Setting up Wi-Fi is the first step to getting your Wi-Fi digital picture frame ready for use. Turn the frame on, select a home/office Wi-Fi network (connecting to public Wi-Fi networks that require web authentication isn’t possible on most frames), and type in the password.
Once you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you need to register the frame. This is usually done through the web interface. You need to log in using the information provided to you when you purchased the frame. These steps are usually laid out very clearly in the provided user guide/manual.
Once you’ve registered the frame via the web interface, it should be marked as “Online” or “Ready”. You should send a photo via email to the frame’s dedicated email address (make sure you add the picture as an attachment – don’t drag and drop) to test if it’s receiving.
It might take a couple of minutes to sync and receive the new photo (some can take around 15 minutes to show up). You should then sending pictures via the mobile app and web interface to make sure all your features are working. Now you’re set up and ready to go!
Most Wi-Fi digital picture frames don’t need 24/7 Wi-Fi access to work – but some features will be unavailable.
You need to connect to a stable Wi-Fi network for sending, receiving, updating, and syncing new pictures and web albums. You also need to connect to Wi-Fi for controlling the frame remotely and the initial setup process. Any firmware and software updates also need an active Wi-Fi connection for the duration of the update.
Aside from the above features, everything else should work as normal. You can view slide shows, manage content directly on and through the frame, create folders in its internal storage, watch videos and listen to audio, play games, and more.
Make sure you check what offline features are available on a Wi-Fi digital picture before buying it – not all of them offer extensive offline use.
Most ways for sending pictures and other media to Wi-Fi digital picture frames need Wi-Fi at some point in the process. This is the case with most digital picture frames.
The only way to put pictures on a Wi-Fi digital picture frame while being offline is via USB drives or SD card. Unfortunately, not all Wi-Fi digital picture frames are compatible with external storage devices like a USB drive. If your frame is compatible, you will find the USB/SD card port on the back-side of the frame.
Load all the photos and other media onto the drive. Try to avoid using USBs/cards with more than 16GB of storage or you might run into compatibility issues. 8GB is enough to hold up to 30,000 photos (at most Wi-Fi digital picture frames’ native resolution).
Navigate to the media library and look for the “External Storage” category. The category names will differ between brand and versions. If the USB/SD card is compatible, you should be able to open it and view all of the pictures and other media on it. Some Wi-Fi digital picture frames will even let you transfer some of these images across to the frame’s local storage.
Internal storage is an important feature, even on Wi-Fi digital picture frames. Every time a photo is sent, synced, or downloaded onto the frame, it gets saved to the internal storage – though this isn’t always the case. Some digital frames need an active connection all the time as photos are saved on the cloud, not directly to the frame’s storage.
Internal storage allows the frame to access and display media even when it’s not connected to a Wi-Fi network. Some Wi-Fi digital picture frames will even save synced web albums to local storage so they can be viewed offline. They just won’t be updated and refreshed until the next time you connect to Wi-Fi.
Most good quality Wi-Fi digital picture frames have 4-8GB of internal storage, which is enough for 15,000 – 30,000 photos.
Web albums are one of the more recent features for Wi-Fi digital picture frames. Web albums include any media synced to your digital picture frame through connected social media accounts (Facebook & Instagram), online photo sharing platforms (Google Photos), and online storage platforms (Dropbox).
Most Wi-Fi digital picture frames require you to create and manage web albums through the relevant web interface. For example, to create web albums on Pix-Star frames, you need to log in at pix-star.com and click “Import external pictures”. You can then link multiple social media accounts and photo platforms then select which albums you want to sync.
These photos are usually saved to the frame’s internal storage after being synced and can be viewed without a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll find all the photos in the media library under “Web Albums” or a similar category.
Bear in mind that not all Wi-Fi digital picture frames can play videos, many can only display pictures. Some Wi-Fi digital picture frames (e.g. the Pix-Star frame) can send videos via email, through mobile apps, and via the web interface, but can’t view videos by connecting to social media and web albums.
The best way to send videos to a Wi-Fi digital picture frame is through the supported mobile app. For example, Pix-Star’s mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) lets you take videos directly through the app, and send them straight to your digital picture frame. You can also select videos from your gallery (that you’ve already taken) and send them straight to your Pix-Star frame.
Another common way to send videos is through email. There will most likely be limits to the size and length of the video, so try to compress the video to your Wi-Fi digital picture frame’s native resolution. Digital picture frames usually have limits on video size and length, so it’s worth noting these before buying.