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How to Upload Your Camera Roll in iOS to OneDrive

My iCloud storage is beginning to approach its limit, thankfully, there are options users can utilize to overcome Apple’s meager cloud offerings. When you jump into the Apple ecosystem, especially in 2016, the company is looking to drive growth in services; you can only expect to be nickel and dimed along the way. The devices are expensive enough already that it seems unreasonable Apple really would expect users to pay more for cloud storage on devices that are capturing 4k pictures and 1080p videos.

The disadvantage when you stray from Apple’s offerings is the lack of seamless integration. iCloud for all its faults, it works, especially when it comes to syncing. Until Apple increases its cloud storage defaults, I think it’s best to consider another service to supplement it. One viable option is Microsoft’s OneDrive. I am already invested in the service for storing all my Office documents; why not take the leap where other personal media is concerned? The OneDrive mobile app makes it easy to set up and your camera roll to automatically upload, so if the worst happens, you always have a backup copy . If you took advantage of Microsoft’s Camera Roll bonus earlier this year, you should have 15 GBs of free storage just for your photos. In this article, we show you how to setup and use it.

Upload Your Photos Using the OneDrive App for iOS

Launch OneDrive on your iOS device, if it’s not installed, it’s a free download from the App Store. You will also need to have a Microsoft Account to sign in and use the service; so make sure you have one setup. If you are using Office 365, you can also use your account to sign in and upload photos to OneDrive for Business.


Tap the Photos tab to access your photo library. If OneDrive prompts you for access to your Photos, tap OK.


Tap Turn On next to the Camera Upload menu and then wait while OneDrive prepares to upload your photos.


Depending on the speed of your network and the size of your library, this can take some time. You can monitor the progress as it counts down to the very last photo.


That’s it; your pictures are now uploaded. You can also access and sync your photos from any other device running OneDrive.


If you are not a fan of OneDrive, there are other cloud services to choose. Dropbox, while limited on the storage side includes photo upload option with some exceptions. Google’s Photos is probably the best there is for storing lots of pictures.

The service offers up to 15 GBs of free online storage and works seamlessly with your iOS camera roll too. You can also configure Google Photos to delete your locally stored photos if you are using a device with limited space, like the 16 GB iPhone.

Ultimately, it depends on which service you like using, but these are options you can consider if iCloud meet its limit. Are you using any of the services mentioned? If so, tell us what you think in the comments.

Also, for other devices, make sure to check out our article: Auto Back Up Your Photos to OneDrive from Any Mobile Device.

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7 Responses to How to Upload Your Camera Roll in iOS to OneDrive

  1. Mike September 9, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    I would like to delete the camera roll pictures, but maintain their existence on One Drive. Do I need to create another folder and move them there? I am close to my storage limit on my iPhone.

    • Steve September 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

      It’s not two way sync. You can delete them from your phone and they will remain on Onedrive. It’s awesome. It’s how I keep all Apple devices photos and videos in my home backed up to a single OneDrive gallery.

      It’s also great for sharing photos.

      • Mike September 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

        Steve, thanks for the reply, but I tried deleting a picture from my camera roll, and it deleted that same picture in One Drive also. Maybe there is some special setting of which I am unaware?

        • Steve Krause September 10, 2016 at 11:47 am #

          Let me test it out again on my phone and get back to you.

          Just to confirm – when you DELETE the photo from your phone, be sure to do it from the built-in iPhone / iPad photos app. Not using the OneDrive App.

          OK – Testing.

        • Steve Krause September 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

          Hi Mike,

          I just confirmed, on my iPhone, I can blow away photos in my Photos App (built-in iPhone Photos App) and they are not touched on my OneDrive account. I tested this on several devices.

          These comments are not the best for troubleshooting – Perhaps you can post your question on our free Support forum – Better threaded comments and you can add screenshots.



          • Mike September 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

            Steve, It worked! I was deleting the photos through the OneDrive app on my iPhone, not the Apple Photos App. Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it!

          • Steve Krause September 10, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

            Problem solved! Awesome!

            Thanks for the updates Mike. I’m sure this will help others on the blog.

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