Save your iPhone Photos and Videos

Occasionally, I am asked to help with getting an iPhone to do “something” with a PC running Windows XP. This can be tricky, since (1) Apple’s iCloud Control Panel doesn’t officially run on XP, and (2) recently Microsoft stopped supporting XP. In answer to that, here’s my first in a series of steps on how to get your iPhone to communicate well with your aging PC.

Natively it is not possible to automatically save photos to your Windows XP machine, even if you’ve installed the iCloud Control panel as described here. But, there is a simple way to work around that: cloud services. Using something like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box will allow you to save files in one location and access them anywhere. In the case of Dropbox, there is an especially neat feature in which Dropbox will automatically save your photos to your Dropbox account, without you needing to do much more than the initial setup! Here’s how:

  1. First, you’ll need an account. Go to and click “Sign up.” Follow the steps to verify your information and your email address; you may be sent a confirmation, so be sure to check your email to activate your account.
  2. Next, install Dropbox on your computer. You’ll need to click the “Download” button in the top-right corner of that same page at You’ll then download a file to your Downloads folder entitled, “DropboxInstaller.exe”. Follow the instructions, including logging in using the Dropbox account you created in step 1. When you’ve done this successfully, you’ll see a folder titled “Dropbox” insider your “My Documents” folder. It will look something like this:
  3. Make sure you also have Dropbox installed on your iPhone. You can do that by visiting the App Store on your iPhone:
    Download Dropbox
  4. Open Dropbox on your phone, and you’ll see a window asking you to sign in:
    Sign in to Dropbox When you take photos, Dropbox keeps them safe for you. Signing in
  5. After signing in, you’ll see a window describing the feature you’re after.
    Each photo and video will be automatically uploaded once to your Camera Uploads folder.
  6. Click “Enable Camera Upload,” and you’ll be asked to give Dropbox permission to do access your photos.
    Dropbox would like to Access Your Photos
  7. In case you already had Dropbox on your iPhone and missed this feature, you can get to it by clicking “Settings” in the bottom-right corner and changing “Camera Upload” from “Off” to “On”.
    Camera Upload
  8. Additionally, I recommend turning on “Background Uploading”. This will make this feature further automatic. Whenever you change locations, Dropbox will check if you’ve taken any photos or videos and will upload them automatically. Touch the slider next to this option, and click “Enable” found in the top-right corner of the following screen.
    Background Uploading Dropbox can periodically start Camera Upload when your location changes. Dropbox needs Location Access to upload in the background.
  9. At this point, you’ll see a message, saying “Dropbox needs Location Access to upload in the background.” To verify that Dropbox has Location Access, you can check this under your Privacy panel inside your Settings. Open “Settings”, scroll down to “Privacy” and tap it, then tap on “Location Services”. Screen shots are included below.
    Settings Settings - Privacy Settings - Privacy - Location Services

That’s it! If you have questions, feel free to comment below.