auto-save vs project backup?

I recently created a new user account on my windows machine, and deleted an old one.

Now I get errors that Dorico can’t auto-save, because the old directory no long exists ("<OLD_USER>_AppData/roaming"…).

So I checked the manual about changing the path for auto-saves. Manual says it’s in preferences>Files>Auto-save. But I can’t find a preferences field called “Auto-save location”. Am I missing something?

I can find "Project Back-ups location, which seems to be already set to my new user “Dorico projects” folder (not “AppData/roaming/etc”). So, i reset it to that, to be sure.

Still get the errors.

Please help?


I think the Autosave folder is created inside the “Default Project Folder”.

That seems to be what is happening on my Windows PC, where the Default project folder on a different drive which is completely outside of the Windows “” file naming system.

The Project Backup and Autosave folders are two different things.

Either the manual’s out of date or you’re looking at a manual that doesn’t apply to Dorico 3 - I confess I haven’t checked whether the Dorico 3 manual’s been updated on this point.

The easiest way around this is to:
a. close Dorico
b. navigate to %appdata%\Steinberg\Dorico 3 and delete the preferences.xml file

The downside to this method is that you’ll lose all your Dorico application preferences (anything found in the main Preferences dialog, but not things like Layout Options/Notation Options/Engraving Options/Playback Options).

The slightly more tricky route that lets you hang on to your other preferences is
a. close Dorico
b. navigate %appdata%\Steinberg\Dorico 3 and open preferences.xml in a decent text editor (I recommend Notepad++ on Windows; it’s free and it works fine)
c. edit the line in the middle of this screenshot (line 136 in my case) so that the path is correctly set for your new user account (sorry; this screenshot was done on a mac)

The history to the option disappearing from Preferences > Files > Auto-save is this:
The Dorico Autosave folder is automatically wiped every time you close Dorico or a Dorico project via usual methods. If Dorico crashes or hangs, and you Force Quit or End the Process/Task, the contents of the Autosave folder is left intact (and the next time you launch Dorico you’ll be presented with a list of Autosaved projects for recovery). When the Autosave function was introduced, some users failed to understand that the Autosave folder would regularly be automatically wiped, and set the AutoSave path to their Desktop, or their Dorico Projects folder, or their Documents folder. They then complained when Dorico automatically deleted everything from their Desktop/Dorico Projects folder/Documents folder. For this reason, the Autosave path has been removed from the Dorico Preferences folder. Really, the only downside to this is the scenario you’re in right now.

Hello colleagues,
Personally to me is strange why, since Dorico uses the Audio Engine of Cubase, didn’t adopted the project backup concept?!
The project backup in Cubase is far better than Auto-save files… It also creates the files inside the Project Folder, and doesn’t fill
the Recycle Bin… You could have as much as you need backups … And after all it is far more logical to look for the backups at
the project folders instead of some separate dedicated to all Auto-Saved files.

I hope the team will think about to change this situation! :slight_smile:

Best regards,

Cubase’s audio engine has no responsibility for handling project file saving or backups. We have chosen the solution that we believe fits our application best. Dorico provides both auto-save and project back-up, which are two separate features and which store files in separate locations. The project back-ups are, by default, stored in a folder inside the Dorico Projects folder inside your Documents folder.

Leo’s reply is already very helpful, but just to confirm that in Dorico 2, there is/was/remains the option to change the auto-save location and so the Dorico 2 manual reflects this. The option was removed by Dorico 3 so the manual was adapted accordingly.

Because the older manuals have been around longer, it is still common for them to be brought up earlier in online searches than the most recent v3 one. We’re looking into a way of making this visually clearer, perhaps using some sort of banner, but for now it’s not necessarily immediately obvious. What you can do in the meantime is look at the url - there’ll be e.g. a “/v2/” or “/v3/” in there - or the top left of the screen, just above the list of topics - this now shows the product and version number.

Thanks everyone!

  1. @Leo, your preferences.xml edit was perfect for my case. (I added one interim step, which was making a safety copy of preferences.xml before I made the edit :slight_smile: )
  2. @Lillie, yes, my search must have led me to an older manual, which is unfortunate.
  3. Feature request: The “can’t-auto-save-because directory-not-found” error, which currently appears repeatedly with whatever frequency you have set for auto-save, should include GUI option to change auto-save location to something valid? thanks.

I am a new user on Dorico, and I am finding it very confusing how to save work. Should I click “Save” in the File menu every time I leave a project for a while? Or does the auto-save and back Up feature do that all the time for me? I am getting more and more versions of the same pieces, and find it hard to tell which is the most recent and up to date.

It sounds like you might be saving your projects into the ‘Backup Projects’ folder, which I would not recommend. Can you do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attach the resulting zip file to a reply here? That will allow me to see your settings.

I think I may have messed things up in this regard, or I’m misunderstanding terminology. Attached is a screenshot showing the location of my saving folders. Everything seems to be working fine, in that the expected file is offered to me when I restart Dorico for a new session, and it’s certainly the one I left when I previously closed it, but I’m troubled by the fact that, when I save a project in the normal way, it shows in the Backup folder but not in the Project Folder (the latest file in there is months old). Should I be changing a setting?

If you go File > New, wait for the new project to appear, then go File > Save (or Ctrl-S), does the explorer window then show you Documents/Dorico Projects? If so, it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to.

If you happen to then navigate to a completely different folder and save there, Dorico’s not also going to save a copy in the Default project folder.

Thanks for the tip. The new file did, indeed, get put in the default project folder. Evidently at some point when I’d just started with Dorico I chose the wrong folder when I saved my current piece for the first time, and it’s been put in that same wrong folder every time I’ve hit Ctrl-S since. I’ve now changed the destination to the correct folder. My thanks once again.