Losing hours of work

I can’t count how many times I’ve lost hours and hours of hard work because of accidentally clicking the close button on the Blender window, such as when trying to close the rendering window. Just now I’ve lost all my work since 5 PM yesterday (it’s 1 AM now).

Is it that difficult to add to Blender a Save popup window on closing? Is there some psychology here at work on the part of its developers like “We don’t charge for it, but users will have to put up with this missing feature just because we say so.”? Sorry if I’m saying something so negative but at the moment I’m feeling almost suicidal and filled with hate; --not even frustration anymore…

By the way, I’m using version 2.40, and auto-save doesn’t seem to work. But even if it did and I’m just missing something, and even if it’s somewhat my fault that I get so absorbed in the modelling I forget to save, NOTHING, IMO, justifies the lack of an “are you sure?” dialog on closing. NOTHING!

File->recover last session will load your work back if you accidentally quit or closed the window without saving. Blender ALWAYS saves when you quit. If blender crashes you might be out of luck. You should NEVER work as long as you did without saving.


Doesn’t seem to work in version 2.40. I always get an error message when I try to recover. Also, if it was at least trying to save the file, I’d see some file with a recent timestamp, but the most recently modified file in the folder is yesterday’s manual save.

This has probably been discussed a lot. It is not that the developers think the feature is missing, but rather that some people don’t want the dialog popping up.

I think the best compromise to assure people don’t lose hours of work would be to have a time limit and if the person hasn’t saved for over an hour, then when they go to close, pop up the “Do you want to save?”

Or how about just making the popup optional? I wouldn’t want to lose 15 minutes of work either; and I don’t close Blender that often that a popup dialog would bother me.

I also opt for a “are you sure” on close. But it should be configurable.

Doesn’t seem to work in version 2.40. I always get an error message when I try to recover. Also, if it was at least trying to save the file, I’d see some file with a recent timestamp, but the most recently modified file in the folder is yesterday’s manual save.

It works here, I just tried it to make sure. It saves in your tmp directory – you set the tmp directory in the user preferences under file paths. If this path is invalid it may also be the cause of auto-save not working.


I see; by default it was pointing to a non-existing folder. Great stuff… Like the installer couldn’t have put a /tmp folder under the install path…
In any case, auto-save or not, I insist: NOTHING justifies the application closing without a question just from an accidental click.

We agree to disagree :smiley:


No, we don’t. Sorry. I don’t think this is a matter of personal taste. And if it was, a way to turn off the popup should please the likes of you.

A tool used for content creation MUST take every precaution to prevent accidental loss of work.

There is no data more precious, in all of computer science, than data you yourself create. It cannot be “searched for again” or “downloaded again” or “re-installed”. And look: Even Mozilla doesn’t close a multi-tabbed window without asking if you’re sure you want to close all the tabs; and that wouldn’t be a fraction as critical as losing your hard work.

Blender seems to go the exact opposite way: Make it as easy as possible to lose your hard work. This is WRONG; --in an absolute sense; not even a matter of opinion or taste.

chuck_starchaser, I understand your grief, but you’re being belligerent. I personally hate being annoyed by popups asking me if I really meant to do what I just said to do. This topic has come up before and there are many who agree with GreyBeard and myself.

That said, I agree that there should be a configurable option to get [rid of] that popup if you [don’t] want it.

Blender requires a temporary file to operate. When you exit, this file is renamed to ‘quit.blend’. If you don’t have a C: mp folder, check under C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender for either ‘quit.blend’ or something like ‘4593.blend’. (I presume you are using Windows. Unix systems usually have both /tmp and /temp directories, and you referred to it as a ‘folder’.)

If you still can’t find it, click Start --> Run …, type cmd, and press OK. Enter cd </b> then enter dir /s *.blend.
This will tell you where all your blend files are on the C drive. I’d be surprised if it’s really gone. (BTW, if you’ve used Blender since, you may have overwritten it!)

