iCloud and Back Ups: an Overdue Lesson

icloud-icon-399x400The other day I had a grade seven student come to see me. her eyes were red and she had a terrified squint.

“Hi Ms. G. You’re good with the iPads. Maybe you can help me. The keynote presentation I worked on all weekend has disappeared.”

Oh dear. My stomach did a lurch for her. This has happened to me me before and I know f several students who have said that after they update their iPads they lose their documents. Now, I should have investigated this as soon as it happened, but one thing leads to another and well, I forgot. 

Ok. It was more than just forgot. It was also procrastination. Truth is, I never really understood how iCloud works or what happens to your data when it gets backed up. Where does it go? How can you retrieve it? These are questions I treated as Need to know. I didn’t particularly need to know at that moment so I ignored it.

Boo me. Now there was this poor girl in front of me, facing down the barrel of having to repeat all her hard work. The Need to know light just got switched on with a vengeance.

It turns out that her issue was a little different, a complicated story I will try to reduce to bullet points:

  1. She was using her mother’s old iPad.
  2. Her mother’s apple ID was still signed in.
  3. The student realised she was receiving her mother’s personal messages.
  4. They decided to switch the iPad to an account created for the daughter.
  5. The mother enlisted Apple tech support to help her do this. As she was doing they also got her to do many updates.
  6. So the problem was two fold:
    1. The keynote was done on her mother’s account
    2. Two it had been backed up to the icloud and wasn’t showing in either person’s account.
  7. How did I fix this? I didn’t. I called super tech guy. I followed him up to this point but then his fingers went flying in keynote and all of a sudden the keynote presentation appeared. I wish I knew what he did, but I still don’t. Sorry.
  8. UPDATE: Just talked to super tech guy and figured out what he did- it turns out that all keynote presentations was being saved to iCloud. Because of this, the presentation did not show up right away when we signed back into her account. It would have though eventually, without Mr. tech guy’s constant tapping. It turned out he was doing the equivalent of pressing the walk button over and over to cross the street thinking that it is going to make the light turn green faster…

To have your keynote and Pages documents saved to to iCloud go to settings–>Keynote–>and tap Use iCloud:


 I did learn some extra tips from super tech guy about using iCloud. I might even try using it now that I have a better idea how it works.

1. Go to Settings–>iCloud and make sure the iCloud backup is on. This is the default setting.



2.Go to –>Manage storage–>back ups. Now this is where the magic happens. Check out the next backup size: 



If I backup my camera roll my next back up size will be 3.3 GB. Keep in mind Apple only gives you 5 GB of free storage. That means I will run out of space faster than our government is running out of goodwill.

Now check out the next back up size with the cameral roll turned off:



I know, right? Big difference! But then go to show all apps:



It is worth while going through the apps and seeing which ones you need to back up and which ones you don’t. For instance, I don’t really need to back up my scrabble games…

So I turned on my iCloud and I did my first iCloud back up. With the camera roll off I only used 327 MB of my 5GB of storage. When I do another back up I can also delete the older one which means I will probably never need the whole 5Gigs but still have a reliable back up of my documents.

Yay!!! Thanks Super Tech guy!

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