Tips to Save Your Precious Work in DaVinci Resolve (IMPORTANT!)

featured project backups live save

You work on your favorite project for days, weeks, months and put a ton of effort into it…

And suddenly out of nowhere your system crashes, or DaVinci Resolve crashes on you!

You lose all of your hard work.

It’s heartbreaking!

I’ve been there and it hurts so much. I had to learn the lesson the hard way.

Prevention is better than cure.

Learn how to save, backup your projects and databases regularly…

So that when anything uneventful happens, you can restore your work anytime.

Today we’ll see how to set up DaVinci Resolve to do the backups for you.

Without wasting time, let’s get started!



How to Save Your Work in DaVinci Resolve?

There are different options available to save your work.

  • Manual “Save” and “Save Project As”.
  • Auto Save features such as “Project BackUps” and “Live Save”
  • Manual Database Backup.

Does DaVinci Resolve Have Auto Save?

DaVinci Resolve does have auto save options in the form of “Live Save” and “Project BackUps“. These are settings found in the “User Preferences” which on enabling will automatically save your work.


How to Auto Save in DaVinci Resolve?

To enable Auto Save mechanism:

  • Navigate to the menu “DaVinci Resolve” -> “Preferences” (short cut for “Preferences” is ” Ctrl + , ” or ” Cmd + , “).
  • Click on “User” tab.
  • Click on “Project Save and Load“.
  • Under “Save Settings” (previously “Auto Save”), check both “Live Save” and “Project Backups“.
  • DaVinci Resolve will now automatically save your progress.

What is Live Save in DaVinci Resolve?

When “Live Save” is enabled, Resolve will automatically save every changes that you do while editing, color grading, etc. There is no manual intervention required like pressing “Ctrl + s” (or “Cmd + s”).

You can enable this option and forget it. Resolve will automatically and incrementally save your changes.

As per Blackmagic “Live Save even works for previously unsaved projects that you’ve forgotten to save if anything goes wrong”.

If your system or hard drive or Resolve crashes, and you forget to take backups, then Live Save will be your savior!


Related Article:

How To Recover DaVinci Resolve Lost Projects (Crash Recovery!)


How to Enable Live Save?

“Live Save” can be enabled by checking “Live Save” option from “DaVinci Resolve” -> “Preferences” -> “User” tab -> “Project Save and Load” -> “Save Settings”.


How Does Automatic Project Back Up Work in DaVinci Resolve?

When you enable “Project Backups“, there are 3 options for you to enter:

  • Perform backups every x minutes
  • Hourly backups for the past y hours
  • Daily backups for the past z days

Infographics Explaining Project Backup in DaVinci Resolve

Perform Backups Every x Minutes

Resolve will create project backups for every, say, 15 minutes (if you set it to 15 minutes). For an hour, there will be 4 backups.

During the second hour, the 15 minutes backup created will replace the first 15 minutes backup which was created at the first hour. (First in first out concept).

At any given time (after first hour), only 4 fifteen minutes backup will be available.

Hourly Backups for the Past y Hours

If you set 4, then Resolve will create 4 hourly backups – all of them being the last fifteen minutes backup for that particular hour.

The last backup (at the end of an hour) will be promoted to “Father” from “Son” relationship. (This backup mechanism is based on GFS = Grandfather, Father, Son concept. Son = minutes, Father = hourly, Grandfather = Daily)

After the 4th hour, the next hour hour backup will replace the first hour backup file.

So that at any day only 4 hourly backups are available.

Daily Backups for the Past z Days

If you set it to 2, then Resolve will create 2 daily backups – both of them being the last hourly backup.

(The backup at the end of the day (the last hourly backup) is now promoted to “Grandfather” from “Father” relationship.)

When you proceed to Day 3, then the Day 3 daily backup will replace the Day 1 daily backup, such that only 2 daily back ups are maintained.


How to Enable Automatic Project Back Up in Resolve?

Navigate to the menu “DaVinci Resolve” -> “Preferences” -> “User” tab -> “Project Save and Load” -> “Save Settings”, and check Project Backups” option.

Enter appropriate value for minutes, hours and daily backups, according to your requirements.


What is the Use of Project Backups in Resolve?

Enabling Project backups will let you access the older versions of the same project (that were backed up) in case you decide to discard the recent changes.

It lets you jump back in time and start from any version of project backup as per your need.

Project backups become very helpful when somehow your current project file gets corrupted and becomes unusable.

No worries, just revert to the previous usable version of the backup!

The project backup file is named as “Project.db.<year, month, day, hours, minutes, seconds>“.

You can access it by navigating to the project backup location (more on this later).

After navigating to the location, you’ll see folders which are randomly numbered. Sort the folders by date.

Double click on the folder which has the date of your project backup. You’ll find the project.db backups inside this folder.

Can I Delete Project Backups to Save Space in Resolve?

You can delete project backups once all of your projects are completed and archived, to save space.

Be very cautious and think twice before deleting. Make sure all of your project related works are delivered successfully or archived to a different external hard disk, before deleting.

In the “Auto Backups” window, click on “Delete All” button. There will be a pop up telling that “this action will delete the projects(s) permanently. The action cannot be undone.”

