How to recover a backup copy of a score

If one of your scores becomes lost, corrupted, or not openable, there's a chance that MuseScore saved a copy somewhere on your computer.

MuseScore creates two different types of backups of your files.

1. Last saved version

Every time you save an existing file for the first time in a session, MuseScore will create a file named ".filename.mscz," (starting with a dot, ending with a comma). This file will not be modified during your session. If MuseScore crashes during the session, the file should contain the score as it was before the beginning of the session. Note: The file starts with a dot - therefore, it will be hidden by default on Linux and Mac OS X and, via the hidden attribute, on Windows too. Refer to your OS documentation on showing hidden files. Once you locate this file, rename it and remove the dot and the comma and on Windows also unset the hidden attribute. You should be able to open the resulting file in MuseScore.

2. Autosaved version

Every X minutes during a session (the time period is customizable in the Preferences, default is 2 minutes) and when you close MuseScore, all open files will be auto-saved to the session directory. Browse this directory to eventually find a backup of your file. Each file will have an auto-generated name, "sc*.mscz", sorting the list by modification time might help identifying the file you're looking for.

The session directory depends on the OS (and on Windows also its language version). For MuseScore 2, you can find it:

  • Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\MuseScore\MuseScore2\
    (Windows Vista or later: C:\Users\'USERNAME'\AppData\Local\MuseScore\MuseScore2\
    Windows XP or earlier: C:\Documents and Settings\'USERNAME'\Local Settings\Application Data\MuseScore\MuseScore2\)
    See also "How to see hidden files in Windows" and "How to show file extensions in Windows"
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/MuseScore/MuseScore2/
    Note: The "~" in the path above is required to access the Library directory in your Home folder. /Library/Application Support/ (without "~" at the beginning) will take you to a separate folder location where you will not find the MuseScore folder you need.
  • Linux: ~/.local/share/data/MuseScore/MuseScore2/

  • Note: You can also use MuseScore.com to create backup copies of your score, regardless of completion stage. See Share scores online.

Sometimes, under yet to be fully understood circumstances, MuseScore stores a file at a so-called virtual store (on Windows) or in some temporary directory outside the user's home, most likely "/tmp" (Mac and Linux), with a filename representing the full original pathname with all (back)slashes ('\' resp. '/') replaced by underscores ('_'). See for example recovered files.
You may need to search your entire hard disk for all filenames ending with ".mscz" to find those.

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