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Data imported into NVivo project
If you create a new NVivo project and import your data, NVivo by default creates a copy of each imported file, unless it is a bigger file (like audio/video files over 20MB) which will not be embedded in the project file but accessed via a file path.
You can find the location of your files if you right-click on them in the list view and look for “Properties”.
If you copy your project e.g. on a USB-Stick and want to open it on a different computer, make sure to include a copy of the folder with the non-embedded files to be able to access them.
Back-up and saving NVivo project
Saving and back-up management of the NVivo project file is crucial for any research project. Besides the project file, always keep a back-up copy of your original data files in a save location, even after importing them into NVivo. Also, make sure to save your project frequently to protect your data in the event of a power outage or hardware malfunction.
Where is the NVivo project file stored?
By default, NVivo project files are saved in the current Windows user's Documents folder on the computer's C drive, but you can save them anywhere on your computer or network (however, see Projects on network drives, if saving to a network location)
Once a project file is created you can save it manually with File > Save, keyboard shortcut CTRL+S, or use the toolbar icon. We recommend you save frequently to protect your data—you can set up reminders for manual saves or turn on autosave (in NVivo R1) Autosave or save reminders.
NVivo automatically creates backup 'recovery' files (see "automatic backups") below. However, these should not replace manually created backups.
By default, NVivo automatically creates project recovery files that serve as backups in case a project file is corrupted and cannot open Project recovery files.
NOTE Recovery files cannot be opened directly into NVivo and recovery file creation can slow down your computer, so you may want to create manual backups in addition or instead (see below).
NVivo's copy functionality allows you to:
copy projects to serve as backups (as a precaution against data loss) or as historical records of projects at different times.
convert NVivo Windows projects into NVivo Mac or NVivo Collaboration Server projects, or Collaboration Server projects into standalone Windows projects (unless they are too big) Collaboration Server.
To copy a project or save it in another format:
- Open the File tab and select Copy Project.
- If the project to convert was already open it is selected in the dialog box—otherwise click Browse to select it.
Under Copy to, select the project format you want—NVivo Windows, Mac, or Collaboration Server.
To keep the project's current .nvp format, select NVivo - (Windows) R1 project.
- Beside the Location field, click Browse to set a location and name for the converted project (names cannot include any of these characters: \ : / * ? " < > | ).
- Click OK.
It can take a few minutes to copy projects—you can monitor the progress in the Status bar at the bottom of the NVivo window.
See Avoid project file corruption for tips to help avoid project file corruption.