Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips – Background Save and Auto Save

Ever taken a break while saving a big file in Photoshop, or lost hours of work because of an unexpected crash?

Background Save and Auto Save are two new Photoshop CS6 features that enhance the saving and recovery processes. Here’s a quick look at their functionalities and settings.

Background Save

This feature lets Photoshop save any document in the background, and at the same time, enables you to continue whatever you’re doing or working on inside Photoshop.

You can check the saving progress as a percentage in the file’s name tab at the top, or in the Status Bar at the bottom along with the blue progress bar.

Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips

Figure 1: Saving progress indicators in the name tab and the status bar.

In previous versions of Photoshop, you’d have to stop working for a while until the file is completely saved, especially if it was a large one.

Now, you can save the file, then continue working as the file is being saved.

Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips

Figure 2: Creating ellipse shapes, while the saving process is still active in the background.

One thing you can’t do during the Background Save, is the Save As. You’ll get a message telling you to do that again after the background saving is finished (100%).
Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips
Also, if you close the file during the background save, you’ll get a message telling you that the document will be closed once the saving process is finished.
Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips

Auto Save

This feature lets Photoshop save a backup copy of the document at regular intervals.

So if Photoshop crashes for any reason, you’ll be able to recover the file and continue working from the last auto save.

The recovered file however, is not saved over the original one. It will be opened whenever you open Photoshop for the first time after the crash, and it will have the original file name, in addition to the part “-Recovered” (without the “).

Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips

Figure 3: A recovered file.

Keep in mind that saving a file manually deletes the autosaved version.

The auto saved files can be found in a subfolder of your scratch drive. So if (E) is your scratch drive, the auto saved files will be found under E:\PSAutoRecover\YourUsername.

The Settings

You can view and modify the Background Save and Auto Save settings by going to Edit -> Preferences -> File Handling.

You can enable or disable the Background Save by checking or unchecking the “Save in Background” box.

And you can enable or disable the Auto Save by checking or unchecking the “Automatically Save Recovery Information Every:” box. From the drop down menu next to that box, you can choose the time intervals in which Photoshop creates a backup copy of your files.

So for example, if you choose 10 Minutes, Photoshop will create a backup copy every 10 minutes.

Photoshop CS6 Quick Tips

Figure 4: The Background Save and Auto Save Settings.

The time intervals are predetermined. So you can only choose one from the already available values, which are: 5 Minutes, 10 Minutes, 15 Minutes, 30 Minutes, and 1 Hour.


Those are two really great features that definitely enhance the workflow in Photoshop. Hope you found this quick tip helpful.

More quick tips coming your way soon.

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