Notepad++ Backup Folder Empty?

  • Hello, recently I ran into a problem. I was editing a file and accidentally closed its tab without saving. Being computer literate, I started trying to recover the backup. To my surprise, however, when I found the backup folder, it turned out to be completely empty. I have no idea why this would be. I checked to make sure the backup options under Preferences were correct, and everything was, but even ignoring all that, deliberately trying to get Notepad++ to generate a backup file in the backup folder hasn’t born any fruit. What could be causing this?

  • @Astromormy

    hard to say from remote. You did look into the right folder, didn’t you?
    I know you said you were looking in the settings dialog and backup has been checked and
    therefore you should have seen the configured backup directory but some times
    we don’t see the wood because of the trees.

  • @Astromormy

    You didn’t specify what the Backup settings were that you found to be “correct” but maybe you have a misunderstanding of how the backup feature works? Hard to tell without you providing more detail. You also didn’t specify whether or not your file was one saved to disk with a real pathname, or a “nonreal” file (e.g. “new 1” or some such).

    Anyway, if you “accidentally” close a tab, you have to confirm it, and if you confirm it it is now a 2-stage thing and is judged to NOT be an accident. In that situation, why would Notepad++ keep any data regarding the file around?

  • @Astromormy

    Debug Info?

  • Okay, I’ll try and provide a little more info.

    Ekopalypse: I looked in C:\Users\****\AppData\Roaming\Notepad++\backup

    Alan Kilaborn: I clicked Settings and then Preferences. From there, I selected the ‘backup’ option from the list off to the left. All the settings in that section seem to be correct. Here’s a snapshot of the settings link. As for the filename, yes, it was an actual, unique filename that I chose. For the final part, yes, I suppose by your definition it wasn’t really an accident. I had two tabs of the file open, one of which was older and not up-to-date. I chose the one I thought was the older of the two to close and I only realized it was the wrong one after the fact.

    supasillyass: How do I enable debugging?

    Even if it’s impossible to recover the data at this point(the lost data was fairly minimal), I’d still like to figure out why Notepad++ isn’t generating the backups like it’s supposed. Thanks for any help you all can give me.

  • @Astromormy said:

    How do I enable debugging?

    You don’t and you don’t have to. Debug Info... is an entry on the help menu, which in Notepad++ is the ? menu. Invoking it allows you to copy to the clipboard some info which you can then paste into a posting here.

    As for the filename, yes, it was an actual, unique filename that I chose.

    Knowing that, and from your screenshot where you have Simple backup enabled, I am not surprised by your statement:

    when I found the backup folder, it turned out to be completely empty

    Because all simple backup does is to create a copy of your file with .bak appended to its name, right in the same directory as your file.

    BTW the directory we see in your screenshot is only for temporary/unnamed files.

  • Notepad++ v7.7.1 (64-bit)
    Build time : Jun 16 2019 - 21:24:47
    Path : C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe
    Admin mode : ON
    Local Conf mode : OFF
    OS : Windows 10 (64-bit)
    Plugins : DSpellCheck.dll mimeTools.dll NppConverter.dll

    Okay, I managed to find the .bak file in the same directory as the original file. I also tested out the backup folder by creating a new text document. It worked as it apparently should.

    Thank you for helping me clear this up. If what you said is correct, everything is working as it should, and I just didn’t understand that, so thanks.

  • @Astromormy said:

    It worked as it apparently should.

    I see I’m late to the conversation. I’m glad it worked for you.

    For future reference, to better understand the backup-settings, see

  • I consider the Backup section in the Preferences one of the most confusing in Notepad++. Thus, I’ve taken advantage of the ability to change the text on the UI to help me attempt to keep this “understandable” when I have need to refer back to it. Here’s what I’ve done:


    I’ve even changed the “group” name of this section of the Preferences.

  • @PeterJones said:

    For future reference, to better understand the backup-settings, see

    Interesting link, Peter. I didn’t know about that version of the link. I’ve just been using, say:

    in my browser to look at docs.

    Curious, how did you know it is also represented via the version of the link?

    Also, it’s a great view of the document, but for me in Chrome only about one-third of the width of the screen contains the information, the rest is wasted. Any way to tell it to show more?

  • Don mentioned that location in his documentation announcement, but made it clear that rendering is just a “temporary” location and presentation for the documentation – his eventual goal is to send it someplace else, where the “URL will be different and the visual design will be 100 times better”… but until that time, I’m going to link to the, because I think it’s more user-friendly for non-techies than just the display.

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