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Saving Photos to the Filesystem

We’re now able to take multiple photos and display them in a photo gallery on the second tab of our app. These photos, however, are not currently being stored permanently, so when the app is closed, they will be deleted.

Filesystem API

Fortunately, saving them to the filesystem only takes a few steps. Begin by creating a new class method, savePicture(), in the PhotoService class (src/app/services/photo.service.ts). We pass in the cameraPhoto object, which represents the newly captured device photo:

private async savePicture(cameraPhoto: CameraPhoto) { }

We can use this new method immediately in addNewToGallery():

public async addNewToGallery() {
  // Take a photo
  const capturedPhoto = await Camera.getPhoto({
    resultType: CameraResultType.Uri, // file-based data; provides best performance
    source: CameraSource.Camera, // automatically take a new photo with the camera
    quality: 100 // highest quality (0 to 100)

  // Save the picture and add it to photo collection
  const savedImageFile = await this.savePicture(capturedPhoto);;

We’ll use the Capacitor Filesystem API to save the photo to the filesystem. To start, convert the photo to base64 format, then feed the data to the Filesystem’s writeFile function. As you’ll recall, we display each photo on the screen by setting each image’s source path (src attribute) in to the webviewPath property. So, set it then return the new Photo object.

private async savePicture(cameraPhoto: CameraPhoto) {
  // Convert photo to base64 format, required by Filesystem API to save
  const base64Data = await this.readAsBase64(cameraPhoto);

  // Write the file to the data directory
  const fileName = new Date().getTime() + '.jpeg';
  const savedFile = await Filesystem.writeFile({
    path: fileName,
    data: base64Data,
    directory: FilesystemDirectory.Data

  // Use webPath to display the new image instead of base64 since it's
  // already loaded into memory
  return {
    filepath: fileName,
    webviewPath: cameraPhoto.webPath

readAsBase64() is a helper function we’ll define next. It's useful to organize via a separate method since it requires a small amount of platform-specific (web vs. mobile) logic - more on that in a bit. For now, implement the logic for running on the web:

private async readAsBase64(cameraPhoto: CameraPhoto) {
  // Fetch the photo, read as a blob, then convert to base64 format
  const response = await fetch(cameraPhoto.webPath!);
  const blob = await response.blob();

  return await this.convertBlobToBase64(blob) as string;  

convertBlobToBase64 = (blob: Blob) => new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
  const reader = new FileReader;
  reader.onerror = reject;
  reader.onload = () => {

Obtaining the camera photo as base64 format on the web appears to be a bit trickier than on mobile. In reality, we’re just using built-in web APIs: fetch() as a neat way to read the file into blob format, then FileReader’s readAsDataURL() to convert the photo blob to base64.

There we go! Each time a new photo is taken, it’s now automatically saved to the filesystem.

Taking Photos
Loading Photos on Filesystem