Opening older scores on new versions of Musescore

• Jan 6, 2020 - 21:41

Ee-gads! As much as I appreciate having this good of a free application, it sure is frustrating when new versions come out. It seems there's always some problem opening older scores.

Is there way to avoid having to save a second copy and then needing to throw the old one out? I have way too many scores to be fiddling with this time consuming issue.


Not sure what you mean about saving a second copy, you can simply save over the original if you don't want to keep it (we deliberately encourage to keep the original in case there are significant enough layout differences that you want to be able to go back and open with MuseScore 2).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I've not made my problem clear. Please allow me to try again. I've updated to the new version of Musescore. When I open a score; any and all scores previously created in the previous version, upon the score opening I receive a request to "To best take advantage of automatic placement in MuseScore 3 when importing 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams Percussion' from MuseScore 2.2.1, it is recommended to reset the positions of all elements.

Reset the positions of all elements?" I select yes.

When I go to close the program asks if I wish to save. I select yes, of course, but instead of just saving and closing, the program asks me to save it as if it's the first time ever saving the score. As a result I end up with an original score and a new version with the same title. As a result of that I must figure out which one in the folder is the one I wish to keep and then have to delete the one I don't need. Please understand, I have more than a few scores. As a private music teacher of multiple instruments, I have full scores and separate scores for that piece of all the parts of that piece. I don't have time to go through a dozen scores a day to keep things organized. I don't want to fill up my folders with multiple scores of the same things. These folders are used by my students and so need to stay organized.

Maybe there is no solution to this issue. If so, please confirm. I am looking for a way to not end up with multiple copies. I am looking for a way to update the positions of the elements without having to save a second copy of the score. I backup my drives using another program. I don't need to save the old versions in this way and it is far too inconvenient to have to go through all these steps to simply use a new version of the program.

The old scores work as expected in the new version. This should be an obvious requirement designed in by the programmers. I know compatibility of old scores working in the new versions properly has been a problem in the past with previous updates. I was happy to learn that is no longer an issue. If it were I wouldn't bother updating. Still, now this issue presents itself, again providing me a reason not to update to the new version. You mentioned I can save over the original. That sounds like I should be having this problem. If this is correct could you please elaborate on the procedure?

In reply to by Spinal vortex

You made your problem clear, I guess I didn't make the solution clear :-). it really is as simple as saving over the original, if you're comfortable losing the ability to open the score with an older version (or are willing to turn to your backups for that - a totally reasonable choice). That is, when the dialog asks you to save the score, simply save right on top of the old file - don't give it a new name or navigate to a different folder. It will warn you the file exists and ask if you want to overwrite the file, and you should answer yes.

BTW, no version of MuseScore has had a problem opening older scores. But both major versions (1 to 2, then 2 to 3) contained enough changes in the layout algorithms that the scores often looked different. We do the best we can with the resources we have to preserve the look of older scores, but we know it's not always perfect, and that's why we are careful to not overwrite the old version without warning but to instead prompt you.

But to be clear - this sort of thing happens only after a major change (eg, it happened exactly once in the last decade). So, nothing you need to worry about on each update.

I am now having the same problem. I am getting today "This file was saved using a newer version of Musescore", for every score that I attempt to open. I was already using MU 4.0.2, but I downloaded it again as directed. The finder Information window for the program says modified "7 March 2023 at 3:33 am". The 'About Musescore' window says:

OS: macOS 13.4, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 4.0.2-230651546, revision: dbe7c6d.

The MU error message as above asks, "Open anyway", which when I select that does open a score that looks healthy.

However, at the moment I cannot be sure that the scores I open will not fail at any time.

In reply to by griffin25

Most likely the score in question was created using a pre-release 4.1 build, which is indeed newer than 4.0.2. You will lose style info and new features not supported in 4.0.2.

If you have a score that you believe was not in fact saved in 4.1 but is nonetheless giving you that error, please attach it here so we can investigate.

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