Flipping out about Autosave - again!

I’m in a panic.
I’ve been working all day on a project, I’ve manually saved at least 5 times. Rhino crashed. Now there’s nothing in AutoSave but there’s an rhl file in my files.

The relevant file is called Cartier Brass Case. As you can see, it doesn’t even exist in the AutoSave file. In my files it shows up as a normal file but with the most recent time of 10:55 this morning. Underneath that is an rhl file showing 3:54 this afternoon - the time that Rhino crashed.

This is happening almost every time Rhino crashes and it’s flipping me out.

Main question right now - is there any way to open the rhl file?

Unfortunately, the .rhl file doesn’t contain anything except the info that the file is open - it’s the “file locking utility” that is supposed to prevent you or someone else from overwriting a file you already have open. It doesn’t contain any model information, the .rhl’s just get stuck when Rhino crashes and can’t delete them in the process of a normal file closing.

You should have the last saved file somewhere, it doesn’t get deleted when Rhino crashes… Looks like the 10:55 file is the last time you saved.


Rhino crashed after I saved. I clicked Save, Rhino reported that the file had been successfully saved, then it crashed. The rhl file indicates when Rhino crashed. I haven’t opened the version of the file with th 10:55 time so why wouldn’t there be a more recent version in AutoSave? I have Rhino set to AutoSave every 20 minutes.

Why is this so screwy? It simply doesn’t work. Is there any way to tell AutoSave to not delete files?

Hi Alex - are the 3dmbak files in the original folder?


Might not matter. The client works in AutoCAD. If I have to tell them that Rhino wiped out their files again (2nd time in as many weeks) they’re going to insist I work in AutoCAD.

Hi Alex,

Looking at the image you posted, seems like you’re using Dropbox for your files. Maybe you can check if you can recover one previous saved file from Dropbox. Just right click the file and select version history. If there wouldn’t be anything there, that would mean that you didn’t save since 10.55…
Hope you can recover your work.

Hi Alex- it’s just that, if you saved 5 times, the 3dmbak file should have something pretty recent.


Jose - I owe you a cigar, a beer, a sportscar - just tell me where to send it.

Okay, now why is it that Dropbox knows I last Saved my file at 3:54 but Rhino doesn’t. And Dropbox knows that I saved the file 6 times today - but Rhino doesn’t. What is going on here? The last time this happened I thought it might have been that I tried to open the crashed file and that would have deleted the AutoSaves but this time I didn’t try to open it. So there should be AutoSave files but there isn’t.

Now that my heart rate is descending back to normal range (thanks to Jose) it really is confusing me and pretty much freaking me out. The 3:54 file is in Dropbox and now opened on my computer. And I have Saved it. But look at the screenshot. It still says 10:55. Is the Save function malfunctioning in Rhino? So how do I Save a file now? I just went back to Dropbox and it shows that I Saved the file 6 minutes ago. But that isn’t being shown on my computer. Is it a Windows issue?

Sorry I’m rattling on but I’m confused, bewildered.

I’m so glad that this worked for you!!
Please give me a favor, from now on, instead of saving use save as and add a number to the file, something like file_001, file_002,… By doing that, you will be saved in case your file is corrupted. And keep using Dropbox ; )

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Yes, I’m thinking of how to set up an Incremental Save system to avoid this issue - whatever the issue might be.

Rhino has an incremental save command that automatically makes a new enumerated file but leaves you in the current file.
Did you try opening the 3dmbak file as Pascal recommended?

Hi @arail

Actually I think that this is not Rhino’s fault, but rather a Windows/Dropbox oddity. The “Date” field that you have showing does NOT show when the file was canged, but when it was copied to Dropbox (or when it was created… I’m not sure). If you right click in the column area (where it says “Name”, “Date”, “Size” etc.) and then select “More” at the bottom of the drop down menu, you can show the “Date modified” column instead, and that will give you the time and date of when the file was last changed. The two are not always the same, and can indeed lead to some confusion on when a specific file was saved.

HTH, Jakob

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You say that Rhino crashed right after a successful save. At that point, the AutoSave file is deleted and won’t appear again until the time you specified in the options has elapsed.


Put the incremental save command in the Idle Processor box. this has saved my butt more than once. You can delete the accumulated files as you need to.



Thanks all.

I finally uninstalled / re-installed. I swapped out my Save list for Date Modified as per Normand’s comments, got a lot more familiar with Dropbox history as per Jose’s suggestion and now I feel quite a bit more protected against crashes.

One final question for Dennis - I’m not familiar with the Idle Processor function. Would those files be saved to the regular AutoSave file?

Thanks again.

No. Running IncrementalSave using the Idle Processor option will make a new 3dm file in the same folder as your current 3dm file, with an incremented number on it. It has nothing to do with the Autosave (last ditch crash protection) system. It’s more like stacking up additional backup files but run on a time basis.

Yeah! What John said!

That system will work for me.