How to set auto-upload on the Nextcloud mobile app
How to set auto-upload on the Nextcloud mobile app

If you have certain folders on mobile devices that must sync with your Nextcloud server, you’re in luck with auto-upload.

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Image: Jack Wallen

The Nextcloud server is an on-premises cloud server with more possibility than you might imagine. This server is an extendable and scalable wonder, that makes deploying a cloud server a thing of ease. And with the help of a mobile app, Nextcloud isn’t just an IT admin’s dream, it’s also an outstanding option for end users.

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The Nextcloud mobile app does a great job of working seamlessly with the server. With it you can upload files, create folders, tag files as favorites, share files with others, and even enable auto-upload of images or files.

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Auto-upload could be a feature that you depend on, especially when part of your job is documenting things like server rollouts or server room builds with photos. Or maybe you have end users who snap photos for their jobs or input data into spreadsheets—all files that need to be automatically uploaded to a company server. How do you manage that? With Nextcloud it’s easy. Let me show you how.

What you need

The only things you need are a working Nextcloud server, a Nextcloud user account, and the Nextcloud mobile app installed (and connected to your Nextcloud server). If your users need to upload images from outside your LAN, your Nextcloud server will need to be associated with a WAN-accessible domain.

Enabling auto-upload

In order to enable auto-upload, open the Nextcloud app and open the sidebar by either tapping the menu button (found in the upper-left corner) or swiping right from the left edge of the screen (If using Android Q, remember to swipe in a downward diagonal motion). In the sidebar, tap Auto upload (Figure A).

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Figure A: The Nextcloud app sidebar.

In the resulting window (Figure B), you’ll see a listing of various “standard” folder locations (such as Camera, Screenshots, Download, Facebook, Messages, Messenger, Twitter, etc.).

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Figure B: Standard locations that can be enabled for auto-upload.

For each location, you will notice a cloud icon. If you tap a cloud icon for a specific location, that location will be enabled for auto-upload. You can enable as many locations as you like. If you don’t find the necessary location listed, tap the menu button in the upper right corner (three vertical dots), and tap Set up a custom folder. In the resulting overlay (Figure C), tap Local folder.

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Figure C: Setting up a custom folder for auto-upload.

Locate and tap the folder you want to set for auto-upload and then tap Choose (Figure D).

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Figure D: Locating your custom folder for auto-upload.

You will also notice, back on the custom folder set-up overlay, that you can configure auto-upload to only happen when connected to Wi-Fi. This is probably smart, at least upon initial configuration. Why? Because if you already have a number of files in the folder configured for auto-upload, it will start syncing them with Nextcloud immediately. You don’t want that transfer to use up precious data on your mobile plan. Because of this, make sure you are connected to a wireless network for the initial setup. Once that first sync is done, you can always disable that option (if you need to keep that auto-upload folder in a constant state of sync).

A must-have feature

For some, auto-upload will be a must-have feature that, once set, will save a lot of time and hassle in their daily grind. If you have a need to keep certain folders automatically in sync with your Nextcloud server, make sure to set up auto-upload and be done with it.

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