FL Studio crashed after it stopped responding, and that’s how all recent project changes were lost… This is a common excuse from producers who suffer unexpected loss of data when using the DAW.
What many don’t know, however, is that there is a genuine way to recover FL projects and retain changes made minutes before the crash. This is by using FL Studio’s Autosave feature.
It is essential to note that the steps listed below to recover your project can be applied in the case where you mistakenly closed your own project without accepting to save your recent changes, or when your computer restarts without your consent. It really doesn’t matter how you lost your changes; what this article is all about is project recovery and if you are reading this, I’m assuming that’s what you are after as well.
Note: This article assumes that you have a licensed FL Studio product, and not a hacked version, or one that you did not obtain legally (via illegal torrents, cracked, etc.).
Whenever you lose project changes, head over to FL’s browser/plugin picker and find the Backup section. Check the screenshot below if you are struggling to locate it.
Once the option is dropped down, you will see your 20 latest backed up versions of the project(s) you recently opened and/or worked on. You will notice that each auto-saved project version has a written time in its filename to clearly indicate the moment when the project was overwritten by that version’s specific set of changes.
Simply right-click on the backup file you want and select Open to verify it and continue working on it. Once you find a version you are pleased with, it is recommended to save it using FL Studio’s Save As option. You will notice that when you try doing this, the Save As window will have the version’s name as ‘untitled’.
This is because different auto-saved versions are not files that remain saved in FL’s Backup folder. Yes, they are created automatically and available when you need them; but they are also auto-deleted to regularly make way for new backups, hence the limited number of versions available.
How often backups are created by the program depends on your configurations. To determine the interval between the creation of new backup files in the background while you are advancing in your projects, go to File Settings. In the Autosave field, the following options are available.
Never (just remind every 10min): Selecting this will make you fully responsible for your projects’ fate, as the program will never – yes, never, not even once – save your file automatically, no matter what happens. It will only remind you via a brief message under the menu, but the message is hardly noticeable if your attention is fully on your patterns and plugins (if you catch my drift).
This option is obviously not recommended, as it means you will need to hit CTRL + S regularly in order to overwrite your project with your new changes. While frequently saving manually is a good practice to avoid loss of work, the downside here is that in case FL Studio crashes, stops responding or closes unexpectedly, none of your unsaved changes will be automatically saved, and your Backup folder will always be empty.
Rarely (every 15min): This option will only create backups of your project every 15 minutes. Although this is better than nothing, the auto-saving intervals are arguably way too extended. A lot of changes can be made in that time; losing 10 minutes of changes can already be a nightmare so imagine what 14min of lost work can do to you!
Occasionally (every 10min): Selecting this will save versions of your project every 10 minutes, which you’ll be able to access later on. It’s not bad, but not the best option you have.
Regularly (every 5min): That’s more like it. Even if FL Studio crashes, you know you only lost some 4-5 minutes of work, which is easier to recover.
Frequently (every 5min & before risky operations): That’s the best option you can go for. Not only will you be secured with frequent backups, but FL Studio will also auto-save your project before operations that put a lot of pressure on the program.
Finally, if the steps above to retrieve your backups did not work and you are a Windows PC user, go through the video below, which I made in 2014 on an old Windows 7 PC – don’t worry, the video’s content is still valid – and follow the instructions.
Drop whatever questions or message you have on my YouTube video and leave your comments below.