  1. You are using a 2.40 release which means it is an alpha or beta. There are still things wrong with it or it would be called stable.
  2. You use this for what was obviously an important project to you.
  3. You manage to use a alpha/beta version of the software which probably has bugs for 7 or 8 hours without crashing/saving.
  4. AutoSave gave you an error but you don’t investigate to fix it.

This is an accident just waiting to happen. This has been discussed at length on the developer forum. The compromise that was reached is the file->recover last drawing menu entry.



That last bit is key; and in fact that’s why I said the presence of an auto-save doesn’t justify the lack of a popup. Precisely because a few times over the years it has happened to me, with apps that have auto-save, that the important save was over-written.

I’ve already searched all my drives and partitions for a .blend file, and no luck. I installed Blender, like most of my other apps, to the E: partition, where there was not /tmp folder (now there is, of course; bit too late).

I’m glad you agree a configurable popup would please us both.

Sorry if I sound belligerant. What I was working on for the past 8 hours was a cable running along the frame of the cockpit of my HellcatV spaceship. To satisfy canon expectations with the original Wing Commander series, every bit of this cable matched the 2D image of the original game, the way it curved and bent. I made sure of that by alpha blending my renderings with the original screen. It was a massive amount of work. All lost…


Points well taken. I know I’m a lot to blame for my misfortune. I said so. On my defense I can say; I didn’t investigate the problem, simply because the error message was cryptic; had no idea it needed a /tmp folder to exist on the same partition it is installed. But even if I am 90% to blame, I don’t think there needs to be such harsh punishment for one’s mistakes; and a little pop up window --configurable-- would have prevented this loss, and would spare a lot of newbies and even Blender veterans, I’m sure, a lot of hardship.

@Both: I’m a popup hater as much as the next guy, allright. That’s why I use Mozilla, for example. But there’s a difference between having a popup for trivial reasons, or worse, to push advertising down your throat, and a popup that could save you from accidental loss of work. Furthermore, there’s the frequency of any given popup, to consider: How often do you close Blender? Every 10 minutes? I don’t think so…

I don’t know how soon it will change. The presence/absence of any ‘Save First?’ popup is a holy item among Blender developers.

As someone who knows something about UI design, I agree with you. There should be a popup, and it should be on by default. I’m of the type that hates it personally, so I always design my interfaces with the option to turn that popup off. It’d be trivial to fix Blender to work that way…

But, since it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, remember the File --> Recover Last menu item. If you quit blender by accident, just start it back up and you can recover and save.

Sorry you lost all that data. I know how frustrating that can be (with the kind of programming I do, I tend to crash the OS often). I’ve learned to save almost constantly.

Better luck in the future!

Thanks, Duoas; the auto-save now works, after creating that /tmp folder under E:. Wish I’d posted here before about this problem; I’ve lost work many times in the two months I’ve been using Blender; today’s loss was the worst, but not the only one. Thanks again, your kind words do make a difference. I’ll get back to work…

You should NEVER work as long as you did without saving

A long time ago, when I had computer lessons in school, we learned saving our work the hard way. In the computer room there also was a big red button to shut of electricity in case of an accident. Our teacher had the habit of pushing this red button once in a while to learn us to save our work at least every 15 minutes or so, and to make us realize that computers can crash without asking “Do you want to save?”

Well, this is a topic worthy of a philosophical dissertation.

I know many people that seem naturally gifted for multitasking. Just as I know people that notice details, like someone buys new shoes, and someone else immediately says “Nice shoes!”, and I’m left wondering how the hell do they do it? Do they look at other people’s shoes every day, and keep a mental database of every pair of shoes every coworker owns, just for the sake of the one day they come in with a new pair on? It is utterly incomprehensible to me. But then again, I know a lot of people like myself, too, who can only think of, or pay attention to, one thing at a time.

I walk into a room with a plan in my mind, and if there was an 8-foot monster in the middle of that room, it would probably still take me several seconds to stop the thought of what I was there to do, and run.

