Matthew Bibby
Matthew Bibby

Recovering Your Storyline File When Things Go Wrong

Let's look at how to recover a Storyline course after a crash.

Matthew BibbyMatthew Bibby

Things don't always go as planned. Especially when technology is involved.

As an eLearning developer, you may have had this happen before.

You're working away happily when suddenly Storyline crashes.

As this message appears, panic mode usually sets in:

Articulate Storyline Error Report

You think:

"It may be alright"

And perhaps it will. Perhaps you can dismiss the something went wrong message and everything will be okay.

But maybe when you open your file again you'll be greeted with this:

Articulate Storyline project is invalid or corrupt and cannot be opened


Deep breath.

It still may be okay.

Open Windows Explorer and navigate to:


Now, as you probably guessed, you'll need to change YourUserName. Unless of course, your username is YourUserName!

You should see a list that looks something like this:

Articulate temp files created by the auto recovery feature

These are temporary files that are created by the Storyline Auto Recovery feature.

When Storyline creates these files, it uses your course name (e.g. Module 4) followed by a bunch of numbers (e.g. 636034558614778675).

That bunch of numbers is a .Net System.DateTime timestamp, but you don't need to worry about that.

How to Get The .Story File Working Again

Theoretically, when you open your project again Storyline should prompt you to recover the file. However, this doesn't always happen.

But if you see a file in the above directory that begins with the name of your project you may be able to get back up and running again by doing the following:

Let me know if this saved the day!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Why did Storyline crash?
A. I don't know. I'm sure it didn't mean to.

Q. That's not a proper answer!
A. And that's not a question!

Q. What else should I consider?
A. Make sure you are working on a local drive as outlined here. You may also find this article on how to deal with unexpected and erractic behaviour intersting (note that this won't help you with your teenagers, just Storyline, sorry to disappoint).

Q. How can I check that Auto Recovery is enabled?
A. Go to File > Storyline Options and make sure this option is enabled:

Q. Does this work with Storyline 1?
A. No, the Auto Recovery feature is a Storyline 2 feature.

Q. I hadn't saved my file before Storyline crashed, will the Auto Recovery feature have done it for me?
A. No, it only auto recovers things that you've saved already.

Q. Do I need to do this every time Storyline crashes?
A. No. Most of the time Storyline will prompt you to recover the file when you try and reopen your project. However, on occasions, it doesn't and you may be able to recover your project by going through this process.

Q. My question isn't listed here, what should I do?
A. Take another deep breath. You can add a comment below, but if you need help recovering a project after a Storyline crash it's probably best to reach out to Articulate Support.

If you found this tutorial helpful and think others in your network will also, please share using the share buttons below. Thanks!

Matthew Bibby

Matthew Bibby

I'm Matt. I'm an eLearning Consultant. I help people like you develop memorable, engaging and profitable training programs. What do you need a hand with?