MIDI File(s) Location? - Backup?

Does anyone know for sure where MIDI files in a project are stored? I looked around in the project folder, Pool and elsewhere on the Hard drive and I don’t find anything. My thinking is they are stored within the project itself? The reason I am asking is because a collaborator put in a few hours creating a project with some excellent MIDI and Audio of him playing a keys bass line. Problem is he never saved and Cubase locked up. I am hoping there is an UNTITLED-XX project folder with maybe a backup project file in it.

On that subject of .bak files of a Cubase project - If we do find a *.bak project file can it be loaded directly into Cubase or do you have to change the extender of the file to *.cpr?

Thanks for any help you can give!


MIDI is included in the .cpr file, unless you exported it seperately from CB. The .bak files are automatic backups (if so set in preferences) of the project, and I assume you can load them directly with right click from Win Explorer. Never had to use it myself, though. However, if your collaborator never saved the then new project at all, I don’t know if a backup is created or where that would go…

Hi Argan,

Thanks so much for the reply!

Yes it was as I suspected, MIDI is in the .CPR or main project file. I further suspect there may or may not be a .BAK file(s) and that that may be dependent upon a save of the project just as we both suspect. As far as where the project file and or audio files would be located comes down to how Cubase works. I am pretty sure as you start to record Cubase DOES NOT keep everything in RAM memory. Nope, I think it writes it to disk. There are folders titled UNTITILED-01, UNTITLED-02 and so on. I personally have 9 of these going back to 2009. The reason for the “UNTITLED” folders is simple. Cubase had to store or write the data someplace and the user at this point has not saved the project or named it yet. Some UNTITLED-** folders are empty and some have a lot of files in them including the audio folder with files in it and .BAK files. I believe the presence of contents that are in this folder are directly dependent upon how Cubase was exited. If you crash it maybe these files are retained since Cubase is not around anymore to delete or close out this folder and it potential contents. I plan on creating a sample project and testing this soon. I will post what I find out.

Thanks for your confirmation and help!

EDIT: Note - After testing and looking around it looks as though Cubase has changed how it creates files. I found all my UNTITLED-** folders were back from at least 2010. I also found when starting a new project you are prompted as to where to put it depending on how the “projects” dialog box is set up. The choices are “Prompt for project location” OR “Use default location:” . Mine was set up to use “Prompt for project location”. With that invoked a new dialog box appears and it is called SET PROJECT FOLDER. It defaults to (on a windows system) C:\Users\ User. Any recorded audio files even if not saved ever are saved here with an extender of ether .wav or .peak in my case. If after the amount of time and dependent on whether “Auto Save” is ticked in the Preferences\General - location of preferences, (which I think is ticked on and set to 15 minutes by default) a .bak project file is created and in my case it was stored in "C:\Users*User Name". Mine created a file called "Untitled1.bak. BINGO… Now, if you close the project a dialog box come up asking “Do you want to save this project?”. Selecting “Don’t Save” immediately erases the Untitled.bak file upon close of Cubase. In my collaborators case this was never done due a Cubase lock up. To simulate and test what happens to the ".bak"" file I hated to do this, but used to Task Manager to kill Cubase and I was prompted again to save the project. Instead I selected [End Now] in Task Manger. BINGO2 - The “Untitled1.bak” file was retained in it’s location per above and Cubase was a thing of the past. Ditto for the .wav and .peak audio files. Lastly, if you click on the Untitled.bak file it WILL NOT OPEN in Cubase as Windows has no idea what program created it. You can either show Windows what program is to be used to open the file OR Start Cubase and then open the file by selecting “File of type:” and selecting Backup File (.bak). Then you show it the path to the Untitled1.bak PROJECT FILE. My test project opened fine in Cubase.

Hope this helps someone if down the road you lose a project due to a crash which was never saved. The moral of the story is to have “Auto Save” turned on in preferences!!! Even better, save the darn project right when you create it.


Interesting to know, though I always create a new project folder when I start a new project, no matter how temporary it may start out to be. What I meant earlier with opening a .bak file in Windows Explorer is using right click and select ‘Open with’. Here you should be able to assign Cubase (either one-time or as default).

Yes on both accounts! I always make a new project folder as it keeps things tidy and more.

Yes Windows will allow you select a program to open with. I think I said that in my reply but probably too briefly. It is a matter of preference. Your way works and opening Cubase and then open the file works as well.

Thanks again!

Hey LB,

Thanks for the detailed explanation and the tests you’ve run.

There’s also one other way to open a .bak file - [and the only one I’ve tried thus far], although it’s great to learn about these other ways now as well.

I just right click on it, and choose ‘Rename’.
Then I change .bak to .cpr

Then I click on it and it opens Cubase right there & then with that file as the current song. :wink:

Indeed JA,
I should have mentioned that as I had done the renaming trick too.

Well the good news in my case on this end is indeed there were files named:
And so forth up to about version 8 of the file.

So we were able to save the project. What I am trying to determine now is if those BAK ups of the project indeed contain the latest MIDI tracks. I sure hope so as they are valuable to us for this project.

Also confirmed is that if you install a fresh copy of Cubase 8.xx then by default backups are enabled. Thus if you are working away and never save your project. Then after either 10 - 15 minutes or so the 1st backup project will be created.

Take care and thanks for checking in.


I believe that all the MIDI tracks would be included in the .bak files.

Didn’t know that about a fresh install of Cubase & the backups. Good to know there LB.

Boy the things we learn among these forums, huh?