AUTOSAVE is Useless

For the last 6 years i have used Rhino - if there is just one thing to correct - forget sub-d, forget integration with grasshopper, forget any complex new features you have in the pipline … it´s not important. Please just fix the autosave finally. 9/10 it doesn´t work the way it should. it´s painful. it causes so much wasted time. It makes rhino a depressing program to use. Please. I beg you. I BEG YOU.


Hello- please describe what you expect from Autosave… currently it does this:

The Autosave command saves the current file to the designated AutoSave(Number) file.

  • The automatic save mechanism periodically saves a copy of your current model.
  • This autosaved file is moved to the recycle bin every time the model is successfully saved.
  • If Rhino is not successfully closed, either because it crashed or because you turned off your computer while your file was open, the autosave file remains on your hard drive.
  • When you run Rhino and Rhino detected an autosaved file, Rhino prompts to save the recovered model.

This is the only opportunity to recover the model. If you choose not to save, the autosaved file will be moved to the recycle bin.


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Hi Im also finding it doesnt save at all / as often as expected.

I also agree this is such a long running issue that Ive just learnt to deal with it.

For example right now … Ive been working on 2 files all day. One has saved fine yet other is missing.

Hello- if you run the AutoSave command directly at the command line, do you see the autosave file appear? Note that once you close Rhino cleanly, the autosave file is removed to the recycle bin - so if the file has not been open long, or no changes have been made, you may not see an autosave, but if thwe file was previously open, and modified etc there ought to be old autosaves in the recycle bin…


Yes file appears after typing autosave

I just had a look in recycle bin, there was one in there but its from a few days ago.

also quick edit:

Speak of the devil…
Rhino has just crashed, my setting is every 20 mins, its been just over 30 mins and no new file.

  • Multiple rhino windows makes rhino autosave not work (a common workflow) - this should not be the case
  • Autosave files shouldn´t delete after rhino is closed due to inevitable human error
  • Although rhino is supposed to save every 20 mins its usually an hour or more due to unknown reasons - it should be intutitive and simple.

Please make it function more like the adobe programs (or atleast give more optionality for autosaving to the users in the options panel). Rhino autsave makes me hate this program - our office has lost days of work cumulatively to this lacking function.

@da1 - were there edits, in the meantime, to the file for which no new autosave is shown?

  • A timer is used to fire an autosave event. If no command is running, Rhino saves immediately. If a command is running, Rhino autosaves at the end of the command/script that is running.
  • Rhino starts the timer only when the document is modified.
  • Save (but not Export, nor SaveAs) resets the autosave timer.
  • Save also clears the flag indicating which is the last autosaved file because the real file is more current than the Autosave file.
  • If the active model is named, the Autosave file will be placed in the default Autosave folder and be named as:
  • If the active model is not named, autosave file is written to the default Autosave file.

Does any of that make sense with what you are seeing?


Yes, was moving parts with gumball plus the occasional undo.

To be honest I really dont see why autosave is so complicated… can it just save every 20 mins no buts?


Hello -

There should be an autosave file for each open file that has been previously saved at some point, assuming the file has been modified within the autosave period and that period has passed. Are you saying that there is no autosave under these conditions?

‘used’ Autosave files are moved to the recycle bin by default.

See above - is the file named? Has it been modified? Note Autosave will ignore the timer if the document has not been modified.

I guess I need more details to reproduce the problem.


This also leads to problems with large files. The interruption can be significant… we heard a good deal about this.
You can put Save or IncrementalSave in the idle processor -


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I think a changeable setting could be useful? Smart save vs Always save … better than no save at all.

Thanks this should be a good workaround, will give it a go!

  • yes not multiple saves for multiple files.
  • the files are named and modifed - sometimes a lot fo work is going on in pluggins like vray, enscape, grasshopper which perhaps are not counting towards the timer of usage?

Based on what you have said, autosave works with 20 mins of usage - i guess the problems often occur say if you are copying lots of different files to one main file, say for animating a scene - that would be a lot of work done, but potentially the rhino timer might not reach 20 mins quick, hence autosave files 2-3 hours old for instance ( a theory) - either way this is a daily issue - on multiple CPU builds we have in and out the office for a many years now. if you gave some user control over the issue that would be most ideal from our perspective.

Hi Geoff - can you reliably reproduce this situation? If so where are the files saved, are they local, network or a synced drive like GoogleDrive or DropBox?

Well - if you set autosaving for 20 minutes and modify the document at some point, there should be an autosave within the next 20 minutes. (Saving, regular Save, will reset the timer. )

From what I gather, this is not happening for you?


@pascal This is not happening for me - In fact, I think I’ve always had a problem where I go to grab an “autosave” file from the designated folder (like after what just happened - my Rhino 7 crashed) and there’s absolutely nothing in that folder. Have AutoSave set to 20min. Normally not a prob b/c I save all the time, but this time I didn’t and I just lost a bunch of material work I did.

What’s the deal with that “Save” in the Idle Commands?

Hello - if you type AutoSave and Enter, does a file appear in the folder you are looking in?


Yes, and oddly, it then shows me a two more backup files now (from months ago, which would be fine b/c I wasn’t using RH7 that much until last Wednesday, but I’ve been using it solid since then, so there should be a bunch of BU files in there since then. )

Autosave files are not backup files - they only exist to try to get something back in the event Rhino does not close cleanly for whatever reason. If Rhino is closed cleanly, these autosave files are moved to the trash.


Ah. Ok, I will have to research BackUp files then. Thanks