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As part of some Version 3.1.1 updates we changed the way in which the program makes backups. This has made the whole system much more robust and easier to use. Below is an explanation of the different types of backups the program makes of your project and how to restore them.

Project Structure

Before talking about project backups, it is helpful to be clear about the structure and content of CcpNmr Analysis projects. CcpNmr Analysis projects are always saved within a directory which is the name of the Project followed by .ccpn, e.g. ProjectName.ccpn. This folder contains a number of subfolders:

The main content of your project is contained within the ccpnv3 folder. This folder contains many subfolders with .xml files within them and this is where the information about your spectra, peaks, assignments etc. is kept. If something has gone wrong with your project, it will almost certainly be something within this folder.
The archives folder is where archives of your project are stored. This is essentially a compressed copy of your .ccpn folder.
The backups folder is where we store all the project backups and these are essentially copied versions of the ccpnv3 folder.
The data folder is empty by default apart from two (empty) folders called plugins and spectra.The plugins folder is (obviously) for use by plugins. The spectra folder is a place where you can save your spectra within the project if you so wish (but this will obviously make your .ccpn project folder very large). The other use the program currently makes of the data folder is to store structure calculation related data if you set up an XPLOR structure calculation.
The logs folder simply contains copies of the terminal output from every time you have had the program open and done something. It can be helpful if you want to trace what has been done while the project has been open.
The state folder contains information about the layout of your project when you last used it. The way we store and use this information may well change over time.
The scripts and summaries folders aren't typically used much.

Here we are mainly going to concerned with the archives, backup and ccpnv3 folders.

Previously Saved State

Every time you open or save your project, a copy of the ccpnv3 folder is made and placed into the backups folder. A timestamp is added, so the folder name in the backups folder will become something like ccpnv3-2023-07-19-134604.ccpnV3backup. By default, only 10 versions of the project will be kept and after that the oldest one will be removed every time a new one is added. If you want to change this number, go to File / Preferences and change the Number of backups on user-save.


By default your projects will be automatically backed up every 10 minutes. This means that every 10 minutes, a copy of your ccpnv3 folder is made and placed into the backups folder. Again, a timestamp is added, so the folder name in the backups folder will become something like ccpnv3-2023-10-20-100151.ccpnV3autobackup and up to 10 versions are saved. If you want to change the frequency of autobackups or the number of autobackups retained, then go to File / Preferences and change the Backup frequency (mins) or Number of auto-backups. Here you can also choose the switch the Autobackup system off if you wish. Note that these options are user-specific and not project-specific.

Restoring a backup

If you wish to restore a backup, then simply rename your ccpnv3 folder, e.g. to ccpnv3-orig or move it to your Desktop and place (a copy of) one of the folders in the backups folder in its place, i.e. directly into the .ccpn folder and change its name to ccpnv3. Now open your project and the backed up version of the project should open. We do have plans to make this more user-friendly, but are currently prioritising the implementation of other features.

Project Archives

Archives are slightly different to backups: they are essentially copies of the whole .ccpn folder rather than just the ccpnv3 folder. Creating an archive can be useful if you wish to share your project with someone, or if you wish to make sure you have a copy of your project before trying out something new, risky or experimental. Be aware that this doesn't currently archive your data folder (other than the plugins subdirectory). To open an archived project, place the archive into a directory of your choise, uncompress it and then open the .ccpn folder as normal.