[Option to disable Autosave IMPLEMENTED] New Feature: everything is always Auto-Saved


Balsamiq Edit: Option to disable Autosave has been implemented in version 3.4.1

We now save every change you make, as you make it.

Even if you have never saved a project, we actually save it in a semi-hidden folder on your hard drive so that you’ll find it when you restart the app.

It seems like a little thing, but it’s a real peace of mind once you get used to it.

The only drawback at the moment is that there’s no “revert to a previous version” functionality within the app…stay tuned, we are working on bringing the same powerful “project history” features of myBalsamiq to the Desktop as well.

What do you think of this change?


I like this feature!

However, why is “Save” even still in the menu? Since all it does is cause a little pop up that says “everything is auto saved you don’t have to manually save!” it’s really not of any use at all.


Hi Jenni! The Save menu is there for when you need to save the project to a location of your choosing (in other words, give it a path and file name). Until then, we save the bmpr to a “hidden” folder on your hard drive.

I suppose we could disable the menu item after you’ve saved the BMPR once, but I think people still do like to hit CTRL+S, it’s automatic. Apple software that has autosave like ours doesn’t do anything, it just ignores the command. We chose to show a little notificaiton, just for comfort. :smile:


You could just use “Save As” for “First Time You’re Saving” in addition to “Save a Copy of This Project Somewhere”. Then you wouldn’t even need that “save” menu item at all.

I’d also argue that simply ignoring a CTRL+S would be a better option - it’s really no different than ignoring any other keyboard combination that has no assigned function in the application.

(Personally, I find the notification annoying rather than comforting, and I’m highly unlikely to stop hitting CTRL+S because it’s such a deeply entrenched “automatic” computer which is necessary in the majority of other applications.)


Good proposal, please replace “Save” by “Save as…”


Hi Peldi,

I am still not decided if I like it or not. Here is the problematic scenario:

I work with google drive (our company runs on google apps), I got my files autosynced to google drive when they changed. Google drive has no “history” or rollback, so right know when I open my local file and screwed it up, it will get automatically synced to cloud. With manual save I was in control in which state I will sync it to cloud, I am missing this option.
Did you think about option to allow pause/disable autosave?
There is of course solution right now to copy the file out of google drive folder and than upload it when I am done.

Thanks. Jan


Wait, I thought it did! If you right-click on a file in the Google Drive web ui, there should be a “Manage Revisions” menu item.

We are also planning on bringing the concept of project history and rollbacks to BMPR itself, so you’ll be able to do that from within the app.


I have the following problems with the auto-save… I usually make incremental ‘save-as’ versions as I work. I don’t trust auto-save features, and I like to be in control of my versions. I recently went to group a number of controls, and instead of grouping them, the application deleted them. CMD-Z didn’t bring them back. No problem I thought, just close the mock-up (without saving) and go back to my latest version. WRONG. The auto-save wrote over my latest version.

Please… allow us to turn off auto-save. I want to make saves when I need them, and don’t want things taking control of my work. That’s the way MS does things.

Thanks for listening.


Hi Joel, I’m so sorry for the trouble! That’s really frustrating. There are two things here. One is the problem with grouping actually deleting. If you’re able to reproduce that at all, I would love if you could start a new thread about that. We’d love to get it fixed.

As for having control over your versions, we have some features coming soon that I think will help a lot. We’re ironing out the details, but I think you’ll be really happy. Stay tuned!


I second Joel’s reservation regarding this new feature. I don’t like it. I routinely go into ‘production’ mockups to fiddle around, work up a quick alternate scenario, paste it into an e-mail and then I want to exit without saving. But - surprise - it’s silently saved and the next time I bring up the project everything is messed up.

I’m a big fan of auto-saves but only as interim saves in case the program or OS crashes for some reason. Otherwise, the application should present the standard prompt upon exit if any ‘dirty’ state exists. If the user elects to exit without saving why are you, as application developers, presuming to know better and taking it into your hands to unilaterally save changes?

Don’t get me wrong - I’m a fan of your product. But you got this feature wrong.

Thanks for considering this feedback!


This is great feedback. In many ways, it confirms the adage that you will never please everyone. Autosave has been a huge request for us over the years, and a significant driver of support. This is the way that most modern tools are moving.

That being said, I often find myself in the same situation that you do. We continue to discuss this on our team and to look for the best way to handle things. We are currently working on a feature to make it simple to create alternate versions of a mockup for exactly those scenarios that you mentioned. No ETA yet, but this one is coming soon! Hopefully it will help a lot with this pain. Thanks again for sharing! (We really do listen, even if we decide something that doesn’t match your feedback…)


One more addition here. :slight_smile: We have another feature planned for the future that will help a lot with this. No ETA on this one either, but a little farther out than the alternates feature. The feature will be a robust history/revisions feature that will allow you to easily rollback. So if you don’t want to make an alternate, and just add some changes, and then open your project and see that it has changes you don’t want, you’ll be able to revert to an earlier version easily. We look forward to getting that out for you as well. Cheers!


