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The Autosave Vault in Final Cut Pro is a folder that the application uses to save backup.  Final Cut Pro saves separate copies of your project to a certain location on your hard drive.  So if the power goes out, and you yourself did not occasionally save your project (by pressing Command+S) you would have to go to the Autosave Vault to find your autosaved copies.  This is the reason you should always leave the Autosave Vault turned on.

Normally the Autosave Vault is located under
 Users > Username > Documents > Final Cut Pro Documents > Auto Save Vault
Some users prefer to change the location of the Auto Save Vault in the System Settings on the Scratch Disks Tab.  Some users do not recommend changing the default location.  Advantage to changing the default location?  It might be a good idea to store the Auto Save Vault on a drive other than the drive containing your project because if your drive crashes, your backups can still be found in the Auto Save Vault on the other drive.  Disadvantage?  It could be dangerous if you plan to use multiple Mac OSX accounts.  Each Mac user could potentially have a different location for their Auto Save Vault.

The most important thing is to save often (Command+S).  Final Cut Pro will only auto save as often as you have it set for in the User Preferences.  I am a "Command+S" freak, as I try to save my project every 15 minutes, or whenever I get up to walk away from my computer, or anytime I spent "forever" making a complicated composite.  The auto save files do not take up a lot of space, so it doesn't hurt to increase the number of copies, or decrease the time it saves.  However, do keep in mind though, that every time FCP autosaves it will briefly interrupt your work; so the shorter intervals you have set to autosave, the more it will interrupt your workflow.

Ok, so let's talk a little more about the System Settings and User Preferences.  System Settings; this is where you can change the destination of your Auto Save Vault.  Click Set next to Auto Save Vault under the Scratch Disks tab to reset the location.  Set a new destination for your Auto Save Folder and click OK.

sysett2.gifautosave.gifUser Preferences; Under the General Tab, when the Auto Save Vault box is checked (or turned on) you can change the Save a copy every, Keep at Most, and Maximum Of fields.

userpref.gifOk, so now we have a little background on What the Autosave Vault is, Why we need it, and Where it's located.  So now let's talk about When you actually have to use it.  If you need to access an old version of a project, you can navigate to the Autosave Vault to find a list of all the available projects that have been saved.  You can use the Restore Project Function to recover projects directly from the Autosave Vault.  Go to File Menu > Restore Project to see the list of projects that can be recovered.  The Autosave files are named by Project, month-day-year, and hour/minute. Choose the autosave file you want to use, then click Restore.  You will be prompted to make sure this is the action you want to perform.  Click OK.  A good tip to use is once you've restored a project, perform a Save As and rename your restored project.

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