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


Thank you @Brendan for the kind words …

I too, am wondering what “period of inactivity” means when writing the temporary work space, or save space, in this case.

And, If I remember correctly, the apps with any feature(s) resistant to the “Undo” (or Ctrl-Z) action, display warning message and/or message box with an OK/Cancel, letting the “Mocker” know prior to selecting “OK” that this feature is permanent and may not be UnDone.

I also agree with @davidmbarrett79 comments regarding application consistency. This is critical, especially when there are a number of popular, well-used apps in the same market space with many shared features. This is one of the reasons when most apps are opened, there is a common, recognizable menu bar across the top:

App File Edit View

Consistency leads to recognition, which leads to ease of use. Occasionally, it is appropriate to “color outside the lines”; however, I do not believe this to be such an occasion …



Hello friends :grinning:

The changes we made in 3.2.2 (saving to a local backup file and then committing the changes to the real file later) was focused on addressing some issues we had with networked drives. We thought that it was really important to get that fix in there ASAP so that we could avoid any data corruption. That’s why we pushed it in front of Snapshots.

I’m sorry I didn’t communicate that better.

You’re absolutely right that we need to be better about consistency with other applications. We are hoping Snapshots brings us closer to that. We are still on track to ship that this fall, and I think that will ease a lot of the shared pain in this thread.

Once Snapshots ships, we will be keeping a close eye on everyone’s comments here, as well as the comments we have been getting via email. If we need to take another step, we absolutely will!

I want to continue to give my thanks to all of you for taking the time to post your thoughts here. We really, really appreciate it. Keep it coming!


I’ve just installed 3.2.3 because of this issue but it’s not making any difference. My colleagues are still complaining about Dropbox notifications every two seconds.
I wasn’t mad about the single file thing anyway because of the restrictions on collaboration but this is the killer for me. I’m going back to version 2.


I dislike auto save/auto correct/auto complete in general … I have never been a fan of software adding its own ideas into my work … I like to be in full control and do everything manually, including making the decision when to save, correct my spelling, or close an HTML element. It is great to offer to those who want it, but I am surprised a user like myself is forced to use it … :frowning:

I hope you add a way to disable auto save soon …


As two others have so eloquently stated …

“Anything you can do to bring Balsamiq’s autosave function
more in line with established conventions will get my vote.”

“I dislike auto save/auto correct/auto complete in general … I have never
been a fan of software adding its own ideas into my work … I like to be in
full control and do everything manually, including making the decision when to
save, correct my spelling, or close an HTML element. It is great to offer to
those who want it, but I am surprised a user like myself is forced to use it …
I hope you add a way to disable auto save soon …”

Back in April when I upgraded, I immediately realized this “feature” and inquired about it with similar statements to these in my email to support. The response although kind made me feel like I was the odd-man (ahem, person) out. In almost 30 years of computing I never saw this method of autosave as a popular method. The MS-Office method is the most popular I’ve seen and would welcome that. Even if revisions are implemented, I would still NOT want my live/production file changed (saved over itself) automatically - only temporary files. Like others, I often make a few changes and need to discard them. The problem with autosave is obvious (and I simply don’t see the “problem” without autosave - simply save your work at your own desired intervals - been doing it for decades like at least 1 or 2 others in the computing world :smile: ) . The problem with autosave & revisions is that in my scenario, which autosaved backup/revision (or whatever it is called) is the one I want? I have to either watch the clock constantly, or open up each file to see which revision I want to keep as my “real/production” copy. This is a hassle - pure and simple. Revisions? I make them as I need them (I’ve used the ‘save as’ feature for decades). The user should have the control - and if a software developer believes they shouldn’t that’s fine - just provide the option to turn the 'feature" off - so that it’s a win-win (the software developer has proven their point but not forced the user into a difficult/ridiculous situation). The night I installed V3 I immediately went back to 2.2.22 and haven’t tried V3 again (and will NEVER try any other version unless this autosave thing is removed or optional).

My loss since I would really like to use V3, but this is simply a deal-breaker. No one, no software, no anything should override a developer’s/designer’s control - especially in programming. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for letting me post. BTW - why does it seem that making this an option is like pulling teeth? Snapshots will be implemented and then a wait and see approach. Is it really that difficult to provide this option? All users win - they can then do whichever they prefer. I guess I’m simply too old and must “get with it” :smile:


Now I’ve finally seen the advantages of this Auto-Save feature!
Usually I really dislike it and I’ve voted for making it optional.
But right now I opened one my old file, edited it and wanted to save it as something else. And then during the saving process the software crashed. So having everything autosaved has saved one hour of my work xD maybe that’s one of the scenarios when it’s extremely helpful to have this function :slight_smile:
Otherwise, please optional!


The temporary file idea sounds great… IF the temp file is a local file. If it saves in the same directory as the mockup itself, I don’t see how that would solve the cloud related problems.

Any further ETA on this?


Hey @HeatherBauer!

