The Most Important Things You Didn't Know About AutoSave in Premiere Pro

autosave premiere pro
Make your editing project files safe with autosave features in Premiere Pro.

We've already coved 14 new features for video editors in Premiere Pro 2019, and yet there's one update to the AutoSave feature that I hadn't mentioned in the previous article.

I figured this is a great opportunity to learn everything there is to learn about autosaving in Premiere Pro.

Most people know that you can set Premiere Pro to save your project automatically with a given interval (for example, 10 minutes). You just go to Edit - Preferences - Auto Save and set the value in minutes. Also, you can set a maximum number of project versions that Premiere Pro can create. Let's say we set the maximum number to 10. The moment Premiere Pro creates the 11th autosave, it will delete the first one (and so on).

autosave feature in premiere

But what if the disc you’re working on fails? A very useful feature is saving the backup project to your Creative Cloud account. It will always upload the most recent version of the project file to a folder in the Cloud.

The new improvement for the 2019 release is a checkbox called "Auto Save also saves the current project" (or "projects" if we already have a few open at the same time).

autosave update in premiere 2019

What does it mean? Let’s say that the last time you manually saved the project was 15 minutes ago and you have it to set to a 10 minute Auto Save interval. If your computer crashes, you need to go to the AutoSave folder and restore the most recent version to your project location. With the checkbox active, Premiere Pro will save the main project file during autosave. For backup, it will also save a copy of that project with its exact name in the AutoSave folder. This is especially useful when you want your autosaves to be created on an external hard drive.

We can control a location for autosaves. This is one of the settings of the project and to change it, you just go to File - Project Settings - Scratch discs. Alternatively, you can define it while creating a project. By default, it will create the AutoSave folder in the same location as a project.

premiere pro general settings autosave location

Having said all of this, it would be best if we’d never need to use autosaved files. After all, it should just be for emergencies and not for going back in the process.

For this purpose, duplicating sequences works pretty well. Each time you make a shift (a decision that changes or opens a new stage for the story you are editing), you should duplicate a sequence. This way, you can always open one of the previous sequences and go back in the process within one file. Having a good project organization, it should be easy to navigate between sequences if needed. 

But what if you don't want to rely on autosave and you still want to be able to restore previous versions you've saved using Ctrl + S (Command + S)? You can use Dropbox for that. It allows you to restore any version of the file that has been saved previously. Obviously, there must be other alternatives out there, but Dropbox is just what I used.

Last but not least, there is the versioning for team projects feature. For team projects, there’s no local project file. Everything, including autosaves, is saved in the Cloud. You don’t even need to save a project because after you make any change, it synchronizes automatically in the background (indicated by the green check icon on the picture that follows). 

project sync for team projects in premiere pro
Also, each time you share changes with the team, there’s a version of the project saved in the Cloud. Later on, if you need to check previous versions, you just go to Media Browser and circle between different versions.

Do you use autosaving for your projects? Will you use the next checkbox in AutoSave preferences? Let us know down below in the comments.     

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1 Comment

It would be better if Adobe used a script based project format like Nuke. Every time you make a change, it automatically gets saved. I've never lost work on the rare event that Nuke crashes. The coolest part is that the script is human readable, so you can literally open your project in a text document and copy and paste into an email or the like to share the project with others. Avid (my editor of choice) also has something similar with the Avid Attic. In the five years I've been on Avid, I've had exactly one crash - which I was able to recover from the attic.
With both of these programs, everything is happening behind the scenes. I don't get interrupted by an Autosave box that prevents me from working until it's done (very annoying, especially on a feature where the autosave can take up to a minute).
Truth is, Premiere CS6 was the last great version of Premiere. They had completely re-written the software from scratch, so it was clean and stable. Unfortunately it took just two or three years to get bloated and crash prone again. In this business, stability is king.

November 12, 2019 at 7:12AM

Chris Tempel