Probably hopeless, but I think I lost my autosave file, and many hours of work :(


A single regrettable keystroke has lost me several hours of intensely concentrating, not getting up to pee work. All because I thought I would try opening my working file a different way, the way most Windows programs normally provide as an option: Select “File,” then, usually there are a few “Recent” files listed there, which before today, I never paid any attention to, I always used the “Open…” dialog option.

So, when I clicked on the “Recent” file that is the only one I have been working on for the past two weeks, an unexpected question popped up and it confused me. It said, “The autosave file is more recent than this. Would you like to use it instead?” That made no sense to me, because I always save and save and save as I am working, along with having autosave set to every 5 minutes. I also save again for good measure before shutting down.

I was terribly confused. So I just flipped a coin and said no, which I now regret, because apparently if you don’t use the autosave when you have the chance, Sketchup just completely obliterates it out of existence right then and there. Kinda passive aggresive, don’t you think? Now that I know I made the wrong decision, and the file that I did open up is missing many, many hours of work, and multiple manually saved (I know I need a better strategy now!) and auto save versions.

I re-named the .bkp file and opened it, and it’s not much better. I had high hopes because it was time stamped late yesterday afternoon, about the time I stopped working.

Am I just completely screwed? Is there no auto “cloud” backup somewhere? With unicorns and kittens?


I don’t fully understand the problem. Did your main working file get corrupted? You quite rarely need the backup file, and losing the backup file typically isn’t a problem.

I’m all in favor of unicorns and kittens though.


Unfortunately, you probably are. SketchUp compared the file you told it you wanted to open to the last autosaved version, found the autosaved version was newer and gave you the choice to open it or continue with the older version. When you choose to open the older version, SketchUp assumes you know what you’re doing and doesn’t question you any further.

No. Not unless you save a copy to the cloud for backup.

Do you mean .skb file?


Yes. that’s the one.


Auto-Save files are temporary.
Auto-Save files are only permanently saved to disc if SU closes abnormally … when it crashes.

Each manual save deletes the Auto-Save file and the 5-minute clock towards creating another begins.
Thus, your last manual save immediately before shutdown would automatically delete the Auto-Save file.

By default, SketchUp automatically creates a backup file when you save a model.
The *.skb backup file is the previously saved version of the file.
If you save the file and immediately save it again, then the SKP and SKB backup file are the same.

Are you opening and saving files located on a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive?


I don’t know if anything got corrupted, maybe that’s why it said the auto save was newer? Anything is possible. All I know is I tried to open my file in a different way today, and all hell broke loose. :(:sob:


No, I’m not using any cloud storage. Too many extra steps, I’m too lazy! :stuck_out_tongue: But I think I learned my lesson! I just thought I read something about cloud saving in Sketchup somewhere, but that might have been for the web version.

This is truly strange. I guess all the saving I thought was happening yesterday afternoon, simply wasn’t. My computer has been struggling a bit, giving me the blue circle of wait more and more, but I would have thought if it wasn’t finished saving, it would have thrown an error when I tried to close the program, wouldn’t it?


Oh, did saving to the working file silently fail? :open_mouth: That’s a huge issue. Typically there should be a question when you close SketchUp if you want to save, unless the model is already saved. Maybe your attempts to saving reset the modified flag to false, but failed to save to disk. I would say it’s a bug if SketchUp resets this flag without confirming the save was successful. Did you get any error messages when trying to save?


I used to use autosave, but I think I had similar problems. Personally, I always turn autosave off and just manually save every time I make a big change. It works pretty well if you just hover your fingers over command + s as a resting position in-between commands. It becomes natural with practice.


I leave Autosave turned on but still manually save periodically as I go.


I’ve also disabled autosave as I can’t stand SketchUp freezing every 5 minutes (and on the very weak computer I learned SketchUp on saving could easily take more than 5 minutes).


Yes, this must be what happened. There have never been any error messages when closing the program, that’s why I was so confused when I saw that message when opening the file.


I turned off autosave a few years ago - I can’t remember a model I have lost with manual save since then. It helps to maintain awareness as you work.

The silver lining to a model loss (in the first few years of using SU) is that when you redraw a model it sometimes helps correct minor faults in your working practices that you may otherwise feel too busy to address.

The other question here is whether SU needs a more robust auto backup system? - auto backup going to multiple locations?


But that’s exactly what I was doing, as well! :tired_face:


I think the effort would be better spent fixing the auto save issue, first. People generally expect an auto save feature. Most locally installed (i.e., hard-drive installed, not cloud-based) software has auto save, and it usually just works.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on SketchUp, it really is an excellent program. I can see why it has the industry lead. But this feature is kinda necessary, imo.


I was having some performance issues as well, but I think I got a little more out of SketchUp by uninstalling some unnecessary startup programs, and then looking in Process Explorer (for Windows, I forget what Mac has) and for each of the top 5 or 6 memory draining processes, I lowered their priority by one level each, and I raised Sketchup’s priority level. That seemed to work!


This is a ‘feature’ of computers that shouldn’t have followed programs, developers and users to the present day.
Compare Ctrl+R on a web form you’ve decided to fill in ‘live’ on the page - you could take the same many many hours and then decide the first word of the next sentence begins with capital ‘R’…, if you have the usual keyboard layout, Shift+R [capital R] is very much like tapping Ctrl+R [Refresh]…, and… - it’s gone!

Recent files access, autosaved versions and .skb back up files should prevent this - but in the event Sketchup asks a question like that, stop doing anything in the program and find the file in it’s saved location in a file manager. Copy and paste the file so it exists as something Sketchup doesn’t have a handle on [different filename like, “[Copy of] model.skp”], and then return to using Sketchup - if you open something with work missing, you can then navigate to the copied file using File>Open and what you should access then is the more recent/complete file.
If your autosave is set to smallish increments like 10 minutes, there’s a chance you made a significant amount of progress in those last ten minutes, but with the kind of ‘temporal dysplasia’ experienced when focused in on the work detail, you could suppose it was the whole session’s work that has been lost - I suggest trying to pick up where it appears to leave off, peeing when you have to, saving before you go anywhere, and possibly getting back on top within a relatively short time - shorter because you know what you’re about, because you’ve already been there and done that - don’t sweat it, time makes fools of us all - the aforemention example happened to me more than once and I had no idea - what with F5 [which is very temptingly close to the number 5 key when you’re typing it too - but also R/Click>Refresh [icon], the refresh icon in the browser path field toolbar and sometimes the Program Menu has the option listed too - so why put it there and risk it being tapped?
…To make us devise and learn our own failsafe techniques I reckon…


Ha, sorry I didn’t see your reply earlier, I thought this was a dead horse. Now that I have completely adjusted my expectations, I have a mental alarm that goes off regularly, more frequently when doing significant or challenging updates, to remind myself to do a “Save a copy as…” and then I still don’t trust it, I go ahead and open the copy and start working on it as well. I’m constantly deleting old copies, so I’m probably fragging up my hard drive terribly, but oh well. At least I’m not losing work! And I haven’t seen any significant performance loss, not yet anyway!



you may want give capable GetDataBack a try (trial avail.) … but working on the drive (as e.g. intalling software…) might already have destroyed or corrupted what was recoverable.