Uploading photos from your Windows Phone to SkyDrive can be difficult, especially since full resolution photos are resized when uploaded to the cloud. This is likely because Microsoft has taken steps to optimize transmission for those with limited data plans who may not be connected to a WiFi network. While understandable, it would make sense to enable this option in Windows Phone settings so that the user can customize how photos are uploaded to their SkyDrive account.
For now, there is a workaround. Unfortunately, it requires a Windows PC with Zune installed, with an active internet connection, and of course with Windows’ own SkyDrive client. Luckily, Microsoft has developed robust software that allows Windows users to access and sync their SkyDrive storages locally with the Smart Folder installed on their computer. This is what we will use via Zune to automatically upload photos from Windows Phone to the cloud.
Matt Stein contacted us and we were alerted to a simple Zune feature that would allow us to automatically save our photos from the device to a designated SkyDrive folder. Instead of letting Zune save imported photos in the default library locations (» User» / «Images» ), we were able to configure the software package to use a local SkyDrive folder and choose a destination. When a Windows Phone is connected and new photos are detected, Zune automatically imports them into a full-resolution SkyDrive folder, where Microsoft’s cloud service takes care of the rest.
Step 1 — Launch Zune and go to settings . Scroll down and select «Pictures and Videos» from the navigation list, and we’ll now have several customization options. Before continuing, you can change the «image quality» back to original if you wish. We’re here to change where Zune saves imported photos from connected devices. Click «Manage» and a pop-up window will appear.
Step 2 — Now you will be able to see the window below where we can change location to specified SkyDrive folder . If you’re seeing this window for the first time, you may already have a few default options. Be sure to choose between (or remove if they are not required) to achieve the desired result. By the end, we want the location of our image library to be the default location in our SkyDrive folder.
Now, when connected to Windows Phone, you will see how Zune imports photos from the device into the SkyDrive folder, which will then be synchronized with the cloud. Visiting an account online (or on another device) will show high quality photos taken and uploaded from your Windows Phone. All it takes is a quick sync from time to time (or whenever media needs to be extracted).