OneDrive keeps getting better on Android and iOS

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On Monday, we announced upcoming changes to our storage offerings, which will give our users more space for their files – especially photos, the most popular type of file on OneDrive. Today we’re publishing updates to our Android and iOS apps that will help you do more from your phone and make it easier to get your photos (and videos) into OneDrive.


For Android, we’ll now automatically upload your videos by default. We’ve also made updates to make OneDrive feel more like a part of your Android device, with an in-app navigation drawer that works just how you expect it to. On top of that, a new, dedicated search button means your important files are only a quick search away. This will help users stay productive while on the go and let them easily view their videos on their other devices – such as their Xbox at home.
Android Camera Backup
And on iOS, we’ve made uploads more reliable (so you should see fewer pesky notifications), enabled camera backup to occur in the background, and made it easier to work on your documents by opening them directly in Office Mobile on your iPhone or Office for iPad.


These update will be rolling out in the coming days. Stay tuned for more updates and keep the feedback coming!

Jason Moore
Group Program Manager, OneDrive

  1. seattlematt1976

    Sounds great–but one thing I would LOVE to see is for the automatic photo backup to be updated so that each phone can upload to their own folders. We have ONE OneDrive account (a family account that we set up with our Windows 8 installation). We have 3 iPhones and 5 iPads. If we enable photo backup on all of them–all photos end up on ONE folder. This creates a nightmare for sorting. I’d love to see OneDrive and the iOS/Android App updated to allow creating and/or choosing a unique-to-the-device folder to upload to. Example: OneDrive for iOS would create a folder called “Camera Roll-seattlematt iPhone” for my iPhone and “Camera Roll-seattlematt iPad” for my iPad.

    I’ve asked via Twitter, my friends in Redmond, and also via the feedback link on my OneDrive. No response. Hoping this gets seen.

    • Agree, this would be a nice improvement. Lumping everything into one folder isn’t all that efficient.

    • Anonymous

      Go to Onedrive on the PC and rename each phones folder one at a time. Ie… Turn off backup on all devices. Then turn one device on. When it shows as camera roll(may have to change name if old folder too) then change it to whatever you want. Then turn the next devices backup on and do the same for all devices. I think that will work.

      • No, this doesn’t work. I can change the name of Camera Roll, but it remembers that folder as the photo upload folder, no matter what it’s called. So, I uploaded my iPhone photos, changed the name to Camera Roll – iPhone, then turned on photo upload on my iPad. It now asks me if I want to sync my photos to Camera Roll – iPhone.

      • Thank you so much for sharing such a good post! It will helps a lot andriod and ios users.

  2. The only issue I have is that OneDrive does not back up any images in the camera roll that have been edited by other apps. If I take a photo with my iPhone 5S camera and it is in the camera roll, it backs up fine. If I copy and edit that same photo using Snapseed, Photoshop Express, or even Instagram, and save the new photo back to the camera roll, OneDrive will not back it up with the rest of the camera roll images. It is in the camera roll, but is not backed up!!

    I have contacted OneDrive support and they told me they don’t know anything about the iOS app and couldn’t help me at all. I pay for OneDrive specifically to back up my camera roll but will bring my business elsewhere if you guys can’t fix it.

    • Andy Foster

      I think this must be a bug after the latest iOS app update – It was uploading everything in the Camera Roll before the 25th June at any rate.

  3. Ryan Hoge - Lead PM, OneDrive

    @seattlematt1976 Great feedback. Thanks for sharing. We’ll consider this as we continue to improve and evolve the feature.

    @bryan We are aware of the limitation in the current design of the feature. This is on our radar and something we plan to address in the near future.

  4. Michael Ragsdale

    How about getting rid of the 2 GB file limit? I want to move my iTunes Library to my OneDrive folder so I can back up movies that don’t stay in iCloud

  5. I already earlier manually backed up videos on my iPhone . Now when I updated the app it is uploading each video again . How do I make sure video uploads happen only for subsequent videos I take ? The earlier ones are already backed up.

  6. Any plans to include a search function in the iOS app? It’s going to get pretty tedious navigating through 1TB of documents without it.

  7. Joscelin Trouwborst

    I would like to see Bing, as a consumer brand, take control of a unified user experience for creating a seamless user experience for taking, storing, showing and sharing of (moving) pictures, including Photosynth, using OneDrive, replacing WL Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. E.g. users should be able to see a map with where all there pictures are shot and zoom in and tap to see them. Date Taken and Geo Coordinate tags are of the essence here, but readily available now that most shots are with smartphones and the like. I.e. integrate and rebrand Nokia Storyteller to Bing Storyteller.
    I fancy a Bing Camera app, which is a rebrand of Nokia Camera and will include the new Photosynth functionality.
    I would say, grow a social, personal story telling platform out of this.
    Generally, Microsoft is too slow and is losing, has lost leadership in the consumer space to Google.

