Dropbox and Syncing all your photos to your Galaxy S4

A few months ago I got my hands on a Samsung Galaxy S4. As part of the setup procedure it asks for your login details for Dropbox, this was great, I actively use Dropbox, had the app on my previous phone and regularly access files from my cellphone. As it was set-up on my previous phone to only download files when I request/access them, I expected the same to happen with this setup.



The next day I checked my gallery, and saw hundreds and hundreds of photos that Dropbox had decided I wanted to have on my phone. Fortunately I was on Wi-Fi, otherwise that 1.5Gb could have hurt my phone bill at the end of the month. This wasn’t a major problem, as I assumed I’d missed something in my settings which told it to sync photos, so I went in search of the correct settings. And I couldn’t find them anywhere.

I compared the settings exactly to that on my previous Android phone and there was no difference. After searching for a quite a while on the internet, I eventually came across a forum post that explained my problem. The setting I was looking for wasn’t in Dropbox, it was in my phones ‘Accounts’ options, and not under the Dropbox account, but under the general ‘Cloud’ options.

If you look at the bottom you’ll see a ‘Contents sync (with Dropbox) menu, here you can disable the syncing of pictures, videos and documents. Disabling this option then removed all my photos from my gallery and prevented the further unwanted syncing of files from Dropbox to my phone.

So to get there:

Settings > Accounts tab > Cloud > Contents sync

75 thoughts on “Dropbox and Syncing all your photos to your Galaxy S4

  1. Hi, thanks for this helpful post. I have the same problem as you. I upgraded my dropbox account last night and synced all my photos. However when I went into my gallery I found loads of new folders with very random pictures, and the album thumbnail had the dropbox logo in the bottom corner. I cant delete these albums and I cant delete the photos individually from the albums either. I use dropbox just for my camera photos and photos in my gallery to be uploaded automatically, however I do not want all these other albums that are making my phone extremely slow. Please help me get rid of them. I tried what you suggested in the post, but it wouldn’t allow me ot diable syncing. Thanks

    • Hi Joe, what do you mean it won’t let you disable syncing? If you go to “Accounts > Cloud > Pictures” what happens?

      • Hi,

        I just tried again and I managed to disable synn and all the random albums have now disappeared. However, does this mean that camera pictures will not automatically be uploaded to dropbox because this feature has been disabled?

        • Hi Joe
          Open the dropbox app itself and check its settings. If you have activated uploading of photos there it won’t be affected by the other sync options.

  2. Hi,
    My husband just got a new Samsung Galaxy S4 last month. His employees take a picture of their timesheets and text them to him. On his S3, he was able to upload the pictures directly from his text to Dropbox. Now he has to save the picture to his gallery first. Is there a setting he can change so he can directly upload again?

    • If he clicks on the picture in his message and pushed the menu button there is an option to share the picture. This will open a prompt where the first option is ‘add to Dropbox’

  3. Hey, I have an S4 mini and I have deleted photos from all albums, and gone into my dropbox and deleted them there. However I have an album called “Camera Uploads” (not my normal camera folder) and it has ALL the photos I do NOT want on my phone. Im trying to get rid of them! How are they still showing on there if I’ve deleted from all albums, camera album, and dropbox? But showing up in “Camera Uploads!?” Hopefully you can help, I even asked my friend who works at Bell :( !

    • Hi Chantel,
      First thing to do is to login to Dropbox from a website. Check if any of the files are visible from the web interface. If they are, delete them all. Then go to your phone, and delete them all on your phone.
      If the photos come back, check that you do not have other services that are syncing or backing up your photos, such as Google’s built in services.

  4. Hi there. I am using a Samsung S4 and everytime I attempt to open the Dropbox app I get a message that reads “Unfortunately, com.dropbox.android has stopped” & the app closes by itself. How do I fix this? Please help.

  5. Hi Gareth:
    I recently had a new hard drive installed and all of my photos were lost. I downloaded Dropbox again but all of my photos and camera uploads are missing. How do I get them back again? They are on my S4 but I don’t know how to download to the Dropbox. Can you help? Thx


    • Hi Sylvia, were the photos previously synced to your Dropbox?
      The easiest way to get them onto your computer is to copy them from your phone to the computer directly with a cable.
      Otherwise you can mark your photos to sync on your phone.

  6. I’m trying to share pics from my gallery in my Samsung S6 and it keeps telling me I’ve shared too many. I have plenty of room remaining in my dropbox. What do I do?

  7. I have a galaxy S4 which saved photos directly to SD card, which would then sync to DropBox. Now after an auto-push software upgrade, DropBox appears to only sync to the DocumentSync folder on my internal storage. I’m looking for a way to sync directly and automatically from SD card. Can I rename or reassign the DropBox DocumentSync folder? Please help! :)

    • Hey Tim, the Dropbox app should upload the photos regardless of where you store them.
      If you open the Dropbox app on your phone and go to settings, is the “Upload photos to dropbox” option definitely still active?

      • “Dropbox app should upload regardless of where”….that’s very helpful. Cloud sync settings on my new Samsung OS seemed to indicate it would only sync things in the “DocumentSync” folder. I just checked Settings in the updated Dropbox app and Bingo! it had turned the sync off. Thanks so much for your help.

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