How do I get auto saves version saves / recovery to work?

Blender 2.71 just lost 15-40 minutes of work when the whole PC crashed. I have auto save set to 1-2min.

I check the 2 other versions saved and they're both from the 25th.... I was working on the file for 40min to an hour not steady today 27th I try to recover but there's no auto saves for that whole hour?

All 3 versions of the file I had (Recover auto save and blend1 blend2) were from 2 days ago not when I was working on it today.

Here's a screenshot of settings mostly default:

  • $\begingroup$ Did you do an initial save to .blend, or was it an untitled document? $\endgroup$
    – CodeManX
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ Level 3.blend Level 3.blend1 Level 3.blend2 It looks like it's updating now but I've had this happen before where I crash and the files are hours to days old... Don't think it's hard drive either because I'm running other stuff during this time. Also under Recover Auto Save 5060.blend it looks like there's more files in there as well since I changed it to 1min. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Related: blender.stackexchange.com/q/3026/599 $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ As you posted here the image directly from Imgur and deleted it from Imgur now it's not available here for any future visitors. It would be great to see it reuploaded $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


The are three distinct backup systems. The autosave timer and the .blend1, .blend2 files are part of separate systems.

From my answer here:

There are several backup systems in Blender:

Temporary files (saved every 2 minutes by default)

These will be saved in your temporary directory (specified in User preferences > File) with a random number as the name.

You can quickly open an auto saved file by pressing File > Recover auto save, then selecting the auto saved file (the modification times can be very useful for determining which file to pick):

enter image description here

You can adjust the interval at which these are saved in CtrlAltU User preferences > File > Auto save > Timer:

enter image description here

Temporary quit files (saved on quit)

These are also saved in your temporary directory, with the name quit.blend. You can quickly open it by pressing File > Recover last session:

enter image description here

Persistent save files for reverting accidental/unwanted saves (saved when saving)

These are saved as .blend1, .blend2, etc. files in the same directory as the current .blend. .blend1 will be the file as it was the save before your last save, .blend2 will be the save before the save before your last save, etc.

To open these files, navigate to the directory where your file was saved and enable backup files in the display filter:

enter image description here

You can configure the number of these to save in User preferences > File:

enter image description here

Without knowing more about your particular situation (how long it's been, has tmp been cleared, how often did you save, etc.), it's hard to say which will work best. There's no risk to trying them all, beware that /tmp or \Temp is normally cleared out at some point, so get any useful backups out while you can.

On most Linux systems, /tmp is either stored in RAM or cleared on startup, so files will not survive a crash/reboot.
To avoid this, you can set your autosave directory to someplace besides /tmp. See this question for details.

On Windows Temp files are not deleted by default, so your backups should be floating around in there somewhere.

  • $\begingroup$ Why on UNIX systems the default behaviour is to save all backups in a folder that gets emptied at every reboot/crash? $\endgroup$
    – Edoardoo
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 12:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Edoardoo I think the issue is more that storing backups in a tmp/temp folder is not such a good idea. $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2019 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ When I hover "Auto Save Temporary Files" in Blender 2.8 it gives me the warning that "sculpt or edit mode data won't be saved". This baffles me, edit mode and sculpting are long and complex processes of which you don't want to lose any progress. $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2019 at 5:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PieterDeBie my thinking was that they're very long processes, potentially also complex ones where it might be very hazardous to end up in a half baked state with no undo history... Although if you've got granular enough auto saves that won't matter as much. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 16:15

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