    • Anonymous

      Yes this Bing brand for the consumer facing stuff is a really good idea!

      • Anonymous


  8. James Morris

    regarding the new 1TB option, will they also change the throttle limit. Currently I get throttled after syncing about 2000 files. I’m using GoodSync to do the syncing because you guys disabled the desktop app in windows 8.1

  9. It will be really cool to have more stability on mobile browser… The website is almost usable on iOS version of Safari. Right click is not supported. Page scrolling have a lot of delay. Video playback doesn’t work very well (it not possible to change the playback quality, so when on a slow connection, the video is not watchable)

  10. In IOS there is now an option to “Upload in Background”. Seems straightforward. However, when activating this feature the message says: “Your photos and videos will upload automatically to OneDrive when you change location. OneDrive needs permission to use your location”.

    Question: What does my location have to do with automatically uploading photos? Why can’t the app just upload photos in the background wherever I am?

    This makes no sense. Is this a wording issue? If not, what does my location have to do with it?


    • Anyone, anyone? Buehler?

    • Andy Foster

      Normally, photos and videos can upload while the iOS app is open and for only a few minutes after it is closed. But with background uploading turned on, the app will automatically resume unfinished uploads when it detects a significant change in your device’s location. Does that help explain it?

      • I still don’t get why the app would wait for a change in location before uploading photos in the background. Why not upload them while the device is not being used and connected to WiFi?

      • Yes, why do I need to “significant”-ly change my device’s location in order to finish uploading? Seems rather random to me.

        Also, why was the ability to load/not load videos removed?

      • I’m also curious about this. What does my location have to do with uploading photos? Why not just let it upload while the phone is locked and connected to wi-fi? I try to keep location services turned off for as many apps as possible to improve battery life on my aging 4s. Can anyone explain that???

      • Anonymous

        Why do we need to change location for it to continue to backup in the background???

        • Anonymous

          I think you’ll find that Microsoft is using the location method as a clever workaround to be able to sync photos more efficiently.

          Once OneDrive is no longer the active running application (on the screen), iOS only allows it to keep running in the background for a short period of time. This is something that the operating system does to conserve battery life. The creator of the app cannot circumvent this – it is part of the iOS platform.

          Someone asked “why not just upload them when the device is not being used and on WiFi”? If that was possible, of course Microsoft would just do that – but once the app is in the background, iOS prevents the app from running.

          My guess is that iOS has some kind of geofence API which an application can “register” with which causes iOS to notify applications when it detects a change in location. I would also guess that when the application receives this notification, iOS allows it to run in the background for a few minutes. Microsoft is probably using this trick to check for any photos you have taken that are not yet uploaded and to start uploading them. It will only be able to do this for a short time, but assuming you only take a couple of photos here and there this method is probably enough to keep most Camera Rolls up to date.

  11. I just notice one feature being flawed (at least for me). When I want to upload file via the android app, if a file with the same name is already present on the drive, I do not get to choose whether to replace the file or not. It works fine from the browser, but not in the app.

    Does someone else have the same issue? Can this be fixed?

    • Just forgot to write that both files are kept automatically.

  12. Thanks for the updates. The main complaint I still have even after this update, and the reason I don’t use onedrive exclusively at this point, is the pdf performance. Box literally loads pdfs 10 times faster on my ipad, and dropbox does something like 4-6 times faster. Would love to be able to delete everything else once this is fixed up. Otherwise another really solid update.

  13. OneDrive is NOT getting better on iOS at all. The new app for iPhone backs up all photos and videos on my device to OneDrive, but videos are, to me, massive to upload to cloud; I don’t want to transfer or back them up wirelessly. All I want is to go on backing up photos on OneDrive like I would before, but I don’t want to upload every single video on my iPhone; it’ll take kind’a forever. Please release an update for the app so that every user can choose if they like to back up photos only, or videos along with photos. I won’t be using the Camera Backup feature until an update is hopefully released.

    • That used to be an option to upload videos or not, but it was taken away in this release. Nice, remove functionality, way to go MS.

  14. joan manuel

    hesitating between new 1tb office and new cloud drive… because ms offer more economical than apple one.
    If ios app works wel, it will be a good raison for choice it.

  15. It’s nice that additional space is offered.

    However, onedrive syncing is way too slow, compared to Dropbox/Google Drive.
    It took me one night to upload 6GB, which was a 2 or 3 hours thing on Dropbox/Google Drive.
    So I really wonder if anyone can really upload up to 1TB to Onedrive……………

    Look forward to seeing the improvement.

