. Camera Upload in OneDrive should work fine from here on out.

Get Those Cameras Rollin’

Hopefully, the tips above worked, and Camera Upload is backing up your photos and videos without issues. Usually, updating OneDrive or clearing its cache will do the trick, but as you saw, there are various settings that you may need to tweak to allow the app to do its job properly. Try to at least keep some of these fixes in mind so that you know what to do the next time Camera Upload fails to work.

Next up: OneDrive is a chock-full of features. Here are 9 terrific tips for using Microsoft’s cloud-storage like a pro.

Read Next
Top 9 OneDrive Tips and Tricks to Use It like a Pro
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Dilum Senevirathne is a contributing writer at Guiding Tech who loves sharing his passion for all things technology. He takes privacy and security seriously, so don’t be surprised to see him put sketchy-looking apps to task! When he isn’t writing, you can find him catching up on the latest tech stuff at Reddit.