Where do untitled Pages documents "auto save" to? Lost file I need to find.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by quickmac, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. quickmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    I was working on a new Pages document and it was Untitled. I was under the assumption that Lion OS X automatically saves the file while working and stores versions of it on the disk.

    I went to work on the document today and it was no longer open. I'm trying to find it on my Mac and since it is untitled I can not find it. I need the file and assume there is a "save" of it somewhere.

    Anyone know how to access auto saved Pages documents with no titles?
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Auto Save doesn't begin until you've saved it once. It will Resume, but if that failed for some reason, you're probably out of luck. Not sure if someone knows where Resume caches it's information or if it's accessible, but I wouldn't count on it.

  3. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    That defeats the purpose of auto save. That's kind of harsh of Apple to advertise "Never having to save again" and then not actually saving files unless you "save them" first.

    Hopefully someone knows where the resume catch is.
  4. tkermit, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    You seem to have encountered a bug. That's not how it's supposed to work. Your documents are normally saved regardless of whether you've given them a name yet. In fact, at least for Textedit documents, they're even indexed by and available through Spotlight.


    ~/Library/Saved Application State/

    – Good luck! :eek:
  5. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Resume data is in user/library/ saved application state/. But if your document isn't opening when you load pages, then it's not going to be in that folder.
  6. paulsalter, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008

    Think I was thinking of something else
  7. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    For sandboxed apps, the autosave information for "unsaved" documents can apparently be found in

    ~/Containers/com.apple.Textedit/Data/Library/Autosave Information

    (for Textedit)

    For non-sandboxed apps, have a look at ~/Autosave Information

  8. paulsalter macrumors 68000


    Aug 10, 2008
    Thanks for this info :)

    didn't know about that one in the Containers folder
  9. quickmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2011
    After much tense waiting I managed to do a complete "restore" of my system from a Time Machine backup that was created a couple of hours after I last accessed the file in question.

    A few hours later, restored back to a few days ago fired up Pages and the document came right up! A huge sigh of relief. I did lose a few days of some small documents and music but it was much more crucial to get that one document back as is.

    Needless to say I immediately named and saved the file.

    Thank you to all, especially tkermit for the useful information. I didn't see your post until after my long way fix but I'm going to test your fix out as a good option in the future.

    I think its important to note that I was unable to find or access the "untitled" pages document in question going directly through time machine. I could not find and restore the untitled "auto saved" document as a single file.

    I had to reboot the computer off of the OS X install cd, go to Utilities and do a "restore from time machine backup." It erased my hard drive and did a full clean restore of my system as it was a few hours after I created the document. So thats a long fix if needed
  10. asymmmetry macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I know this thread is about a year old but I encountered the same problem with OP. I am writing on my Thesis and have several pages of Pages open at the same time. Usually even if i shut down my mac every time I restart it Pages will open with all 3 windows. But to my dismay it stopped doing that today (Had to force a shutdown). I have saved one of the files because I had to send it as an attachment but the other 2 are missing. After following the instructions of tkermit I actually found 2 untitled files in the autosave information folder. the thing is, they won't open/react. What should I do? I would really appreciate your help.
  11. Kevin L. macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2008
    You, my friend, are a genius! I thought the latest Pages in Lion auto-saved untitled documents... until my three days of work disappeared (I know, I should have saved but I couldn't think of a file name and I thought it was being backed up.) Turns out it suddenly disappeared without any "save as" dialog. I searched everywhere and it was gone. I scoured the web for recovering the temp file and found nothing, but then I stumbled upon your hint. I didn't see my Pages document in the Autosave Information folder, but then I thought to try Time Machine (although I hadn't done a backup to my external drive in a week) and sure enough, Time Machine brought up my complete "untitled" document!!! I can't believe it. Anyhow, I'm EXTREMELY grateful and wanted to post on here that others should not give-up if the Autosave Information folder is empty... try again with Time Machine!
  12. indicative macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2013
    Where the files went in Mavericks

    This has been a useful thread for me.

