Here's How to Upload Saved Photos or Videos to Snapchat

Share photos and videos stored on your device with your Snapchat friends

Photos or videos you have stored on your mobile device can be uploaded to Snapchat through its Memories feature. You can share it on Snapchat either as a message or as a story.

This makes it super convenient for sharing photos and videos after the moment has long passed. It also means you don't have to take everything through the Snapchat app if you want to share it.

Follow the steps below to learn where to access your device's photos and videos in Snapchat and select one to send.

These instructions apply to iOS and Android devices. Any differences are called out below.

How to Access Snapchat Memories

Person selecting Camera Roll photos to upload to Snapchat
Theresa Chiechi / Lifewire

Snapchat Memories allows you to both save snaps you take through the Snapchat app and upload existing photos/videos from your device. Here's how to easily access the Memories feature in Snapchat:

  1. Open the Snapchat app and navigate to the camera tab (if you're not on it already) by swiping left or right through the tabs.

  2. Tap the small double image icon displayed directly beneath the Camera button.

A new tab labeled Memories will slide up from the bottom of the screen showing a grid of snaps if you saved any. If you didn't save any yet, this tab will be blank. 

How to Start Uploading Your Photos and Videos

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To upload something from your device, you have to use the Memories feature. You can make edits to images in the SnapChat app. If you're sending a video, you can trim it within Snapchat, disable sound, add text, and draw over it before you send it.

  1. In Memories you should see three tab: Snaps, Camera Roll and My Eyes Only. (If you haven't set it up, you won't see My Eyes Only.) Tap Camera Roll to switch to the correct tab.

    Items in Camera Roll are the images and videos that are on your phone. To back up items to Snapchat, set up My Eyes Only. Select the snaps you want to make private, tap the lock icon at the bottom of the screen, and follow the onscreen prompts.

    You might have to allow Snapchat to access your device's photos first. If you haven't done this yet, a popup should appear asking for your permission. Tap OK to proceed.

  2. Select a photo or video to send as a message to friends or post as a story.

  3. Tap the menu in the upper right corner represented by three dots.

    Three iOS screens showing photo icon, photos from Camera Roll and three dot menu in Snapchat
  4. Choose Edit Photo (iOS) or Edit Snap (Android).

  5. Make optional edits to your photo or video using the tools that appear for text, emoji, drawings, filters or cut-and-paste edits.

    You won't be able to apply filters with Bitmoji or animations since the photo or video was taken outside of the Snapchat app. You should, however, be able to at least use one of the many tinted filters.

  6. When you're finished making edits, tap Done and then optionally save the image using the prompts that appear.

    Three iOS screens from Snapchat showing Edit Photo, editing, and Done buttons
  7. You don't have to save the edited image to send it. If you want to send without saving, tap the send button to send your uploaded snap to friends as a message or to post it as a story.

Snapchat's Formatting of Uploaded Photos and Videos

You might notice that some of the photos and videos you decide to upload to Snapchat look different than the ones you take directly through the app. For example, some may appear cropped with black edges all around them while others might be zoomed in with the outer edges cut off. Snapchat will do its best to make your photo or video look good enough to send, but because it wasn't taken directly through the app, it won't necessarily look perfect.

Third-Party Workaround Apps Blocked

Before the Memories feature was introduced, there used to be several apps available from third-party developers that claimed to help Snapchat users upload photos or videos to Snapchat. Snapchat has since banned third-party apps, stating that it's a violation of the company's Terms of Use.