As a digital artist, you must have backups of your work available. And one way to do this is with iCloud. Does Procreate save to iCloud?
To save your Procreate files, go to your Procreate Gallery ->, tap ‘Select’ on the top right side of your screen -> choose the file you want to back up ->, tap ‘Share’ and choose ‘Procreate.’ Now tap ‘Save to Files’ and select any folder from your iCloud Drive.
There are also other ways to save your work, such as using Dropbox and other software.
So what can you do to back up your art files from Procreate?
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Where Does Procreate Save Files?
Procreate works a bit differently from usual drawing software. Most of the time, you must manually save a document you created.
With Procreate, however, once you create a file, it is automatically saved within Procreate’s gallery.
All you need to do is change the file’s name if you wish to.
Also, while drawing, Procreate will save your work as you go. This feature is quite handy, especially if you’re the kind of artist that forgets to save your work!
I admit this is something that I forget to do and only think about once the piece is finished. With Procreate, I don’t have to worry about saving my files since it will do so automatically.
Simply create a new file and Procreate will save the file into the gallery with the .procreate extension.
As you can see, this extension is specific for Procreate, so the files won’t open anywhere else but on Procreate.
If you want to continue your work elsewhere, the best you can do is export the file as PSD. This way, you can open your work on Photoshop or even Clip Studio Paint on your computer or another device!
To do that, go to the Action Menu, tap ‘Share,’ and choose ‘PSD.’
And if you’re still debating between using Clip Studio and Procreate, read this article here.
Even though there isn’t a specific folder in your iPad where your files are kept or saved, there are other ways to keep them safe and sound in case something happens!
How To Backup Procreate Files To iCloud
Your iPad or iPhone does have iCloud Backup. With the free version, which you have access to right away, you can keep up to 5GB of data on iCloud.
On your iPad settings, you can make it so any number of apps will automatically back up their data into iCloud.
While you’re connected to the internet through wi-fi, the iPad is powered on and loc; it will automatically upload any new data daily, as long as you give permission.
If you’re using Procreate to draw, it’s a good idea to set this up if it isn’t yet. Here’s how you can set it up:
- Go to iPad Settings, then tap your name right at the top.
- Tap iCloud and then the iCloud Backup button and turn it on if it isn’t yet.
- Now scroll through the other apps until you find Procreate. Toggle it on if it isn’t yet! Your iPad will now back up your data daily.
With very simple steps, your iPad will back up your Procreate data daily. So, if anything happens, you can restore it quickly.
A word of warning, though, iPad will not back up any of your artworks. Your iPad will only save data such as brushes, brush sets, and palettes.
The iPad and Procreate can be reliable; however, accidents can happen. So, if you want to be on the safe side, you’ll have to back up your artwork files manually.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Go to your Procreate Gallery, then tap ‘Select’ on the top right side of your screen.
- Select any number of files you want to back up.
- Tap ‘Share’ and choose ‘Procreate.’ This format will preserve all your layers, so you can open it again on Procreate if you lose the original file.
- You have several options here. For example, you can upload your files to iTunes. Since you can also install iTunes on your computer, you’ll be able to access your files from there easily.
You can also choose the ‘Save to Files’ option and manually save the files into your iCloud Drive! The only issue here is that if you’re using the free version of iCloud, you’ll notice you’ll run out of space quickly.
However, you can access iCloud through your computer. So one thing you can do is upload your files to it, access your iCloud account with your computer and then download the files! This way, you can safely keep your files in several places.
It takes too many steps to ensure you’ll not lose all your artwork if something happens to your iPad or iPhone.
One thing to note, though, is to avoid saving your .procreate files onto the Files folder of your iPad. If for some reason, you delete Procreate, all your files will be deleted with it!
The best course of action is to back your files into a cloud service like iCloud and download and save them into your computer or another storage device, like a hard drive.
Does iCloud Backup Run Automatically?
If you have iCloud Backup enabled, your iPad will make daily backups of your data!
It will back up your iPad data but also data from any other app as long as you give permission.
To know if your iPad is backing into the iCloud, go to ‘Settings,’ then tap your name. Now tap the iCloud button and then ‘iCloud Backup’; toggle it on if it isn’t yet.
If it appears green, then your iPad is automatically backing up your data daily! As long as the iPad is connected to power, locks, and on wi-fi, it will perform a daily backup.
Let’s say that your iPad couldn’t do the backup, or you only activated the option now. You can manually ask it to back up your data by tapping the ‘Back Up Now’ button on the same menu!
Unless you run out of space on the iCloud, you won’t have any trouble. You can just rest easy, for the iPad will automatically perform backups of everything you allowed it to do so.
You get 5GB of space for free on your iCloud Drive. If you use it to back up many files or even use several Apple devices besides the iPad or iPhone, upgrading it might be a good idea!
Apple does offer several plans, along with other premium features that you can choose from:
Depending on your country, you can check all available prices on their support page.
