Full-res photo and video backup now available worldwide for Windows Phone 8

Full-res photo and video backup now available worldwide for Windows Phone 8

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[This post was written by Aaron Sauvé, a senior program manager on the Windows Phone camera and photos team. –KC]

One great feature of Windows Phone 8 is its ability to save full-resolution backup copies of your pictures and videos on SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service. It’s an option that both helps protect your best shots and also makes them easier to share. But as some of you have noted, that feature wasn’t available in all markets.

Until now. Today I am pleased to announce that we’re making the ability to back up full-res photos and videos available everywhere. (We just started to light this up, so be patient if you don’t see it right away. The change could take a few days to roll out around the globe.)

To start using the new feature, tap Photos>More>Settings>SkyDrive. Here’s what it looks like visually:

Now you can upload your photos and videos in hi-resNow you can upload your photos and videos in hi-res 

Now, instead of the menu on the left, you’ll now see the one on the right. Just tap Best quality to upload your photos or videos in the highest resolution. One caveat: To save your phone bill, it does require a Wi-Fi connection. (Learn more about the feature.)

Now you can upload your photos and videos in hi-resNow you can upload your photos and videos in hi-res

Finally, a big thank you to the SkyDrive team, who we’ve worked closely with over the months to make this key feature is available globally. As you can imagine, backing up high-res photos and videos involves a lot of data. To ensure we could provide a quality experience in each market, we deliberately took things slow and planned a staged roll out of the feature.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this or anything else related to the camera and photos experience on Windows Phone.


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  • One more update: The fix that I had been referring to earlier is now live, so people who were having trouble seeing the setting using my suggested steps (with or without Wifi) should now be able to go back through those steps I laid out earlier to get these settings down to their phone!

    So, make sure you are connected, then go to the Store, browse around for a bit to make sure you're seeing new content. Then go check out your photo auto-upload settings again. Hopefully this now works for everyone!

  • BrunoT
    0 Posts

    The option just turned up on my phone yesterday and is still there. Thanks

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  • Good news: I've finally got the "best quality" option.  

    I did a complete phone reset : Volume up, Volume down, Power key, Volume down sequence on a restart.  The "best quality" option was there from the start, and a day and a half later it is still there. :)

    Now if we could only have restore from the cloud remember not only your apps, but also your start screen ;)

    Thanks again guys. Pity it took a reset, but at least it is there now :)

  • reslo
    0 Posts

    Our office got two Lumia 920's last December from the same supplier (Telstra online) so you could safely assume they are from the same batch.  Only one phone has the WiFi upload option the other one being mine.  Its very frustrating :(

    I've tried all the various ideas as posted above but to no avail..... guess all we can do is wait for more info.

  • Still no sign of the update here in Australia with Telstra :(

  • v.v.
    9 Posts

    Two 920 phones, both unlocked, for Baltic (LV, LT, EE) region, Russia as Store region? the same regional settings of MS Accounts.

    One got the update at the day of announcement, the second - activated week ago - still has no full-res backup option.

    FW and SW version are absolutely the same, the same operator is used.

  • Switched region back to Russia and backup options are gone. Cool story.

  • Pfff, just for testing purpose I switched region to United Kingdom and instantly got "update" .....

  • Russian (Unlocked) Samsung ATIV S. Full-res photo and video backup still not appeared. 3 Weeks has passed since release and nothing .... That's kinda sad.

  • Hi Aaron, et al. Turning off WiFi and performing the above steps has still not fixed this for me.

    I'll keep an eye out for Aaron's post as to when the fix is implemented.


  • Spotty
    0 Posts

    Turning off Wi-Fi has not worked for me.

    I have for now changed Country to US kept Regional Format and Browser settings Australia.

    This works fine with only problem I have is cannot buy apps (asks for US account) can download free ones OK.

    as Im not buying apps everyday I will leave like this for now

  • BrunoT
    0 Posts

    Unfortunately, I tried turning off Wi-Fi and it didn't help. The full-res options have not turned up.

  • Bogdan
    0 Posts

    I can confirm what robmulally says. WiFi is the problem.

    I've turned off the WiFi and I let only the data connection, navigated the store for a minute and the option for full-res photos appeared.

    I hope this will help Aaron to diagnosticate and fix the problem.

    Thanks for the help Rob !!!

  • Like others I had done all updates, and waited/rebooted navigated the market etc and didn't have this option.

    I decided to do it again with WIFI OFF and only via 4G. just browsing and installed a few nokia apps that I didn't have (3-4) then went and checked (no reboot) and the option was there.

    Hope this helps someone else.


  • Another update: As part of our debugging here we actually found an issue that would affect a subset of people! I am hopeful this is the root cause of the issue we are seeing. We have a fix that is targeted to be out in a few weeks if all goes well. I will re-post when it gets released, or if the estimate changes substantially.

    In the meantime, if you've already gone through the steps I outlined earlier, one additional thing you can do to make it more likely this will get pushed to your phone is to ensure it is connected to the internet *before* you plug your device into power for the night. This will not work 100% of the time, so some people will need to wait until the fix comes down in a few weeks.