Losing work because of forgetting to save is not new to me. I try, or at least I tell myself I must remember to save, but it doesn’t help: Once I get absorbed in the task of building my 3D structures, my mind only thinks of that and nothing more. In fact, I hardly make it to the washroom by the time I pay attention to the urgent alarm signals… :slight_smile: No joking.

I’m almost 50 now, and getting even worse in my golden years. Does it help to say “I’m to blame; I should have saved”? No, it doesn’t; as it will not help change anything. It’s an empty and useless “should”. It’s not gonna happen. Well, sometimes I do remember to save; but the crux of the matter is that I cannot rely on remembering.

Now, let us consider the role of computers, and machines, in general, in human life. Their purpose is to serve us, and supplement us. We have power tools to supplement our strenth, fast motorbikes to supplement our speed… What are computers and computer programs inherently better than us, and therefore there to supplement us with? Well, a lot of things, like arithmetic, large data manipulations… and, I submit; amongst them, prominenetly, reminding us…

To even consider the thought that humans should train themselves to remind computers… sounds like screeching brake-pads in my ears… Not that an extra skill is a bad thing to acquire, for the sake of the sport; but where a lot of work and time investment are at stake, that’s not the place to play games with one’s head… “Let’s see if I can remember to save…”. I want my work safe, much more so than I care to develop the skill of periodically remembering to save; and if I were to somehow develop such a skill, --which I’m telling you is a hopless hope–, I’d still want a save dialog on close, for added assurance.

And to those who would argue for the opposite, please: As long as you have the option of turning it off in the settings, you’d be okay, right? Then please don’t argue for that the feature not be there. If the feature isn’t there, I do not have the option of turning it on in the settings. Get it? So for both camps to be happy, the feature has to BE there. Otherwise, it’s like you are arguing that because you don’t like it, I should not be able to have it. That’s a VERY hostile position to take.

First let me add my support for a “SaveFirst” feature. I also, for a long time and sometimes still, would choose save from the menu but then not click the small text pop-up that asked if I wanted to overwrite - because this is so unusual when doing a straight “save” rather than a “save as”. Clicking elsewhere (not paying attention) meant that in my mind I’d saved but in reality, I’d dismissed the save.

However, all that said and this doesn’t change the situation at all but, there is a note on the Blender download page stating that 2.4 is a test release and should not be used for critical work. Therefore, using it for that length of time and never saving was just inviting Murphy in to cause havoc. Sorry for your loss though.

Edit: spelling

The fact is, though, I’d have the exact same problem if I were using 2.37. I downloaded 2.40 for some specific reason I can no longer remember. I used 2.37 for about a week before that. And knowing I’m using 2.40 alpha does not magically give me the skill to remember things… It’s not a question of whether I “should” save more often. Sometimes I save every 10 minutes. I do. But when I get really absorbed, the ability to remember simply goes away.

And yes, that Save As problem you mention caused me to lose work 2 or 3 times already. Almost feels as if this software were designed deliberatelly to cause people to lose their work… but done through clever traps, such that it can always be argued it was their own fault…


You’ve learnt a lesson that everyone using a personal computer learns to their cost and I’m suprised being a windows user it ain’t happened to you yet. (cheap jibe) Are you so totally new to computers you haven’t learnt the lesson?

The only person to blame is yourself. However agreived you are, it isn’t the application that’s at fault and argueing as to whether you have a pop up or not is pointless.

What are you going to do when an application bombs out on you, are you going to expect a pop up ‘sh-t I’m gonna crash do you want to save your work’

Read the installation instructions, ensure you’ve set the application up correctly, setup the autosave and then start work. Save your work regularly.

Although Blender is considered stable your PC may not be and I’ve crashed Blender many times just selecting an edge of a mesh and my PC’s are rock solid stable.

Sounds a bit harsh, i don’t mean it to be. Good luck with Blender.