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Dropbox: Unable to sync Photos & Videos as iPhone is locked?

Dropbox: Unable to sync Photos & Videos as iPhone is locked?

chrisjay
Explorer | Level 4

Hi all,

I have a laptop running Windows 10 Professional (Fully patched) with Dropbox client v19.3.11 (latest) and a iPhone 6 running iOS 10.2.1 (latest).

Everytime I connect my iPhone I get a message, 'Device is locked. Dropbox couldn't import photos because Apple iPhone may be locked. Unlock it and try again.' - the problem here is the phone is not locked!

I have tried re-installing the Dropbox client, adjusting the permissions as per other forum pages, updated the iPhone driver, re-install iTunes and nothing is working.

Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem?

Cheers, Chris.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Dropbox: Unable to sync Photos & Videos as iPhone is locked?

coolarj10
Helpful | Level 6

Hey! So I have been having this issue as well for a long time, and some of the other threads (such as this: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Mobile/iphone-5-unlocked-but-dropbox-says-device-is-locked-and-canno...) have simply not helped.

This issue seems related to another one that has shown up a lot on Apple forums: The iPhone's internal storage/DCIM folder appears to be empty when plugging in the iPhone.

Here are my steps to get it to work, but this feels like a workaround because you have to sit and wait occasionally. Something seems wrong with the iPhone drivers or something. 

----

 

Before starting:

  • Make sure iTunes is installed.
  • Make sure Dropbox is working on your PC.
  • Make sure AutoPlay settings are set to "Ask Me every time" for your iPhone. (In Windows 10, press the windows key, type "AutoPlay." In the AutoPlay settings, find your iPhone and make sure it is set to "Ask me every time.

------

Steps:

  1. Open iTunes (not 100% sure if this is necessary).
  2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to "This PC."
  3. Plug your iPhone in (locked/unlocked, doesn't matter yet).
  4. You'll notice in Windows Explorer, your iPhone should show up.** Double click on it. It will likely show an empty folder. 
  5. The Autoplay notification should pop up on your computer by now, asking you what you would like to do with your plugged in iPhone. Click on it, and when the option to import via Dropbox shows up, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING on your computer yet. If you click something and the Autoplay options disappear, you will need to unplug your iPhone and start again from Step #1.
  6. If your iPhone isn't already unlocked, unlock it.
  7. Now keep staring at the iPhone folder in Windows Explorer. Remember how it was empty? Well keep waiting (it takes mine up to 2 minutes after plugging my phone in), and eventually an "Internal Storage" folder should suddenly appear. This means that your PC has access to all of your iPhone content now.
  8. Now click the "Import via Dropbox" button at the top right of your screen. 

Your photos/videos should now start importing, and you should NOT get the "device locked" message. One thing that is unclear to me is if your phone has to remain unlocked during the entire import process. I don't believe it has to be, but you'll have to see for yourself.

Unfortunately, you will have to repeat steps 1-8 every time you want to import your photos. 

I don't understand why it takes the iPhone up to 2 minutes for the PC to recognize its folders. This seems to be the crux of the issue. Can anyone shed any light as to why this is happening?

Also, please let me know if these steps worked for you, and if you need clarification.

--

**This is the problem. When the iPhone shows up in Windows Explorer, if you double click it immediately, it will show up as empty. Normally, double clicking your iPhone in Windows Explorer should show an "Internal Storage" folder, and inside it should be a "DCIM" folder. For some reason, it takes up to 2 minutes after plugging in the iPhone for these folders to appear. Dropbox can only import files when these folders are working properly.

View solution in original post

126 Replies 126

Re: iphone 5 unlocked, but dropbox says device is locked and cannot upload photos from iphone 5

Raman G.
New member | Level 1

Dropbox is an insecure cloud based storage provider. The NSA can look at any of your files at any time. I myself am moving over to sync.com, as it has actual privacy protection. So my advice would be, leave dropbox.

Photos won't import when iPhone is locked

Joe P.11
New member | Level 1

Just got a new iPhone 7 and upgraded my iMac to Sierra. When I plug in my phone, Dropbox can't import photos (like it always has) because phone is locked. My previous iPhone was always locked and never gave me this message. Not sure if the problem is with macOS, iPhone, iOS 10 or Dropbox. Can someone please help?

 

  

Re: Photos won't import when iPhone is locked

Nate_C
Super User

When you plug your phone in to the computer, it should pop up on the phone asking if you trust the computer. You must say that you trust the computer for it to begin talking to the computer. It may also ask permission to allow the computer to access your media or photos, and you have to allow that.

Re: Photos won't import when iPhone is locked

Joe P.11
New member | Level 1

Thanks - tried that and approved the pop-ups. Problem remains that photos won't import when device is locked.

 

 

Re: Photos won't import when iPhone is locked

Nate_C
Super User

Is Camera Uploads enabled? https://help.dropbox.com/photos-videos/camera-uploads-overview

 

Also in case you didn't know, you can enable Camera Uploads on the Dropbox app on your phone to have photos uploaded directly from your phone without having to plug into your computer.

iphone 6 unlocked but dropbox says device is locked and cannot upload photos

dbd
New member | Level 2

I just updated to the new iOS and am trying to back up my photos to a Macbook running OS version 10.6.8.  When I've connected my phone via a USB cord to my Macbook, I get a message that my phone is locked, and that DropBox is not able to transfer my photos.  I get the same message from iTunes as well. And my phone is definitely not locked.  

 

I do not use iTunes to back up my phone, just FYI.  I'm just trying to get my photos backed up into DropBox. This wasn't a problem until I upgraded my phone's iOS.  Has anyone else had this problem?  I saw a post about a similar situation involving an iPhone 5, but the solution offered there was not helpful to me, so that is why I'm posting here.  Thanks for your help.

Re: iphone 6 unlocked but dropbox says device is locked and cannot upload photos

Mark
Super User II
Long shot possibly, but, have you tried locking it and unlocking it while its connected?

How about making sure that the phone is allowing connections to it from the computer?

 


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Re: iphone 6 unlocked but dropbox says device is locked and cannot upload photos

dbd
New member | Level 2

Thanks for your help, but unfortunately I didn't mean to mark this as a solution.  I was just trying to hit the reply button...I was able to get my phone to work, but when I plug it in, I have to unplug really quick and plug it back in after I get the message from DropBox telling my phone is locked (even thought it's not locked).  If I don't don't make the reconnection within less than a second or so, it doesn't sync up.  So frustrating.  And that fact that I have to do it everytime, just adds to the frustration.  

 

I'm curious about what you said:  

        "How about making sure that the phone is allowing connections to it from the computer?"

 

How do I make the iPhone allow connections?  Where is that found in the iPhone?

Device Locked

SSsharpPP7
New member | Level 2

I've had camera roll sync on for years. A few months ago i noticed when plugging in my phone it stopped syncing and a prompt stating my device is locked has been popping up. I've never had to unlock my device to sync my photos and now in order to get my photos to sync i have to plug in and unlock my phone which is not a natural behavior.

 

I am on iOS10 using an iPhone 7 using dropbox v12.4.22

 

This is the message:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/d3reg4wpbxcj8tc/Screenshot%202016-10-14%2011.41.11.png?dl=0

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