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I come from Andriod where Dropbox did an amazing job of backing up all my phone's pictures. Since I moved to iPhone I noticed that Dropbox backs-up a few pictures and then stops, popping-up the following message:

How come Dropbox can't continue backing up until it is finished?
Is there a way to make it continue automatically?

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As far as I know, this is a limitation of the iOS. Only certain apps are allowed to work in the background for an infinite time amount (e.g. music players). – str Feb 2 '13 at 11:38
@str well that sucks. Any way to work around it? Would that require jailbraking the phone? – Jonathan Feb 2 '13 at 19:25
Have you tried opening Dropbox, as the error message suggests? What happens? – Zo219 Feb 3 '13 at 5:59
@Jonathan Can't tell as I do not have an iPhone. Maybe you should ask in the Dropbox forums. – str Feb 3 '13 at 11:01
@Zo219 - yes, it continues syncing for a few more minutes and then pops-up again with the same message. I have to iterate through this for many times before it completes syncing all images. – Jonathan Feb 14 '13 at 9:50
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This happens because of a restriction put on all apps performing background tasks, specifically those fetching data. For example, this happens with the Spotify-app as well when it downloads songs for Offline Mode.

There isn't really any way to bypass these restrictions, at least not on a non-jailbroken device. It might be impractical, but the only option is opening the app every time it has to pause/terminate it's background tasks. You can of course also keep the app open – that will allow for the tasks to be completed with no practical time limit.

If you have jailbroken your device, you can download an app enabling what's commonly called "true" multitasking enabling apps, such as InfinityTask, which disables many of Apple's multitasking-restrictions.

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When downvoting, please leave a reason or a suggestion for improvement. – Emil Feb 15 '13 at 18:01

I guess this worked for me.

  1. Disabled auto lock
  2. Disabled screen timeout
  3. Plugged in to power
  4. Enabled location services on iPhone for Dropbox and background running option
  5. Left the Dropbox app open
  6. More than 2000 photos & videos uploaded successfully
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It worked befure, but after I don't know which update, it stopped working and now I have to open dropbox everytime it stops.

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Please place this as a comment. – killswitch Aug 12 '14 at 0:10

Usually, when an app acts up and there's no ready fix, deleting it, restarting (a real Restart) and reinstalling works.

Recently, Dropbox for iDevice was updated. In this case, I think the problem is fixed.

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The app isn't really acting up or doing anything it's not supposed to, it's, as Apple would call it, a 'feature'. There is nothing to fix in this case. – Emil Feb 15 '13 at 18:14
Maybe I lost track here? Last iteration of Dropbox never finished uploading last 2 pix from iPad, no matter what. – Zo219 Feb 16 '13 at 10:35
I can't find where he said that, he said he had to open it up again and again to finish the transfer. – Emil Feb 16 '13 at 11:07
Emil, no, I meant prev. Dropbox v. on my iPad (this is getting funny.) – Zo219 Feb 25 '13 at 10:22
Oh, sorry. However, it doesn't seem like the original poster had that problem, therefore this answer doesn't really fit the question. – Emil Feb 25 '13 at 11:55

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