Give ok and Resolve will delete all the project related backups.


Is Live Save and Project Backup Dependent

Live save and project backup are not dependent.

You could have either live save turned on and project backup turned off or vice versa.

It really depends on your requirement.


Difference Between Live Save and Project Backups in DaVinci Resolve

Live save mechanism will save every change you make. It is an automatic process and you don’t have control.

Whereas project backup mechanism (which is also an automatic process) takes regular project backups at defined intervals like 15 minutes, 4 hours, 2 days.

In live save, you can’t go back to the older versions of your project; it is more of an incremental savings of the changes you do to your project.

But project backup option will have separate versions of your project backups in time where you can fall back to.

For example, if you had only live save turned on and you want to again work from yesterday’s changes (because today’s changes to the project were not satisfactory), you would not be able to do so instantly.

Either you have to undo all the changes till you get to that point which is total waste of time.

But with project backup turned on, you can instantly access the older version of the project!


Auto Save, Project Backup Location in DaVinci Resolve

You can access the location of the project backup by navigating to the menu “DaVinci Resolve” -> “Preferences” -> “User” tab -> “Project Save and Load” -> “Save Settings” -> “Project Backup” location.

You can also click on “Browse” button to change the location to any external hard drive for maximum safety.


How to Restore Project Backup in DaVinci Resolve?

Before restoring the project backup, you should have enabled it from the user preferences settings. (If not enabled, the backups won’t be created.)

  • Go to “File” -> “Project Manager” (short cut for project manager is “Shift + 1”).
  • Select your project and right-click.
  • Click on “Project Backups“.
  • You’ll see auto backups which are named after your project, followed by the time & date of the backup.
  • Choose your relevant backup.
  • Click on “Load“.
  • Enter a proper project name (if needed) in the prompt. Click ok.
  • Close the auto backup window.
  • Your new backup project will be displayed along with other projects in the “Project Manager”.
  • Double click on the project backup and it will open like any normal project.

How to Turn Off Auto Save (Live Save) in Resolve?

If you are not happy with live save and don’t want Resolve to save every change you make, you can turn it off by unchecking the “Live Save” checkbox under “DaVinci Resolve” -> “Preferences” -> “User” tab -> “Project Save and Load” -> “Save Settings”.

So whenever you close the project, you’ll be prompted to save manually.


Till now we were dealing with project level backups.

Now let’s focus our attention to the databases.

A database is nothing but a collection of all your projects located in your hard disk or SSD.

It’s a very good practice to backup your database as well.


To learn more about moving databases, projects between computers, click on the below:

How to Move DaVinci Resolve Projects & Databases (Quick Tips)


How to Backup Database in DaVinci Resolve?

Backing up database is a manual process (at least at the time of this writing), unlike project backup which is an automatic process.

This is how you do database backup:

  • Click on the home icon from the bottom right corner (short cut for the project manager is “Shift + 1“).
  • Click on the “Show/Hide Databases” icon.
  • Select your required database.
  • Click on the “Backup” icon.
  • Choose a location for a safe backup.
  • Click on “Save“.
  • You will get a window telling that the operation might take some time for backup. Go ahead and click on “Backup“.
  • It should be done in a few seconds (which is based on the number of projects you have inside your database).

Navigate to the folder where you have your database backed up.

The filename will be – “<your database name>.resolve.diskdb” or “…resolve.backup“.

The “.diskdb” extension refers to the disk database.

The file size won’t be huge.

So it’s a good practice to take a regular backup manually – weekly or monthly based on your needs.


How to Restore Database Backup in Resolve?

  • Navigate to the “Project Manager” screen by clicking on “File” -> “Project Manager“.
  • Click on the “Show/Hide Databases” icon to reveal your databases and database-related operations.
  • Click on the “Import” database icon.
  • A “New Database” window will pop up.
  • Enter the appropriate name for the database that you want to be restored.
  • Click on “Browse” for locating your database backup.
  • Click on “Create“.
  • You’ll get a pop-up telling that the restore operation might take some time.
  • Go ahead and click on “Restore“.
  • You should now have your backed-up database successfully restored.

Manual Saving in DaVinci Resolve

One of the best practices endorsed by almost all experts is to press “Ctrl + s” / “Cmd + s” regularly.

This should become an habit so that whenever you forget to turn on auto save options, and DaVinci crashes, you can access your manually saved project (prior to crashing)!

How to Save Project As in DaVinci Resolve

You can create a duplicate copy of your project by clicking on “File” -> “Save Project As…” (short cut for save project as is “Ctrl + shift + s”).

Enter an appropriate name and hit “Save”.

You have created a duplicate copy of your project!


Closing Thoughts

Taking regular backups of your project, databases and even media (the source footage) should be part of your workflow.

A simple backup strategy can save you a lot of effort, time and frustration.


You may be also interested in the below posts:

3 Quick Steps to Find DaVinci Resolve Project Files in Your System

DaVinci Resolve Copy & Paste: (Quick Tips to Save a Ton of Time)

Most Common DaVinci Resolve GPU Issues (& How to Fix Them)

Essential DaVinci Resolve Project Settings (For Beginners!)

Quick Export in DaVinci Resolve (+ Shortcut & Useful Tips)

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