Background Save and Auto Save Features in Photoshop CS6

Adobe Photoshop

You no longer have to wait for the progress bar to creep across your screen when saving large files because Photoshop CS6’s Background Save feature can save files in the background while you keep working on other projects.

Auto Save, another new feature of Photoshop Cs6,  can help recover your file if your computer crashes before you’ve had a chance to save. To select the time interval for automatically saving your files, select Preferences > File Handling and choose from every  5, 10, 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

Both of these features are on by default. To disable either of these options choose Preferences > File Handling and uncheck Save in Background and/or Automatically Save Recovery Information.

Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 04-25-2012


  • By JIm - 11:22 AM on May 17, 2012  

    Every says it does this but nobody discusses how to recover the files.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:39 AM on May 17, 2012  

      If you crash when PS is running, the next time you open the file that you were working on at the time of the rash, PS will open both the original and the most current “auto-saved” version so that you can choose to save that “more recent” version.

  • By Mark Wagner - 5:04 PM on May 21, 2012  

    I just lost 80 images I worked on in a crash of PS CS6 with auto save recover prefs switched on but when I open PS CS6 and the original files they do not have all the layers and clone work that I did.
    Am I missing something ? How do we get the work to re-appear ??

  • By Mark Wagner - 12:24 PM on May 23, 2012  

    Thanks I will try these.
    Yes, I did have all 80 open at once. I do that a lot. All 160mb 16 bit tiffs. I cannot find any info saying where the files are saved other than to a “secret” folder. All sounds a bit mysterious. Is there no official manual to explain all the details of this feature any where published by Adobe ?

  • By bb - 3:28 PM on May 23, 2012  

    I don’t see the autosave option under pref /file handling on PS CS6 12.1 on a Mac

  • By bb - 3:30 PM on May 23, 2012  

    oops never mind hadCS5 open

  • By Joel - 6:34 PM on June 25, 2012  

    I was using a completed file as a template to create another – CS6 autosaved over my original! How can I recover it?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 1:46 PM on June 26, 2012  

      I am not sure that I understand. If you had opened and made changes to a template file, and then closed it without saving changes, then even if Photoshop had been saving “incremental saves” incase of a crash, your closing the file without saving would have set the unsaved version as the final state of the image. If I’m not understanding, please post your issue to one of these two locations to see if other customers are having the same problem.

    • By Mia - 2:09 AM on June 27, 2012  

      I recently bought PS CS6. I’m having a bit of an issue as the 64bit version does crash now and again ; typical dialog box in Windows 7 : PS stopped working, then you get a choice to terminate or to look for a solution online. Terminating will apparently not save anything. Most of the time this seems to happen when the pc has to come out of stand-by.

      I had two files open : a NEF which I finished working on and which had been saved once already.

      The other a design, lucky for me not far in yet, and not saved yet at all by myself.

      Restarting PS didn’t bring either of the files back. I’d understand if it would bring only the already saved NEF back and not the other unsaved project.

      I like the autosave idea but it might be a lot easier to know the location where PS saves them so when the system fails to return the retrieve option, one can retrieve it manually.

  • By Tyler Owens - 10:25 AM on July 26, 2012  

    just WOW, Wow its took adobe this long to get auto save

  • By Jonathan Kemp - 7:46 AM on July 27, 2012  

    For those looking for the location of the “auto-saved” file… I just stumbled upon mine on the scratch disk… under a folder named “PSAutoRecover”.


  • By Tamas Balog - 2:17 PM on November 14, 2012  

    I’ve just downloaded trial version of PS CS6 to see, what I want to purchase… Unfortunately it was freezing whilst I played with a design of mine… very improving, but OK, accidents are happening… I reopened the program and the file, what I was working with… It opened a single file (the old save done by me) but not the recovery… I checked the settings, which were on default (save every 10 minutes). So…very disappointed I tried to find some secret folder of PS, tried also above mentioned “PSAutoRecover”…but gone… My question is: this auto-save option is not valid for trial version, or I’ve done something wrong?