It is definitely difficult to find a solution that will fit all users’ needs. But the main problem for me here is that the quit/save behavior changed from version 2 to version 3 drastically without any notice. So I ran into the same problem, finding that my mockups had been saved though I never intended to keep the changes I just quickly played with. At least a message “Mockup saved” or something like that when closing the program would have made me aware of that problem earlier.
Generally, I am an advocate of autosaving, but as you correctly say, you need to have a means to go back to previous versions if you something was changed you did not want to.
A thought on the discussion of having a “Save” option in the menu or not: If it does not do anything, you should not offer it. If someone presses CTRL-S, you could show a message stating that this is not necessary anymore and maybe link to a help text explaining the concept.


I just realized, there already is a message in the lower right corner, saying “all changes autosaved” when you use CTRL-S. Maybe not completely self-explanatory, although you obviously thought about it :grinning:


This is something that we have put a lot of thought into, and are rolling out features incrementally. The “Save” option in the Project menu is crucial for the first time you need to save your project. Until then, we are still auto-saving everything, but it’s not stored in a place on your hard drive that you are choosing, and that you can access to share with others. So you need that right away.

One of the next features that we are working on will be “Snapshots” (name subject to change, of course :wink: ). The idea here will be very similar to working in Google Drive, and other similar services. As you are working, we will periodically create a snapshot of your mockup. At any time, you can also manually create a snapshot. Those snapshots will be available for you to easily restore if you want to go back to what you had before. We’re working out the details of exactly how this will work, but I just wanted to say that this is a high priority for us—because it’s a high priority for you! We’re working hard on bringing this to you soon. Thanks!


The problem we are having is that our corporate IT policy dictates that we use dropbox to save anything we will be working on long term but the autosaving means that there are constant notifications that we can’t turn off. I understand the benefits of this feature but saving every time you click on something is excessive. If you want to have that as default it’s fine but it’s highly problematic for us that we can’t even change the autosave interval to make the notifications manageable. Any idea if/when this will become an option?

At the same time, my coworker had the issue with everything saying it was autosaved but then he closed out, reopened Balsamiq and a day’s worth of work was just gone. Now I’m worried about if everything will really save when it says everything is autosaved or not.


@HeatherBauer, sorry for the hassle. We know that we have some room to grow to work well with Dropbox. It’s in our plans, but no ETA yet. If that ends up being a deal-breaker for you, that’s why we are continuing to support version 2.2 for a while: http://balsamiq.com/download/archives/?prefix=mockups-desktop/2.2.24/.

That’s really frustrating for your coworker that lost work! Sorry about that. :frowning: We heard of some bugs in the first couple builds of v3.0, but everything lately seems to have been fixed and we haven’t heard of any problems with data loss. Could you/he email us at support@balsamiq.com with more details? Also, just to be sure, check that you are updated to the latest version. We are on 3.0.8 now: http://balsamiq.com/download. I’m sure we’ll get things figured out!


Hello everyone! We spent some time working on the intermittent saving errors today. We cleaned up a bunch of code, but without being able to reproduce the issues locally, we cannot be 100% sure that we fixed all of the issues. We need your help: if you’re getting errors saving, could you please try using the pre-release version from https://balsamiq.com/download/next/ for a bit to see if it behaves better? You should use build #999.359 or above.

WARNING: this is a pre-release-quality build. Please only use it on backups of your projects, not on critical data.


I stumbled across another issue with the auto-saving. I have some symbols (e.g. title page and page header) that I want to use in every new mockup project. So I created a template that contains just these elements. Normally I would begin working and then at some time save the project under a new name. The huge problem with auto-saving is, by that time I will already have destroyed my template file without even knowing it! I tried settings the file to read-only in the Windows explorer but that seemed to cause a couple of strange side-effects.
Workaround: Copy the template file to a new file in Windows explorer and then begin working in balsamiq. Not very comfortable, though.


I am travelling a lot and since few months I started to get radically increased mobile internet bills and notifications that my 10GB monthly limit was wasted during first day. Also roaming limits while being abroad start ending before the actual use starts. Then I found out that my mockup which takes 10MB was synchronised with cloud drive over 50 times within 5 minutes! This generated over 500MB traffic!

This would never happen if you would be storing autosaved files in some temp location. Current implementation makes it nearly impossible to use cloud storage. Also for the future I would strongly recommend to evaluate the impact of such changes! At the moment I do not see any good reasons for this type of Autosave implementation and actually expect a quick fix.