The temporary backup file went live with version 3.2.4, and we do store it locally. Its stored in different locations based on your host OS.

Home/Library/Preferences/BalsamiqMockups3.EDE15CF69E11F7F7D45B5430C7D37CC6C3545E3C.1/Local Store/LocalProjects

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\BalsamiqMockups3.EDE15CF69E11F7F7D45B5430C7D37CC6C3545E3C.1\Local Store\LocalProjects

You can reach both those locations easily by opening the About window and clicking on the “Open Local Store Folder”.

As a quick update: we hope to have the snapshot feature by the end of the year. :slight_smile:

Sorry for the short update. Been a long travel day!


@davidmbarrett79: With the current version a possible workaround for the template issue is to set your template file to read-only in the Windows Explorer. You can work in the file as you normally would, but naturally you have to do a “save as” because the original file cannot be overwritten.


On a general note, please do keep the auto-save feature but make it work so even the “old” users don’t have to complain. Having had to manually save in for decades in established applications does not mean that this is the best way. I believe in an ideal world no user ever should have to think about saving something. So hats off to the balsamiq team for giving this a shot!


I think there should be an option to turn it off for these reasons.

– I like having the ability to make changes and not immediately save them.
– An asterix denoting what has been changed is great visual feedback. Relying on revisions / snapshopts for this is especially overcomplicating it.
– The issue that Dropbox is constantly syncing.


Today I discovered a downside of Auto Save. When it fails to do its job, you can get bitten…

I made a bunch of modifications to a project. About 2 hours work. Since I know about Auto Save I was happily working away without worry. Then the application suddenly stopped responding. I closed it, reopened it, and found that the Auto Save version was significantly older than the one I had been working on. There were no errors or indications that the Auto Save was not working in the couple of hours before this crash.

If I had been saving manually (as in previous versions) I would have come out a lot better. :frowning:


Hey @Chris_Gatland,

So sorry for the snag!

I assume from previous conversations we had that you are using the latest version of our tool (3.2.4), correct?

We recently added a new backup system of all projects locally to an internal folder.
You can reach this folder easily by following this path:
Balsamiq Mockups 3 (or “Help” on Windows) > About Balsamiq Mockups > Open local store folder
Clicking on that will reveal the local folder where you can check for a backup of your project in the “LocalProjects” folder.

Sorry again for the snag. Please send me an email to support@balsamiq.com if you need any further indications with this, we’ll do our best to help.


+1 to turn off auto-save
Like Joel, I prefer to inject my own save points during routine work. This is what intuitively feels right, like putting a period at the end of a sentence or brushing your teeth at the end of the day. Versioning is too much of a hassle and is a poor substitute for a routine, incremental save. Like Joel, I too rely on closing and reopening file without saving if I screw up. Auto-save makes it impossible to rescue a file in that way. Another use case, I open someone else’s file and poke around to see how things were made. Then I close the file without saving, as to not to change it. But no, it now has a new last modified date and whatever I happened to touch, is saved!

I can see how many folks would be happy to have auto-save; but please make it possible for us others to turn it off.

That said, I also save off my files to a different location now and then in case I need to revert to an earlier state of things. This is more like poor-man’s versioning, and a built-in feature would be welcome for this one.


Hey Liubi, with all respect, weren’t you supposed to save your work a little more frequently than after one hour? :slight_smile:


@rivka, sure, my work must be saved more often. Considering the autosave feature, basically every second and fully automatically :laughing:


Hi @Virgin

Actually, I was still on 3.2.3 at that point - doh! Have upgraded now so hopefully the backup folder will do its thing if I run into trouble again!


Hey @Chris_Gatland,

This was already implemented in 3.2.3 (it has been released with version 3.2.1) so it definitely worth having a look in the “LocalProjects” folder. :smile:



I am currently struggeling with the auto-save feature. Due to the fact that I am using oftentimes for my mockups old mockup-templates and start modifying them, it has happened a lot of time that I want to get back to the initial template version. As soon as I close balsamiq my changes get saved in the original document.
It is also when I start modifying a mockup and after I while I feel that the changes do not make sense. From other tools I am used that I can simply close my project without saving that I can get back to the initial version.

For me it would be more suitable if changes are stored only if I want to save them. Nevertheless an auto-save in a separate backup file would make sense for the case that the application crashes, that the efforts are not lost.

Thank you and kind regards



Personally, I’m not a fan of auto-save but it’s primarily because we use Git to save versions of our mockups and share them across our team. When I open up a mockup to reference it for something, even when I don’t change something (or accidentally change something), it saves. Then it shows up in Git as something that is different and I get confused about which were mockups I was actively working on vs. which I don’t need to commit because I just viewed it and it was auto-saved.

It’s a minor problem, but still an on-going on. And, I’m so used to losing work that I hit “Ctrl+S” all the time anyway - it’s just a reflex at this point (across all applications I use). So, I’d be happy being able to turn off auto-save as well.