Automatic Backup (.sav and .bak) and Autosave
JabRef 5.8 Major rework and a change in what .bak and .sav denote. Henceforth,
.savis a temporarily written file.
.bakis a backup file.
JabRef 5.1 To reduce the amount of configuration options, the possibility to disable the creation of
.bakfiles was removed. JabRef 3.7 First introduction of the autosave and backup features.
.savis the automatic backup feature.
.bakpreserves the last state of the library after saving
.tmpfiles while working.
.bakstands for the automatic backup feature: Each 20 seconds, after a change to the library, the current state of the library is saved to a .bak file. JabRef keeps 10 older versions of a .bak file in the user data dir.
.savpreserves the last state of the library after saving. Thus, one can go back one save command in the history. Used when writing the .bib file. Used for copying the .bib away before overwriting on save.
.tmpis a temporary file with changes that are supposed to be written to the
Rough outline of what's happening during a write to the
.tmpwill be written -->
.savgets deleted --> 20 seconds later, a copy of the
.bibfile will be stored as
.bakfile in the user data dir.
By using the gitignore.io service, you can generate an appropriate
.gitignorefile by opening https://www.gitignore.io/api/jabref. A
gitignorefile specifies intentionally untracked files that Git should ignore. Files already tracked by Git are not affected; See https://git-scm.com/docs/gitignore for further details.
This functionality runs in the background while you are working on a bibliographic database. It makes a backup copy (the
.bakfile) and keeps that up-to-date on every user interaction. For instance, when you change a field the new value would get saved into the backup copy. Assuming that JabRef crashes while you are working on a BibTeX database. When you try again to open the file JabRef crashed with you will get the following dialog:
Screenshot of the backup found dialog
Now you have the possibility to restore and review your changes which would normally get lost.
For shared remote libraries and more advanced history, we recommend to use git as version control system.
- Windows: Windows 7/10:
C:\Users\<Account>\AppData\org.jabref\jabrefAlternatively, open the run dialogue by pressing
Windows+R, then enter
C:\Documents and Settings\<Account>\Application Data\Local Settings\org.jabref\jabref>
- Mac OS X:
JabRef offers automatic saving of the library. No need to click on File --> Save or pressing Ctrl+S anymore: The opened database are saved automatically without manual intervention.
In case the
.bibfile should automatically be saved on each change, you can direct JabRef to do so. This feature needs to be activated in the preferences:
Screenshot of the autosave preferences