Skydrive/OneDrive Camera Roll / Camera Backup

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Upload photos automatically from smartphones.

One of the features of Skydrive/OneDrive is the ‘Camera Roll’ or ‘Camera Backup’, it’s a simple and automatic way to copy photos between some devices.

Is it ‘Camera Roll’ or ‘Camera Backup’? Microsoft uses both terms, depending on where you look.

Most commonly from your smartphone (Apple or Windows) to your computer. It works automatically and often takes only seconds from taking the photo to it appearing on your computer.

It saves you have to bother copying photos from your smartphone because they appear on your Windows or Mac computer/tablet automatically. Take a photo, then look in the Pictures | Camera Roll folder to insert the image into an Office document or email. Camera Roll also works for ‘screen shots’ taken on devices which makes it invaluable for technical writers.

We prefer Dropbox Camera Upload because its ‘agnostic’, meaning it works across a mix of Windows, Mac, Apple and Android devices. Currently the OneDrive app for Android doesn’t have the Camera Roll feature. You can use both Dropbox and OneDrive ‘Camera’ features on the same device, copying new pictures to both services.


Open up the SkyDrive/OneDrive app on your device and look for the Camera Roll option.

On iOS devices it’s under Settings | Camera Backup

OnDrive iOS Camera Roll Backup image from Skydrive/OneDrive Camera Roll / Camera Backup at

As you can see, there are options to:

  • Turn Camera Backup on/off
  • Resize photos
  • Upload using Wifi only or mobile broadband when available
  • Choose to upload photos or photos & videos.

On a computer with OneDrive software installed, look for the Picture | Camera Roll folder. In that folder you’ll see all the photos taken on linked devices.

Note: if you have more than one device connected to the same OneDrive account (e.g. members of a family) then the one Camera Roll folder will have photos/videos from all devices.

You can share a Camera Roll folder with other people, just like any other OneDrive folder.

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