Recover unsaved QuickTime files with this handy trick

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If you lost an audio file due to the dreaded QuickTime crash, this tip could save the day.
If you lost an audio file due to the dreaded QuickTime crash, this tip could save the day.
Image: PSD.Graphics/Ste Smith

When you’re recording audio in QuickTime, there’s nothing more frustrating than a crash before you’ve had time to click Save. But all is not lost: This handy trick can help you recover lost recordings in the QuickTime app.

It might just save you a whole lot of effort. Here’s how to use it.

I use QuickTime to record a lot of audio for my Cult of Mac videos. Some of my scripts can get pretty lengthy, so it takes a while to get through them. When QuickTime crashes before I hit Save, it is incredibly infuriating — but I’ve been saved countless times by this QuickTime trick.

How to recover lost QuickTime files

If you need to recover a QuickTime recording, first go to the Finder or your desktop and hold Cmd+Shift+G. This will open up a go-to command.

Then type in (or copy and paste) this command:

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX/Data/Library/Autosave Information/  

Once you hit return, you’ll be taken deep inside QuickTime’s directory, where you should see some automatically saved files. Look for names related to QuickTime.

Tip: How to locate unsaved QuickTime files

Here’s a tip: All these saved QuickTime files should have the words “unsaved” or “lost” and “QuickTime” in the title. Switching to list view is a good way to sort through all these files if you find a lot of them.

Once you locate the QuickTime backup file you want, drag it to your desktop and open it as usual. If it’s a larger file, it might be easier to open it in an app such as iMovie or Final Cut Pro.

Hopefully we’ve helped save your audio recording from an awkward and angry second take. If so, feel free to show your gratitude by subscribing to Cult of Mac’s YouTube channel here. That way you’ll never miss any of our Mac how-tos, iPhone tips and Apple news videos.

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  • Galaxy_Surfer_007

    Helpful! Thanks for posting this!