Stop Photos Uploading to OneDrive And Google Photos
If you’re using OneDrive or Google Drive on a smartphone, their automatic screenshot upload feature consolidates your other devices to store your screenshots. You no longer have to manually upload your screenshots online or worry about losing them if your phone is lost, stolen or dead.
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By default, your screenshots are accessible from any device that is linked to your OneDrive account. It could pose a privacy risk if there are other members at your home using the same linked devices. They may be able to view and access your screenshots, copy them without your knowledge. In this tutorial, we’ll discuss how to stop uploading your screenshots automatically. Let’s begin.
Stop Screenshots Uploading to Google Photos
Thankfully, the steps for Google Photos are fairly easy and straightforward. The app gives you an option to disable auto-uploading in the Settings menu.
- Open the Google Photos app.
- Tap the Menu bar (three horizontal dots).
- Select Settings from the main menu.
- Choose Backup & Sync.
- If the Backup & Sync switch is turned off, tap it and turn it on.
- Tap on the Backup device folders option.
- Tap Backup device folders and turn the switch off.
Stop Screenshots Uploading to OneDrive
For Mobile Devices:
In the case of OneDrive for mobile, there is no native way to disable this feature. OneDrive does not give an option to its users to stop auto-uploading their screenshots.
Different phone manufacturers organize their file system differently. For instance: Some phone manufacturers use the DCIM folder for storing user’s screenshot, while others like Samsung create a sub-folder Screenshots under the DCIM folder to help the user distinguish them from normal photos. Other manufacturers do not even use the DCIM folder. They create a separate folder altogether which is located outside of the DCIM folder. Due to such variations in the functioning and architecture of each phone, the OneDrive app ends up flooding a large GBs of junk photos onto your OneDrive account (which includes your screenshots). Eventually, you run into the problem of low OneDrive storage and need to delete files to get back your lost storage.
Method 1: Create .nomedia File
The workaround for this problem is to create a new file that tells OneDrive to stop uploading the screenshot folder contents automatically.
- Open up the File Manager app on your phone, and go to the Screenshots folder.
- Create a new empty file .nomedia and save it.
- OneDrive will now stop uploading your photos automatically, however, you can still access your photos through File Manager as usual.
Method 2: Move Screenshots Outside of the DCIM Folder Using Third-Party Screenshots App
Another workaround is to download a separate screenshots app. A third-party screenshots app will save all of your screenshots outside of the DCIM folder and therefore, OneDrive will not sync them on its own. You’ll find many freeware Screenshots apps in the Google PlayStore.
Steps for Auto Transfer Lite app:
- Download and install the app.
- Approve the storage and other required permissions.
- Tap on Add New Task icon.
- Select your source folder (typically, located in the DCIM/Screenshots).
- Tap Allow Access.
- Set the Transfer Mode to Move.
- Wait for some time till your existing screenshots are transferred to the new folder outside of the DCIM folder.
For Windows PC:
Method 1: Disable Screenshot Uploading from Program Settings
When you installed OneDrive on a Windows PC, you may have approved the permission to OneDrive to auto-upload your screenshots every time you press the Print Screen key of your keyboard. You can disable this feature any time from the program settings as follows:
- Right-click the Microsoft OneDrive icon in the Notification Area of your Taskbar.
- Select Settings.
- In the new dialog, click on the Backup tab.
- Uncheck Automatically save screenshots I capture to OneDrive.
- Click on OK.
Method 2: Disable OneDrive Completely
Another nuclear option is to disable OneDrive altogether by de-linking your account. Remember, this process will stop syncing your files as well and any files that you have synced offline will no longer be updated.
- If you want to de-link your OneDrive account, open the OneDrive Settings.
- Click on the Account tab.
- Select Unlink this PC.
- Click on OK to confirm.
Note: The above steps will not impact your files stored on the OneDrive account.
Find & Fix Duplicate Screenshots to Save Storage
Do you have hundreds of screenshots accumulated over years in your OneDrive account? Search for duplicate screenshots and delete them, if you don’t need them. A good file management strategy involves de-duping your collection regularly to make room for new files and save your cloud storage.
The easiest way to remove duplicate screenshots is to use an automated duplicate finder Cloud Duplicate Finder.
Cloud Duplicate Finder Features:
- Automatically find duplicate files on popular cloud platforms- including OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Amazon S3.
- De-dupe your files instantly with automated file selection mechanisms. (For example, retain newest files, retain oldest files, retain most modified files, retain least modified files, etc)
- Delete your duplicate photos or move them to a separate folder
- CDF is 100% safe because it never stores your password, rather it uses the Official APIs from the respective cloud providers to securely login to your account and asks for file access permissions
- CDF is easy to use even for not so tech-savvy individuals.
- Visit the Cloud Duplicate Finder website.
- Create an account and validate your email address.
- Click on the OneDrive icon on the top header.
- Click on Add New Drive, and securely log in to your OneDrive account and provide the required privileges file access permissions.
- Click on Select Duplicates and select your desired file pattern.
- Click on Select Action and choose Move to Trash or Move to Folder.
Vikas Medhekar is a technology enthusiast who loves writing articles on computers and technology. He writes on various topics related to software, software reviews, troubleshooting and tips & tricks to make people’s digital lives better.