    Again, thank you for your patience on this!

    SMBowen, if you select 'best quality' it will not pre-upload a 'good quality' photo over cellular first. It will upload only the full resolution photo once you connect to Wi-Fi.

  • Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for chasing up the problems we're having. Just to let you know, a couple of days ago Telstra released a WP8 update for the Lumia 920; unfortunately the photo backup settings still don't update. Again I tried to change region, and could get the full res setting (after a lag period) for US, but after changing back to Australia they disappear (eventually).

    The new OS and firmware for the 920 with Telstra, Australia, are:

    os: 8.0.10211.204

    firmware: 1232.5962.1314.0009

    Thanks :)

  • SMBowen
    0 Posts

    Aaron...just curious; if I select "Best Quality", will it upload a "Good Quality" initially over data then overwrite with a "Best Quality" when on Wi-Fi?  I am trying to balance the instant backup option with the quality backup and both would be great!



  • Quick update: As we were walking through the update steps with the internal phone we found which originally had this issue, the correct settings ended up appearing successfully. It is not clear why that device did not have the settings ahead of re-walking through these steps as this person had gone through the correct steps initially.

    I'm now trying to find another phone that has this problem internally as that is the best way for us to troubleshoot this. Thank you for your patience on this!

  • Thanks Aaron,

    I still don't have the options here in Australia. Telstra-branded unlocked Lumia 920 here.

    OS 8.0.10211.204

    Firmware 1232.5962.1314.0009

    I've been in the store for a few minutes, browsed around, soft reset and hard reset and still no joy. Hopefully, you can work out soon what's preventing us from getting this very useful feature.

  • Bogdan
    0 Posts

    My Lumia 920 is also unbranded. I still don't have the option, and the region is set to Romania.

    --Aaron do you have any news?

  • No.....mine is unbranded from Allphones...... No options here either.... :(

  • matt-r
    0 Posts

    I signed up just so I could reply.

    I have a Telstra yellow Lumia 920. I haven't flashed anything - just the current Telstra released updates.

    I still don't have the option for the full rez uploads.

    There's obviously something wrong with the Telstra variant as it seems we are the only ones with the problem.

  • I can confirm that the same happens to me. Firmware 1314, non branded 920 in Melbourne Australia. I can change region to US, visit the store and get the settings update and as soon as I set my region back to Australia I lose the options.....

    I'm happy to leave the region set to the US for now but what are the consequences of doing this? So far everything seems to work ok.....

  • Pcxnet
    0 Posts

    I have a Yellow Telstra Lumia 920, OS 8.0.10211.204  Firmware 1232.5951.1249.1007 Radio: 1.0.202075.3

    I dont have the new options, even if I change the Region to the US. I have rebooted, several times and rechecked the settings with no luck.  My sister has a Red Lumia 920 (Same Versions and on Telstra), and she DOES have the options.  

    I got my phone before hers and updated mine to this firmware, whereas hers came preinstalled with that version (if that helps debug the problem).

  • Spotty
    0 Posts

    I to still don't have the options. Lumia 920 on Telstra. Although I can get the options if I change Regional settings to US. This doesn't happen straight away but if I go to store as someone suggests options will appear. Changing back to Australia options are still there but over time disappear.

  • Nothing for me yet either. Melbourne Australia, unbranded 920, 1314 firmware. Even if I change the region it US I don't get this option. Very frustrating. :(

  • chrosto
    0 Posts

    Can confirm I still don't have the option, Lumia 920 on Telstra in Australia. Pretty annoying really, was a major pain point when it wasn't an option, now its enabled but not showing up, its just frustrating. Tried all the tricks mentioned in above posts and the only way it works is if I keep my region to US. Not a viable long term option.

  • We have found one device from someone internally(though they are in a very different time zone :)) with this issue, so we should be able to run some tests to figure out what is going on in this case. Stay tuned.

  • Bogdan
    0 Posts

    I also have a friend, in Hungary, with Lumia 920 and same OS version as mine, who informed me that this feature does not work on his phone. He also tried the recommended steps to force this feature.

  • BrunoT
    0 Posts

    I have the same OS version and firmware as Bill_McC and am also with Telstra, Australia. I tried the same steps as Bill. The full resolution option appeared and then sometime later reverted.

  • Bogdan
    0 Posts

    I've tried everything, but still not working in Romania. The phone and OS version are the same as Bill_McC and the region is set to Romania.

  • Sorry to hear that Bill_McC/Eoin... I have been in discussions with the teams over here to figure out other potential reasons you might not be seeing this, but all the devices we've tried with that OS version and AUS region combination are working without problems, and it is difficult for us to know for sure what is going on without the device in hand to debug.

    What I'm going to do is keep trying to find a device that reproduces your issue on our side as that's the easiest way to figure our why you're not seeing this. In the meantime I will see if I can figure out any other steps that might help. Stay tuned.