Although I always like to have my files backed up on a hard drive, I still think it’s good to also have them backed up on a Cloud service. Accidents happen, and devices might malfunction at any time.
As the saying goes: do not keep all your eggs in one basket!
Other Ways To Backup Your Procreate Files
iCloud is great if you’re using an iPad to work. It’s convenient if you use other Apple devices, such as the Macbook or iPhone.
However, there are other backup options around!
Suppose you own another device that uses macOS or iOS. In that case, you can use AirDrop to very quickly export your .procreate files from the iPad to the computer!
To do so, select the files you want to export from your Procreate Gallery. Tap ‘Share’ and then ‘AirDrop.’ Now choose the device you wish to share the files to, and it’s done!
Just be sure you’re close to the device you’re sending the files to and that the iPad and the other device are connected to Wi-Fi.
Also, be sure you set up AirDrop to be able to receive files. To do so, just go to its settings and choose the ‘Contacts Only’ option.
For more information on how to do this, here’s the official support page on how to use AirDrop on different devices.
If you do not own other macOS or iOS devices, there are other options for you, so fret not!
Let’s say you just want to back up your .procreate files in case something happens to them. Then, as I mentioned before, one option is to upload them into your iCloud Drive.
You can just keep them there or, to be on the safe side, login into your iCloud Drive account through your computer and then download all the files you just backed up!
It does require a few extra steps, but this way, you can keep your .procreate files in more places than one.
As you know, Procreate can only be used on the iPad or the iPhone (Procreate Pocket). That means that even if you downloaded Procreate files into your computer, you wouldn’t be able to open them.
So, if you want to keep working on an illustration you started on Procreate, you’ll have to export the file in another format.
This is also very simple to do! Select the file or files you want to export. Now tap ‘Share’ and choose the ‘PSD’ option.
Again, you can export it into your iCloud Drive and download it to your computer through your iCloud account.
You can now open this PSD file on Photoshop or even Clip Studio Paint!
Besides iCloud, you can use other cloud services, like Dropbox! You get 2GB of storage for free when you create an account.
This can be more than enough if you just want to move files from one place to the next or if you don’t work with hefty, spacious files.
However, Dropbox also offers different plans that you can choose from, depending on your need. These start at $9.99/month, with 2TB of space, for one user.
If you’re curious about Dropbox and its plans, you can check them through their official page.
To use Dropbox, just create an account and download the app to your iPad. With the free version of Dropbox, you can have it installed on up to 3 different devices.
This way, you can install Dropbox on your iPad and computer and easily upload and download files.
To export a .procreate file to Dropbox, simply select the file you wish to export from your Procreate Gallery, tap ‘Share,’ then ‘Procreate,’ and tap ‘Dropbox.’
If you have several folders on Dropbox, you can choose which folder to export the file to!
Other Cloud Services
There are many Cloud services, and any of them can also work to back up your Procreate files. So if you have any other preference, you can simply export your files into it!
Here is a list of other Cloud services for you:
- Box. You can use Box on any device, from anywhere. It can be pretty handy if you need to share files with other people or if you need to move your work through several different devices!
- Microsoft OneDrive. OneDrive is very popular, since if you have a Microsoft account, you also get immediate access to OneDrive. This might be an easy option if you mainly use Windows or other Android devices.
- Google Drive. If you use Google products frequently, their cloud service might be a good choice. Since most people use Gmail and other Google products nowadays, it can be a straightforward choice! You can access Google Drive from anywhere and share files with other people.
Cloud services are very popular nowadays, so there’s much to choose from. Not only that but many more that keep coming out every year.
All in all, it’s a good idea to have some cloud storage. Most offer a free version, which can be helpful even if it’s just to move files around!
How To Backup Procreate Brushes?
As mentioned above, if you give permission for your iPad to back up Procreate, it will automatically back up all your brushes, brush sets, palettes, and other tools.
Oh and if you have messed up your palettes and are looking to restore them to their original values, check this article here.
So, if you move from one iPad to another, you can just do a restore backup. Once you do that, all your brushes should copy to the new device!
However, you might want to keep your brushes somewhere else, so you’re sure you won’t lose them.
To access your backed-up brushes, login into your iCloud account on your computer. Click the ‘iCloudDrive’ button. Now simply open the folder you saved your brushes into and download them!
You can either export your brushes, one at a time, or export brush sets. If, for some reason, you want to export your brushes manually, you can do so as well! Here’s how to do it:
- Tap the brush set you want to export and then choose ‘Share.’
- If you want to export a single brush, swipe to the left and then tap ‘Share’;
- Choose where you want to export your brushes to:
- AirDrop, if you own other iOS or macOS devices;
- ‘Save to Files’ and then choose a folder on your iCloudDrive;
- Dropbox or any other cloud storage service you have installed on your iPad.
It’s totally up to you where you want to export your materials and files. The process is mostly the same!
Now that you’ve backed up everything, how about you test your skills? Here are 7 Difficult Ideas To Draw Right Now! Test Your Drawing Skills with this article.
Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!
Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!