Live Photos come to OneDrive

Published Dec 16 2020 09:00 AM 18.4K Views

We are thrilled to announce that the OneDrive iOS app now uploads Live Photos. When you take a Live Photo, you capture a still image along with several seconds of before and after video. OneDrive now stores and plays back the full motion and sound of your Live Photos, bringing your memories to life.



Uploading Live Photos from the OneDrive iOS app
To upload your Live Photos in all their moving glory, simply turn on automatic camera-roll upload, or you can also hand-pick a few favorite memories to save one-by-one. In both cases you will need to run OneDrive app build 12.11 or higher and iOS 13 or higher.


If you have uploaded Live Photos from your device prior to OneDrive’s support of Live Photos, then these were stored in OneDrive as still photos by default. However, you can easily re-upload these to OneDrive as Live Photos. To do this, make sure you are on OneDrive app build 12.11 or higher and iOS 13 or higher. Then go to the OneDrive Settings > tap “Camera Upload” > tap “Reupload from Original Formats” > toggle ON the switch labeled “Reupload Still Photos as Live Photos”. Note: This action cannot be undone and will upload Live Photos in their original format (by default, iOS devices capture Live Photos in the HEIC format which some Windows and Android devices can’t display.)



Uploading and playing back Live Photos is only supported for OneDrive personal accounts. It is not enabled for OneDrive work or school accounts. Additionally, Live Photos are roughly twice the size of still photos, and they will take up more of your OneDrive storage space than still photos.

Viewing a Live Photo
You can view your Live Photos on the OneDrive website and in the OneDrive iOS app. To play back the motion and sound of your Live Photo in the OneDrive iOS app, simply tap and hold on the photo in the OneDrive iOS app. To play back the motion and sound of your Live Photo on OneDrive for web, click the “Live” badge in the top left of the image.


At this time, Live Photo playback is not supported on the OneDrive Android App or the OneDrive sync clients. When you view a Live Photo in either of these places you will see a still photo.

Sharing a Live Photo
When you share a Live Photo in OneDrive, your recipient will be able to play back the Live Photo if they are viewing it on the OneDrive iOS app or on OneDrive for web. Recipients who view the Live Photo from the OneDrive Android app or the OneDrive sync client will see a still photo.

Editing a Live Photo in OneDrive
Editing of Live Photos is not currently supported in OneDrive. If you change a Live Photo by performing a rotate, markup, crop, or other edit, OneDrive will save the edits as a still photo. If you would like to revert these changes and restore the photo to the original Live Photo, you can do this by clicking on the Version History command for the photo on OneDrive for web, and clicking “Restore” on the previous version. Note, previous versions are kept in version history for 30 days.

Thank you to the many people who requested this feature on our feedback platform, User Voice. Your requests and feedback help us to build a better product, and we’re delighted to release this feature today. 

Occasional Visitor

So Apple Live Photos: yes; Windows Live Photos: no. Great way to let long term customers know you appreciate them guys. Bravo. 

Occasional Visitor

This is great news. How do I re-download the MOV portion of a live photo via the web client... it just downloads the still version.



Regular Visitor

Where are the .mov files? Why are they hidden? This way you cannot export your live photos, they will be still if exported.

New Contributor

So... also on the OneDrive for Business?

Occasional Visitor

Although it took way too long to add support for this (three years? really?), I want to commend the team for finally delivering on it. Especially the specific capability mentioned above to reupload existing photos since presumably everyone who uses the photo sync has a backlog of older live photos that would be a herculean effort to resync without the functionality built-in. Missing this would have been very short-sighted and I was actually concerned it would be missed in the rollout.


That said, there are two significant things still missing - the ability to download the video file from the web and the ability to sync the actual live photo to my PC. It appears when syncing it is still just the still photo file. Viewing on the web is nice, but it is so slow to retrieve full resolution images it is unusable to browse through an album - much easier to do when all the data is pre-loaded on my desktop.

New Contributor

I was expecting to be able to select a specific folder, then select a photo from the gallery to upload. So that further to the folder would be uploaded photos and videos from the live photo. But it does not work that way (((.

Occasional Visitor

The OneDrive sync client on Windows will only copy the still photo and not the live photo. Why?

This is 25% of what we wanted.  Photos are for sharing.  If half the world cannot see the live photo, what good is it?  If I cannot download the MOV file and insert into a movie app, what good is it?  You now have our live photos caged in your app, what good is that?  Your "agile" "MVP" stunk.  You solved the wrong problem.  Typical in todays tech world, solving all the wrong problems using the wrong data as a basis for decisions.  


Note to users:  You will need to keep your IOS photos in their cloud.  When you download from there, you get a JPG AND MOV.  Microsoft downloads the JPG in an HEIC container.  Good grief Charlie Brown.


UPDATE 6/6/21: After many years of waiting on MS to get caught up and start solving the right problems, I gave up.  I have a Mac Mini and am in the process of data migration.  iCloud has proven superior in every way so far.  Pictures scroll effortlessly.  Tagging is a breeze.  And the sync to all devices is unbelievable. Music sync is incredibly fast.  It will probably take me the next year to complete the data move, but I had to do it.  And for under $1000 I have 1Tb of SSD and 16 GB RAM, albeit on an M1 chip.  I was really hopeful to stay out of the Apple locked up ecosystem.  At the same time, I just don't have time to deal with MS being such a corporate giant they can no longer solve the right problems. Since both are equally woke organizations there was no political reason to pick one over the other.  It comes down to this, Apple has always "just worked" and that continues today.  And they do give us enough flexibility to wipe all the wokeness off the devices if we want to.  Apple, absolutely hands down winner, and the price points on the M1 machines now make it a no brainer.  I ditched Xbox One too in favor of Nintendo.  


MS has been one epic fail after another with Windows Phone, Zune, XBox (better know as cheat box).  I think they will remain dominate in the cooperate world due to how cheap it is to deploy various labeled computers.  But, M1 is a new game that Apple, if it has its act together, will push into that space sooner than later.  I work for a giant mega-woke corp and they already are deploying mac to so many developers, unheard of 5 years ago.  MS too big to fail?, I don't think so.

Occasional Visitor

Please make live photos work in the Windows Photos app too!

Since Windows 10 Mobile was discontinued I have missed that feature, it was nice, sharing was working too, was contained in one file, perfect!

But a windows10 onedrive client does only download the still image,... 

Occasional Visitor

Make it possible to extract/ export the .mov file! :D

Version history
Last update:
‎Dec 15 2020 04:40 PM
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