    • By Pete Green - 7:13 PM on November 16, 2012  

      Are you on Mac or Win? How did Photoshop close? If Photoshop crashed while you were working on an image it will re open with the autorecovered PSD. If it froze and you force-quit it, it wouldn’t have made the auto-recover.
      The trial has this functionality, I’m guessing you didn’t crash.

      Is it still freezing? Have you made sure your video card drivers are most up to date?

      • By Tamas Balog - 1:56 PM on May 28, 2013  

        Hello again! I am on Win, and I am a happy owner of PS CS6 Extended. Now the autosave function works well, but sometimes (rarely) it is frozen. My hardware is not bad at all. If it does, when I reopen PS, it opens the last file I used, but just one, which is on the right on side. If there were opened 3-4 windows, or files, PS just saves the first. I lost by this way many hours of work. Please allow me to recommend to improve the upgrade or the next version of PS by upgrading autosave. It would be nice, if it could make backups for more windows/files.
        Tamas Balog

  • By Strob - 12:26 PM on January 19, 2013  

    Where are the autosaved files if I want to manually revert to a lost file without crash???

    • By Julieanne Kost - 7:31 AM on January 20, 2013  

      Open the file that was open when you crashed. Photoshop will open the “last saved” as well.

  • By Josh Bobb - 6:57 PM on February 17, 2013  

    I just had a photoshop crash and when I re-opened it, it showed the file that I was working on. I accidentally closed it, not realizing it was the proper file… Is this “recovered” file stored anywhere on the hard drive or is it gone forever? I’m using OSX.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 12:31 PM on February 20, 2013  

      If you closed the auto saved version with out saving, I believe that it’s gone, permanently.

      • By funshark - 10:46 AM on February 21, 2013  

        ahah!! OK, so we do need a real autosave feature for real this time….

  • By Dani - 6:31 PM on March 6, 2013  

    I got a message that said Adobe Illustrator CS6 has stopped working – I reopened Illustrator and seems I have lost hours of work… any way to recover the file?? Help!

  • By Liuba - 6:10 AM on April 24, 2013  

    Hi! I didn’t save a file at all and closed it accidentally :(((((( Is there any chance that that file is somewhere on my Mac? :((( I didn’t close PS itself yet, so…maybe…..?

  • By Liuba - 6:22 AM on April 24, 2013  

    No, wait… Actually, I was editing a file that was saved at the beginning. I was drawing an hour for sure! Auto-save works every 10 mins, but there is no changes in the file after reopening it 🙁 I can’t understand… I can’t believe I didn’t save it ’cause it is a many-years-habit to DO that……

    • By Julieanne Kost - 9:51 AM on April 24, 2013  

      The way that the Auto-save feature works is that if the computer or Photoshop crashes with a file open, then the next time you open that file in Photoshop, both the saved version on disk (your original) and the one that was auto saved (as a temporary file) will open in their respective windows. If you simply close the file without saving changes, then Photoshop assume that you didn’t want to save the changes and deletes the temporary file.

  • By Nicole - 11:02 PM on May 26, 2013  

    I have a file that was auto saved during a crash that opens every time I open photoshop,
    but I can not find it to delete it? I have tried a save as but the file trial to where it says it is saved is, does not exist? I really want to get rid of the file.

  • By Macek - 11:38 AM on June 2, 2013  

    Is there a method of stopping Background Save operation?
    I am working on a really big panorama file. Up till now – for several days – everything worked fin. But about an hour ago after making numerous corrections in the picture I used Save As command. I still see Saving 0% message and I can not save my file until Background Save operation is finished. So I am afraid to do any new modifications – If the background Save operation does not proceed, I will not be able to save the file. Forcing Background Save to stop now would be the solution… Any ideas???

  • By Malcolm - 6:05 AM on August 17, 2013  


    I have had this happen quite a lot in CS6, where the background save just hangs and does not complete however long you leave it (hours at least!) which disallows you to “save as” as well. The workaround is to duplicate the file (Image->Duplicate), and save that one instead. Then you have to force quit Photoshop and open the copy file and delete the original. Then you are back to where you were.

    Hope this makes sense and helps… 🙂