We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

Automatically sync iPhone and iPad videos with your computer

Use Dropbox to transfer your videos as well as photos

Photo Stream is great, but it doesn't work with videos. Here's how to transfer and sync your iOS videos wirelessly from your device to your PC or laptop automatically using Dropbox.

Photo Stream: why no videos?

Apple's Photo Stream, which is part of iCloud, is a marvellous thing. Without lifting a finger (and certainly without any annoying wires) you can take a photo and have it appear in the My Pictures folder on your PC.

The trouble is, the same isn't true for videos (the clue is in the name: Photo Stream). In fact, for reasons unknown to anyone but itself,  Apple has made it pretty difficult to get videos on to your PC.

Dropbox on iPhone 5 - camera upload video

If you connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer and double click it in Windows Explorer, all you'll see are one or more folders with meaningless names comprised of numbers and letters. You have to look in every one to find videos, and then you have to copy them manually.

Videos are backed up, either to iTunes or iCloud, but there's no way to get to them - they're merely copied back to your device when you restore a backup.

Fortunately, there's a way to have those videos transferred automatically to your PC, using the brilliant Dropbox.

If you don't have an account, sign up at www.dropbox.com. It's free, and you'll get 2GB of storage. You can pay for more, or get extra storage by badgering friends to sign up too.

Next, install the free app from the App Store on your iOS device. You'll also need to install the Windows Dropbox client, and sign in on both the mobile and desktop apps.

Dropbox iOS app Camera Upload

When you launch the iOS app, it should prompt you to allow access to your Camera Roll. It should also ask if you want to upload photos and video automatically to the Camera Uploads folder in Dropbox. If not, tap on the cog icon at the bottom of the app to display the settings.

Tap Camera Upload, then slide the switch to On. It's advisable to leave the Use Cellular Data to Off unless you have an unlimited data plan.

A couple of points to bear in mind are that photos will upload only when the Dropbox app is running, and will stop a few minutes after your phone is locked - you'll have to return to the app to continue uploading. Photos and videos will then be accessible via the Dropbox website, and will download to your PC when it's turned on.

The Dropbox app is also available for Android users, and offers the same functionality.

Add Jim Martin to your Google+ circles and follow Jim Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

IDG UK Sites

Windows 9 release date, price, features: Windows 9 will be a free update

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 6 (or any smartphone) on contract: Get the latest tech and save...

IDG UK Sites

Corel Painter 2015 review

IDG UK Sites

Best iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus deals: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus tariffs, contracts and prices UK