  • The full resolution option has disappeared again on my Lumia 920, Telstra. Looks like it is still tied to regional location, and there's a delay in the propagation :(

  • Thanks Aaron. I got it to work but it took a few more steps than you suggested.

    I tried browsing the store and restarting, but no luck.

    Next I tried changing my location to the US, which changes regional format and browser to US as well by default. Restarted the phone, but I still got the picture on the left above, not the one on the right. This seemed really strange as I seem to recall that use to change it to the one on the right since the first release.

    Spent a little time looking around the phone: didn't achieve anything, but allowing time for the settings to update my be important.

    Finally, I did a hard restart of the phone by holding the volume down and power button for about 12 seconds: At last the picture on the right was there in settings. So I then changed my region back to Australia, rebooted a couple of times and the goodness has remained :D

    So glad to finally have this. Thanks.

  • Eoin
    0 Posts


    The app store is working fine, I even downloaded a couple of apps just to check.

  • Eoin
    0 Posts


    I tried doing a power cycle but still no chance, my details:

    In Australia on a Telstra Contract

    Nokia 920

    OS 8.0.10211.204

    Firmware 1232.5951.1249.1007

    Any ideas?

  • The setting should now be available everywhere - I have confirmed this on the OS version number posted here (thank you for posting that information!). If you are still not seeing this setting, first make sure you are on a good connection, after tapping on the store, navigate around within the store to make sure new content is loading. Then power off the phone and turn it back on. This should not be necessary, but there is a small chance the older setting might be cached in some scenarios.

    Hopefully this helps!

  • Ademas
    0 Posts

    Still not available in Indonesia!

    C'mon, why so slow?

  • Still no sign of update here in Australia:

    Lumia 920 with Telstra

    OS Version 8.0.10211.204

    firmware 1232.5951.1249.1007

  • Eoin
    0 Posts

    Strange, I'm running a 920 on contract with Telstra in Australia and still don't have this option. I've tried the trick of going into the Windows store and leaving it for a couple of minutes but still nothing...

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    0 Posts

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  • I noticed a couple of folks have not yet seen their settings update. Just to clarify: You do not need to install an update to see this change on Windows Phone 8.

    There are a couple of reasons you might not see this setting on your phone just yet. As I alluded to in the post, this could take a few days to update depending on region/phone, but… to speed up this change, first make sure you’re connected (either cellular or Wi-Fi is fine), then tap Store, wait on that screen a minute (it’s downloading a configuration file in the background), and then go back to the photos settings to see if you have the new options.

    I have tried the country/region setting for Brazil and Australia on a few devices based on the comments here, and had success getting the settings update, so I believe this is just a timing issue.

    Hopefully this helps!

  • leichat
    0 Posts

    Excellent. Was hoping for a "only Wi-Fi" setting but the "needs Wi-Fi" works. :)

    Still on 7.8 currently but looking forward to this feature when I do upgrade.

  • auranx
    0 Posts

    Strange, Nokia Lumia 820 still has old left menu.

  • My generic non-Telstra Lumia 920 in Skippyland can now do this.  YAY!

  • TroySch
    5 Posts

    Yeah that's fine, IF you have a Carrier (Telstra Australia) that releases WP Updates in a reasonable timeframe... we still haven't seen the 1308 update, let alone 1314.

    Can someone please shove a Lumia up where the sun don't shine in Vibrate mode to get them moving on this ... PLEASE>

  • g@vin
    0 Posts

    Colleague got his repaired nokia 920 back from telstra on Monday in which this feature is already available on this phone. Interestingly he mentioned that the microsoft wp8 facebook app installed on his phone is completely different ?

  • It's great that this is a back end update and not one that has to pass the Carriers.

    It's already hit my phone in Australia :)

  • You should allow the option of uploading full size photos using the mobile data, that should definetly be an option fo the users to choose.

  • Jusste
    0 Posts

    I hope one day soon this means on the phone we won't have to put up with the completely over the top image compression that goes on, particularly with contact photos.

    The ones i had loaded into Skype on the phone looked great for a while, until they were automatically compressed to within an inch of their life, now they look awful.

  • don't appear to me. I'm in Brazil.

  • MrEs
    1 Posts

    Sweet thanks for that, that's great news!

    We were trying on a Telstra Lumia 920 without any luck but might try fiddling a bit more and give it a reboot or something ;)

  • GTRoberts
    10 Posts

    @MrEs - from what I can tell and during discussions via twitter (#wp8au) the option has been available in Australia for a few days now.

  • Thanks for this update, its soo amazing to finally have it :D

    Also MrEs this update is a back end update, already live on my Aus unlocked Lumia920...

    No software update required :)

  • MrEs
    1 Posts

    Oh wait, this is a Windows Phone update, which means it may take several months to reach us... :(

    When can one reasonably expect this (in Australia) ... ?

  • MrEs
    1 Posts

    Finally! I can revert my current situation where my phones is a hybrid of language and regional settings.