Where are Auto-saves on a Mac? Autosave

I have SU 2019 on a Mac. I have backups and “auto-save every 5 minutes” both checked in preferences. I understand that the ~.skp file in the same folder as the .skp folder is the version prior to the last save. But where are the 5 minute autosaves? One poster gave the following Ruby Console command:

open "#{Sketchup.temp_dir}"/SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles

Using this I found two files from last night–a .skp and a ~.skp timestamped 3 minutes earlier. After working for an hour today, I used Ruby to check for current autosaves and the folder contents were unchanged from last night. Where are my 5 minute autosaves going? I’m pretty sure they’re happening because I get that annoying (but understandable) pinwheel every 5 minutes while working. So I quit Sketchup and restarted, then ran the Ruby command again. The folder is now empty. It’s been 20 minutes and the folder is still empty.

I read this thread: SketchUp Pro 2019 = Let’s talk about Saving and it only confused me further. Why are we now talking about “recovered files” instead of backups or autosaves? And when I tried reloading a file from the Welcome To Sketchup window as directed, it loaded a file that was over an hour old–not one from within the last 5 minutes.

It’s also odd that there’s an Autosave folder in User/Library/Application support/Sketchup 2019/Sketchup/Autosave. But it’s empty. I cannot figure this out and have lost hours of time trying to find my recent autosave and then hours more trying to get an answer to this confusing issue and conflicting info from SU. I ended up having to rebuild my model from my last save whereas in the past I could rebuild from my last autosave. What am I missing?

I don’t know the answer to your main question but I think I can tell you about the Autosave folder. It is used if you haven’t yet named a file (since SU obviously wouldn’t know what to call it or where else to put it). That certainly used to be the case - unless 2019 has changed that.

That makes sense. I always name my files immediately so that wouldn’t happen for me. I might try deliberately crashing an unnamed file to see if it lands there. This does make me wonder if SU is autosaving files somewhere secret and we can only access them via the Welcome To Sketchup window after a crash. If that were true, then if I wanted to go back to the last autosave, would I have to crash the program to get it? I guess I could test that, too… if I can find the time.

it’s not a secret, you have the path and can access it from Ruby Console…

I don’t normally use Autosave, but set it at 1 minute and have been monitoring it today…

sometimes it updates bang on one minute and other times, just before 2 minutes…

but only if there are changes…

changes seem to reset the counter, i.e. if I make a change at 59 seconds, it updates one minute later, not 1 second…

if you drag RecoverFiles into the Finder sidebar and set column view, you can easily monitor the file…



what extensions do you have running?

some have an ‘on save’ observer that could really mess up mac autosaving…


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Thanks for the reply, John. I’ve been regularly using the command you suggested in Ruby:
open "#{Sketchup.temp_dir}"/SKETCHUP/RecoveredFiles

Only once, a couple days ago, did I have a .skp and ~.skp file in that folder. Those files disappeared and the folder has been empty ever since (and I check often). I don’t get it.

My only extensions are Zorro2, Weld, and Cleanup3.

OK, I’ve made some progress and have some new information to report that may be helpful to some Mac users. First of all, I restarted my Mac and ran disk utility. I’m now getting autosaves in the RecoveredFiles folder (yay!) BTW, the terminal command you suggested only gave the last half of the directory path, but I was able to find the entire path using the Ruby Console command. The path lives in a root folder called “private” which is hidden, so neither the Finder or Spotlight could find it.

A few observations:

  1. It appears that SU only autosaves a file if there is a change made. If you simply open a file with no changes, it won’t write anything there–which makes sense I guess.
  2. The “Welcome To SketchUp” window does not give access to the autosaved file. I checked the timestamps and tested this–it only shows the last saved version. ***It would be very helpful if SU actually provided access to the autosave file as TheGuz indicated in his post SketchUp Pro 2019 = Let's talk about Saving. SU should also provide a time stamp on these files in the “Welcome To SketchUp” window as well as the File/Open menu. When using Open, it displays a familiar Finder window, except the timestamp is removed from the date. Odd. So if checking the time stamp is important to you, you need to double click the file in Finder outside of SU.
  3. If you close the file, the autosave is purged (as mentioned above).
  4. If you want to go back to the last autosave voluntarily (which is something I do fairly often–not due to a crash), then you must navigate to the RecoveredFiles folder and open that file BEFORE closing the file of the same name in SU. Interestingly, this will give you two models open with the exact same name–so you have to know which one to close. A better approach is to drag the autosave out of the RecoveredFiles folder first (before it is purged), then close the open file in SU and then open the autosaved file.

Now that my computer is behaving, and I understand how autosave works and where it parks the file, I can make use of the autosaves for going back less than 5 minutes if I haven’t saved in a while. I find this enormously useful and hope that SU will provide a more transparent path for utilizing autosave in non-crash scenarios.