Edit photos in OneDrive on your phone, fix, add effects

The OneDrive app on your phone has gained photo editing features you may not have discovered. Crop, fix lighting and color, apply filters and more from within the OneDrive app. Here’s how.

Apps on phones update automatically and new features may be added without you realizing it. Apps slowly evolve over time and OneDrive, which started out as a place to store work and other files online, is now a handy photo storage and photo editing app.

Open the app, go into its settings and you can enable automatic photo upload on iPhones and Android phones. Storage is cheaper than some alternatives, like Apple Photos and iCloud, so it is worth considering.

Photo handling in the OneDrive app is steadily improving and here I look at the editing features you may not have realized it has. Make sure the app is up to date, then try out the features. OneDrive is the same on both iPhone and Android phones.

OneDrive photos home screen

OneDrive app on a phone viewing photos.
OneDrive app Photos tab

Provided you have some photos stored in OneDrive in the Pictures folder, open the OneDrive app and select the Photos tab at the bottom. Photos are automatically organized into categories like places, things, selfies and so on. There are Gallery, Albums and Explore tabs at the top.

View a photo in OneDrive

Viewing a photo in the OneDrive app on a phone.
View photos in OneDrive phone app

Browse the thumbnails of your photos and tap one to see a larger version. At the bottom of the screen is a toolbar and it includes an Edit button. Press it if you want edit photos in OneDrive to fix faults, apply effects and filters, crop it and so on.

Crop and rotate photos

Rotating and cropping a photo in OneDrive phone app.
Rotate and crop photos in OneDrive

When the OneDrive photo editor is entered, the editor sections are displayed at the bottom of the screen and the first, Crop, is automatically selected. Swipe left and right at the bottom to see more editing features.

In the Crop tool, drag the corners and sides of the rectangle to crop parts of the photo you do not want to see. Drag the slider to rotate the image, which can be done for dramatic effect or to fix a sloping horizon because your phone was not perfectly horizontal when you took a photo.

The buttons on the left side of the toolbar rotate left and right by 90 degrees. The buttons on the right flip the photo vertically or horizontally.

Correct photo flaws

Photo adjustment features in the OneDrive photo editor on a phone.
Fix brightness, contrast, exposure and more.

Select Adjustment at the bottom of the screen and there are tools to correct the brightness, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows and more. Swipe left and right over them to access the full list of tools.

These tools are standard in photo editing apps for phones, but you probably didn’t know OneDrive had them. Maybe you don’t need a separate photo editor app.

Make photo adjustments

Photo correction tools in OneDrive phone app photo editor.
Fix highlights, shadows, warmth, tint and more

Here is a typical tool, Saturation. Most tools are like this and a slider enables you to adjust the strength of the effect being applied. Drag the slider left and right, select another tool and do the same again until you have fixed the flaws or have the effects you want.

Apply photo filters

Apply filters to photos in the OneDrive app for phones.
Apply interesting filters to photos

Select the Filter feature at the bottom of the screen and a film-strip like collection of filter thumbnails is displayed. Swipe left and right to see them all and tap them to apply them. A slider enables you to adjust the strength of the filter from 0 to 100.

Filters like these are standard in photo editing apps for phones, but you may not have realized that they are in the OneDrive phone app. Here I aged the photo by selecting a black and white filter and then applied a vignette to darken the corners.

Photo markup in OneDrive

OneDrive phone app photo markup editor in landscape mode.
The editor works in landscape mode

I have done two things here. One is to turn the phone on its side and the other is to select Mark-up. Markup enables you to draw on the photo, add lines and arrows and so on.

OneDrive photo editor supports landscape mode. The photo appears on the left and the tool options are on the right. Pinch and spread gestures can be used to zoom in and out of photos in the usual way.

After you edit photos in OneDrive, don’t forget to press the Save button at the top. You have the option to save a copy of the photo or to overwrite the original. Always save a copy.

With all these features in OneDrive, do you need a separate photo editing app? With auto-upload enabled and cheap online storage, this app may be all you need.

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