How to access photos from any device

Rob Beattie
12 January, 2012
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Want to store and synchronise 2GB of photos for free? Follow the steps below using the Dropbox app for iOS.

Dropbox is a web-based service that provides 2GB of storage for free, as well as the ability to synchronise the contents between different devices. Simply sign up at, download the software to a Mac, iPhone or iPad and log on.

Dropbox creates a local folder on the Mac; as items are stored there, they’re synchronised with your other devices – so drop a Word document into Dropbox from your Mac, then open the app on the iPhone and you’ll be able to read it on the go. This makes Dropbox particularly useful for storing and synchronising photos on the fly. And because it’s possible to create new folders from the iPhone or iPad, it offers flexibility that’s missing from iCloud.

Getting started

Difficulty: Beginner

Time required: 10 minutes

What you need:

iPhone, iPad or iPhone touch
iOS 3.1 or later
Dropbox app (free)

Step 1: Start Dropbox

Download the free Dropbox app from the App Store and launch it. Tap the Dropbox button at the bottom of the screen to display your top-level folders. You can’t create a new folder for your photos at this stage because that’s part of the uploading process – tap the Uploads button to continue.

Step 2: Preparing to upload

When the Uploads screen appears, you need to tell DropBox what it is you want to upload, so tap the + button at the top right of the screen to open your Photo Albums. If you’ve done this before, Dropbox  will remember the last upload location and display it on a button at the foot of the screen.

Step 3: Navigating Folders

We don’t want to upload our photos to that folder, so tap the button to show its contents on the screen. Since we want to create our new folder somewhere else, we’ll tap the button at the top left to move up the folder hierarchy until we’ve reached the level where we want to make a folder. Then we can tap Create Folder.

Step 4: Creating a folder

When the Create a Folder screen appears, type a new name for the folder into the space provided – ours is called New photos – and then click the Create button at the top right of the screen. After a moment it’ll appear in the folder list. Tap the folder to open it and then tap the Choose button.

Step 5: Selecting photos

Tap the Camera Roll to open it and then select the photos you want to upload by tapping them (note that you can only upload photos from one album at a time). Dropbox adds a tick to the selected photos so you know which ones will upload. When you’ve finished, tap the Upload button to continue.

Step 6: Viewing uploaded folders

Dropbox uploads the photos one at time and, when it’s finished, lists them in the Recent section of the Uploads screen so you can view them from there. Alternatively, tap the Dropbox button at the bottom left and then navigate to the newly created folder. Tap any of the photos to display them full screen.

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