  16. Hrvoje S.

    Hi OneDrive team,
    we have two iPhones and each one has it’s own paid OneDrive account. Aside from slower upload speed compared to Google Drive (which I can live with), main disadvantage of OneDrive vs Google Drive is miserably poor (read: unusable) video playback (videos made by 4s and 5s). I remember that some while ago there was an update that allegedly improved that but sorry, I don’t see the benefits.
    Tested on two Ivy Bridge desktops, iPhone 4s, 5s, iPad Air. Download speed: 50 Mbps. I think that should meet minimal hardware requirements 🙂
    To conclude: I had two problems with OneDrive – pricing and video performance. You fixed first, one to go.
    And ps. OneDrive will always stay SkyDrive to me 🙂

  17. The last update removed the option to not upload videos in camera roll backup. Why ????

    • For the android app there is an option to include/exclude videos..

  18. Google+ Photos app has an option to only backup photos and videos when the device is connected to a charger. Please add the same setting to the OneDrive app.

    Also, with regard to photo organisation, please add an albums (virtual folder) feature so that the same photo can exist in multiple albums without duplication. This is a basic feature of pretty much every other photo management solution.

  19. Words, Words, Words… Comming to GDrive, 15gb without conditions…

  20. My One Drive does not upload videos, only pictures!
    And I have a permanent 186 pictures that do not upload at all, despite the ‘186’ balloon.

    • Anonymous


  21. This is such great news now Microsoft’s online storage and backup service is now very flexible and encompasses multiple features and options, providing syncing and storage apps not only for PCs, but also for Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

  22. Is there an Android OneDrive for Business app for that incorporates these features?

  23. Would you be able to add a passcode to the iOS app? I store a lot of personal information on OneDrive and would not want to install the app without some kind of password protection.

    Dropbox already offer this on their iPhone app.

  24. I use Windows Photo Gallery (WPG) a lot for organizing, tagging my photos. I like that the captions show up on Onedrive web, but the editing and having this info sync back to the PC (and WPG) is not without its quirks. I would definitely like that the Onedrive iOS app display and edit such photo metadata (captions, face,tag, geo data), as well as having it sync back to my photo files on my PC. I am going to try out Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom, which I have read sports such a feature, but I do not want to jump ship just yet. Metadata editing would be am excellent feature for Onedrive which would greatly improve my photo managing workflow.

  25. New update is nice!! Love it
    But older photos are still not uploading. And the video uploading toggle is gone too!! I didn’t want to upload video as it consumes my data usage. And yes, I don’t often have good wifi connections. Will be greatfull if you put it back. Cheers

  26. Hi,
    (Please delete my previous comment, I mistakenly put my email address in the Name section)

    This might not be the place to put it… But one of the great features of competing services like Google Drive is the search within documents contents, especially Office files. How come this feature is not available in OneDrive’s search on the web (at and in OneDrive iOS and Android apps?
    Keep up the good work.
    Mo Drissi

  27. Please delete this comment, I mistakenly put my email address in the Name section.

  28. I would definitely like to see the addition of different folders for different devices/users in the camera backup folder, as several other people have requested. Don’t need other family members photos mixed in with all of mine.

  29. (you can see your package name in the Android Manifest). Google and Apple are the two major heavyweights battling it out in the mobile arena.

  30. OneDrive on Android still doesn’t support the Android Cloud Storage APIs, so we still cannot browse it from the File Open windows on Android. When will this be added in? It genuinely affects the usability of the service, especially if you tend to send files from OneDrive a lot.

  31. My android is set to upload images and videos on camera roll but the videos are not automatically uploading. Any ideas??

  32. Hi, can anyone at Microsoft tell us when OneDrive For Business will have the same features as OneDrive for iOS? It’s crazy that I am paying for a service that has inferior features as a free version. I think the people in charge of the product roadmap should be worried about their future employment, they got it wrong!

  33. End User Support Lead

    Why dont you call the 2 drives something different.. This is confusing the heck out of my end users. Helpdesk calls have gone up like crazy.. Users are frustrated. Here is what I recommend.

    One Drive -> Dont include in windows or give the admin an option to uninstall in a corporate image

    One Drive for Business -> Call it something different -> ( Biz Drive? ) so that the docs, google searches and even our own internal knowledge bases dont send the users down the wrong path.

  34. That is really great for me(Andriod User)
    Thank you so much!

  35. Hello Onedrive

  36. I try to keep location services turned off for as many apps as possible to improve battery life on my aging 4s , thanks post


  37. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thank you!|

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