Dropbox sync only happens when I have the Dropbox iPhone app actively open, and even then it takes about 5 minutes to upload a single photo. This is for camera roll sync.
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Hi there, I’m Antonio, a member of the Dropbox Mobile team. I wanted to talk about our upload process on iOS and address its current constraints:
If you are manually uploading files into your Dropbox using the plus (“+”) button, keep in mind that uploads will only run while the app is in the foreground. When the app is backgrounded, Dropbox can only run for a few minutes before the device will stop the process to save battery. To remedy this, we recommend keeping the app open while an upload is in progress.
If you are using the camera uploads feature to automatically upload photos from your Camera Roll to Dropbox, you can turn on “Background Uploading”. This will allow your photos and videos to continue uploading even if you don’t have the app open. Additionally, this feature uses location changes to trigger uploads as you move around throughout the day (this is why we ask you to enable “Location Services” when you enable this feature). Keep in mind that if there isn’t a significant location change after a few minutes, the device will stop the process, and photos or videos will no longer upload in the background.
Syncing can be slower if you have “iCloud Photo Library” enabled on your device, and have enabled “Optimize iPhone Storage” in your iCloud Photo settings. This feature stores high resolution versions of your files to the cloud, and keeps optimized versions of the files on your device. When Dropbox attempts to automatically upload these files, we have to first connect to iCloud’s servers to download the high resolution photo, and then sync that photo to your Dropbox. This can be a slow process that is dependent upon the strength of the server connection to iCloud. Additionally, this process is limited to WiFi-only (even if you have the camera uploads feature enabled over cellular data).
With these constraints in mind, here are some recommendations when uploading your files:
We’re always working on improving the background upload experience and greatly appreciate your feedback. We'll keep monitoring this thread and will do our best to reply to any other questions not addressed by this explanation.
If uploads from the Dropbox app are progressing slowly, there are a couple of workarounds you can use to get through the uploads that are remaining:
1) You can try Dropbox's Carousel app (free in the App Store), as we've optimized the Camera Upload feature for that app. Automatic Backup from Carousel will still go into the Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox.
You can read more about and download Carousel here:
2) You can use the desktop client to quickly download your remaining items. If you enable Camera Upload from the Dropbox desktop application, your photos and videos will automatically upload whenever you plug your mobile device into your computer.
To enable Camera Upload from the desktop client, please follow these steps:
Make sure you have the most recent version of the desktop client installed. You can download it here: https://dropbox.com/install
Click on the small Dropbox icon in your menu bar or system tray. Click on the gear in the Notifications pane. Select Preferences. Click on the “import” tab.
Check the box that says “Enable camera uploads.” You can set it to upload only photos, or both photos and videos.
The next time you plug in your phone, you will be asked whether you want to import your photos and videos from that device to Dropbox. Click yes, and Camera Upload will run! Any time you plug that device in to your computer, Dropbox will automatically check for and upload new photos and videos.
You can read more about desktop Camera Upload on our Help Center:
I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions.
HI, whenever I'm making some modification to my dropbox folders or files on my computer running on Windows 10 It takes ages before my Iphone app got syncronised with my computer... It didn't used to be like this before.. In the past, syncing was almost instantanly... That means I can't find my updated files on my phone whenever I need them.. Also, on windiows 10, i can't see any symbol next to the files or folder that used to show if the file was already synced or not yet (like the red x).. HOw is that?
It's actually not even syncing at all... It's been 1hour or more that I've done some modification on my file and it still doesn't appear on my phone app... And I've been using dropbox like this for over 2 years and I've never experienced this...The only difference is that I'm now using Windows 10 instead of 7...
So this is still happening, long after Carousel came and went. Have this increasingly large backlog of files waiting to be uploaded to Dropbox, even making sure my phone is connected to Dropbox at every possible opportunity.
iPhone 5, iOS 9.3
No other device has this problem.
Sooo true! I mean come on! First I couldn't believe Carousel was going to vanish and the I have to realise that the drop box app is bullshizzle for photouploads? I am no longer giving money to a company while other do a better job for free....
Honestly, I have to say that the problem must be with iPhone. I have a LG V10 and everything uploads SUPER quick, took about 30 secs to upload 4 GB of 4K video this morn. Never had a problem with Dropbox on that phone nor my PC. Lo and behold try to get the same videos from my iPhone 6, it's been 30 minutes and haven't even gotten halfway through the first video. I recall this happening with my 5S about a year ago when I was changing phones... I became so infuriated with the long wait that I just said eff it and threw my pics away with the phone (sadly). Needless to say, Im starting to have a sneaking suspicion that when you try to upload things on iPhone that aren't through Apple specific apps, iOS is slowing down the process. Purposely. And if that is true, it is absolutely unfair to the customer.
@Kyle M. Dropbox's own Carousel app didn't have this problem - the "solution" given earlier in this very discussion by Dropboxer Peio directed users to it, so I think it's fair to say that the problem is with the Dropbox app, not some Apple limitation.