    OK: just for anyone else.. and if you do have Time Machine.. This did require time machine, and worked on OS X 10.9. It may work on 10.8 too.

    I closed a doc which was untitled and unsaved, which my wife had spent an hour working on. The modern dialogue box actually makes you click "delete". Oh dear.

    I hoped that a recovery file was on the HD from before. It took a bit of digging. and this thread here talks about various locations where the files end up... so that if you can go back in time you will see them.

    It did not work for me On OS X 10.9, Pages 09 and 5.0.1 (the latest). In the end I opened up a new doc on a different mac, to see where the Untitled temp file ended up. It seemed to turn up in Finder search on iCloud. A bit more research here: The temporary files get saved to ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~Pages, where the first "~" is the user's home folder. To get there from the finder, hold the option key down and click on the "Go" menu. The Library folder will be in the list (it won't be if you don't hold down the option key).

    Navigate into the folder, and then activate time machine, and go back to the time you last remember working on the doc. If you see multiple "Untitled" documents then select each one and tap the space bar to see the contents in preview (even whilst in time machine). Then Bingo.

    The tip works for Keynote and Numbers too... Under the respective ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~Keynote and ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~Numbers folders. HTH.
  13. izzyk macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2014
    I found my unsaved documents (Numbers spreadsheets on this occasion) in:

    ~/Library/Autosave Information where "~" is the user's home folder. To get there from the finder, hold the option key down and click on the "Go" menu. The Library folder will be in the list (it won't be if you don't hold down the option key).

    Thanks for the help in this thread which got me looking in the right direction.
  14. daboyter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2014

    A quick update on this:

    Pages just crashed on me as I was doing a find and replace. I'd not saved because I'd only done an hour and a half's worth of work this evening but I'd done enough that I didn't want to spend the time rewriting. I did a search for some of the text in my document and Spotlight found it in iCloud of all places!

    It was listed as Untitled, so I gave it a name and was able to Force Quit Pages with confidence.

    I highly recommend logging in to iCloud in Pages if for no other reason than the redundancy it provides.
  15. clairepr macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2014
    Any other ideas?

    Thank you for all the tips on here. I was working on a Pages document earlier and hadn't got round to giving it a name or saving it. Usually when my battery dies I just plug in and everything opens again but this time it didn't. My document was gone. I have tried in Autosave but this is empty - don't know if I need to switch it on (clearly I am not very good at computers!) and then I looked at Time Machine but I haven't been using it to Backup because then my hard drives get written to Mac and don't work on windows computers. I also had not logged into iCloud from Pages so can't find it there. Any other ways I can get my file back or is it gone forever?? Thanks Claire
  16. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    I recommend iCloud for government secrets!
  17. aspacepig macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2014
    Thank you. I found a backup in Mobile Documents.

    Really saved my bacon.

  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    File – Duplicate – file system activity

    Tech198 and Choctaw: the result of a Duplicate command uses more than just volatile storage. Permanent storage is used – before a Save command. Please see above and below.

    Off-topic from Pages, but to help visualise file system events, here's a screenshot of events a few moments after a file 'Untitled 3' was duplicated by TextEdit (with iCloud enabled):


    Related, in Ask Different: the accepted answer to Can the iCloud sync progress be observed?

    Attached Files:

  19. JBG50 macrumors newbie


    May 12, 2017
    I don't think that "harsh" is really the right word here. I've been using Macs since 1988, and what we're having to deal with now, both in terms of software and hardware, aren't really Macs anymore, IMO. They're just very expensive and pretty machines running extremely poorly thought out and/or or poorly updated programmes that cause these "Macs" to behave just like Windows machines used to, but seem not to anymore. Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.
  20. mr666 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2009
    Not exactly correct: ~/Library/Containers/

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19 October 10, 2011