How to recover lost unsaved changes in N++ and are there any cloud backup for N++?

  • I had a couple of unsaved open text documents in Notepad++ when a dialog box appeared asking to update to the latest version. I agreed and N++ closed to update itself, after reopening it, other dialog boxes appeared saying that there are changes made by a foreign program to some of those text documents and asking if I want to keep them or not. Unfortunately, I thought for a second that N++ is right and clicked on Yes, resulting in deleting unsaved changes to the files.

    Now I have two questions; the first one: is there any way to recover those changes or file versions when I disabled file history in Windows?

    And the second is that is there something to do with N++ to backup files to the cloud for a better security in case these mistakes happen again?

  • You can look at some of the recovery hints in this FAQ Desk entry – it may point you to a helpful location.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard for any software to protect you from yourself: Notepad++ did it’s best, and asked you whether you wanted to keep the version that it knew about, or the version from the official save location, which it warned you was different from what it knew about. When you answer that question, Notepad++ has to take you at face value.

    The Settings > Preferences > Cloud > ⦿Set your cloud location here: _____ puts your settings/preferences into a specific (presumably clouded) directory. I’ve never used that feature, but since normally, the “unsaved”-file temporary location is often in %AppData%\Notepad++\Backup, maybe it would redirect those to the same cloud hierarchy (someone who uses that feature could probably chime in).

    There’s also Settings > Preferences > Backup > Backup on save, where you could set its backup directory to your cloud directory.

    NPP could do any manner of things, if it were programmed to (directly or through a plugin). But none of those would be as good as taking a proactive role in your own data safety: save often, backup, use version control. Even if you were editing the file in your cloud directory, then it would at least have as far back as your last save in the cloud.

    Personally, I never trust software with my in-progress data: if it wants to restart, I tell it no, and then manually save, and at a convenient time time of my choosing, I manually do the update/upgrade/restart/reboot that it wants me to do.

    Sorry about your loss of data; hope some of this is helpful in the future.

  • Just a personal note here. I have been using personal computers for 30+ years and I would never ever say YES immediately to an update notification to a program that happened to pop up. In my vast experience, this often leads to “stuff not working right anymore” and a lengthy, time-wasting process to track down exactly what happened…while I was in the middle of doing something important (to me)… I call this “Tech Trash Time”–time spent fixing something that should have never happened, and something totally tangential to what I was actively working on.

    I work as a validation engineer and in my work we deal in the concept of “control”: Control over our test environments and knowing what is running when, and that it working properly. If I just said “yes” to an arbitrary update notification, this notion of knowing what is going would be blown away.

    So while the “smartphone” generation just happily clicks YES to any and all update notifications, I’ll just continue to live in my sheltered world…at least until I am done with my important tasks and have some downtime to update and test new software to make sure it is going to work as expected.

  • @Scott-Sumner Thank you for your reply. Hopefully, the data I lost wasn’t that important, so I think of this as a lesson that I learned the hard way.

    Well, then you are definitely an expert in this field. While I’m not from the smartphone generation, unfortunately, I have made some other mistakes in the past too, like data loss while cutting and pasting files from a smartphone to a PC. This time, It made me seriously think of getting educated in this topic to prevent other common mistakes which lead to data losses.

    How can one learn to prevent these mistakes without having to experience them personally? I think the only thing that I’ve seen emphasized many times is using the Windows “Safely remove this device” feature for removable disk drives.

  • I just added issue#4729 to ask for something that will improve the auto-save during auto-update: whether it be immediately triggering the periodic backup, and/or updating the dialog message after an auto-update, and/or asking for explicit save before starting the auto-update. I don’t know if it will happen, but it’s at least requested

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