Save and copy projects

You should save your project frequently to protect your data in the event of a power outage or hardware malfunction.

Click the File > Save. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+S.

When you are working with an NVivo for Teams project, you do not need to save your project to protect your work. Each change you make is saved automatically as you work.

NOTE  If you are working in a project stored on a network drive, by default your changes are saved to a temporary file and the project file on the network is not updated until you close your project. It is important to close your project, before you turn off your computer.

Project save reminders

By default, NVivo prompts you to save your project every 15 minutes.

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  2. Click the Notifications tab.
    • Increase or decrease the interval between save reminders by changing the value in the minutes box.
    • Clear the Enable project save reminders every check box to turn off project save reminders.
  3. Click OK.

Copy projects

Use the copy function (similar to 'save as') to make a backup copy of your project or to take a snapshot of your project at a particular point in time.

  1. Click the File tab and then click Copy Project.
  2. If required, click the Browse button next to the Project box to locate and select the project you want to copy.
  3. Under Copy to, choose the project format, then select the location and file name for the new project (names cannot include any of these characters: \ : / * ? " < > | ), and then click Save.
  4. Click OK. A copy of your open project is saved at the selected location.

    The copy may take a few minutes. You can monitor the progress in the Status bar at the bottom of the NVivo window.


  • If you are working with an NVivo for Teams project, you can use the copy function to create a standalone version of the project. Likewise, you can create an NVivo for Teams version of a standalone project.
  • If you want to work with your project on the Mac platform, you can copy it to the NVivo 12 for Mac project format (.nvpx). Note that you may not be able to work with all your project items. Work with projects on Windows or Mac
  • If an NVivo for Teams project exceeds the maximum size for standalone projects, you cannot copy and create a standalone project.

Project recovery files

The first time you save your project, NVivo creates a 'project recovery file' to protect against loss of data. This is useful in situations where your project is compromised and you cannot open it—NVivo will give you the option to restore it from the project recovery file. Each time you save your project NVivo checks the Project Recovery settings to see if the recovery file should be updated. Project recovery files are updated (or news ones created) at most once an hour and only when you save your project. To configure the location of the project recovery file and how frequently it will be updated:

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.
  2. Click the Project Recovery tab and edit the settings.
  3. Click OK.


  • Project recovery files do not replace manual backups—to store versions of your project (for safekeeping or as a snapshot in time) you should continue to create backups manually by copying your project.
  • The creation of project recovery files can impact the performance of your project (depending on the size of your project and your computer's specifications). If you are experiencing slower performance, you can decrease the frequency at which project recovery files are updated or turn them off all together.

Projects on a network