Why Are My Surface’s Photos Stored on OneDrive? - dummies

Why Are My Surface’s Photos Stored on OneDrive?

By Andy Rathbone

In the past, the photos on your Surface always stayed inside your camera until you removed them. For many years, that same logic held true when you took pictures with your cell phone or even with your computer’s webcam.

Now, your Surface and some smartphones change that basic rule of photography. Unless you chose otherwise when first setting up your user account on your Surface, the photos you snap on your Surface are automatically copied to OneDrive. This copying affects you several ways:

  • The process takes place in the background so transparently that you probably won’t notice.

  • If your Surface isn’t connected to the Internet when you snap a photo, your Surface uploads the photo the next time you connect with the Internet.

  • Your Surface sends low-resolution photos to OneDrive. That means they’re fine for viewing onscreen, but not good enough to make the best prints.

  • Your original, full-quality photos remain on your Surface, where you can view them and show them to friends, even without an Internet connection. (If you want to print them, print your Surface’s photos rather their lower-resolution versions on OneDrive.)

  • You can view or share your photos on OneDrive from any Internet-connected device, even when your Surface is nowhere in sight. Because they’re low-resolution, they’re also easy to download and view quickly on smartphones.

  • You can send your friends a link to your OneDrive photos, making it easy for them to view them.

  • Keeping copies on OneDrive is generally a good thing. It gives you an automatic backup in case you lose the originals. Also, your OneDrive photos can be viewed from any of your gadgets, including your phone, which makes your photos easier to show to friends.

If you want to keep your photos away from OneDrive, follow these steps:

  1. From any screen, fetch the Charms bar by sliding your finger in from the screen’s right edge. Then tap the Settings icon.

  2. Tap the PC Settings link at the bottom of the Settings pane.

  3. When the PC Settings screen appears, tap the OneDrive link from the right column.

  4. When the OneDrive settings screen appears, tap the Camera Roll link in the left column.

  5. Tap the Don’t Upload Photos button to keep your photos from appearing on OneDrive. Your changes take place immediately.

An adjacent button lets you choose to Upload Photos at Best Quality, which keeps a copy of your original photos both on your Surface and OneDrive. Choose this option only if you plan to make prints from your OneDrive photos. Otherwise, stick with the low-resolution photos so you can show them off on your phone without worrying about using up your data plan.

To send a copy of your videos to OneDrive, as well, tap the adjacent toggle named Automatically Upload Videos to OneDrive.