"This document contains unsaved changes" - why?

Occasionally I’ll see this cloud icon at top right, warning me that my file isn’t saving. What’s interesting is that I always have several files open, and while sometimes more than one file will show this icon it’s never every file. It’s not the whole app, it’s just file to file. Some files are saving, some aren’t, and I can’t figure out what to do about it.

Obviously it’s disconcerting to work on something that I know isn’t saving - what can I do about it?

unsaved changes

“When you’re back online …”

Needless to say I am very much online right now, and while I have the occasional VPN hiccup, I would think that would affect the entire app, not just individual files like this.

unsaved changes

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You might be thinking to yourself “Relax, just quit Figma and restart it,” but I can’t do that because when I try I get this terrifying warning. At least if I keep working it might eventually save my work - “discard changes” sounds like if I leave I’ll lose it all. Just to feel safe I’m saving the .fig file as I go, like it’s the 90s or something.

Screenshot 2023-03-24 at 11.48.34 AM

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I had this happen to me as well - not sure when it started but noticed it today. Might be related to a bigger update I did in my design system or could be on the Figma side.

How I got my file to save

  • Saved the .fig to my desktop (just as a fallback)
  • Opened the same project in my browser
  • Closed the tab in my desktop app

When I opened the file in my desktop app, I saw a snackbar pop up saying “Your offline changes were synced”

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That’s a really good idea that I never thought to do, I’ll try it next time in the hopes that what’s going on is just a glitch in the app.

this didn’t work for me - my problem is i have no idea how long i’ve been working on this file offline… it’s been at least a day but maybe longer and it’s incredibly complex.

Export it as a .fig, save that thing locally. I don’t know what else to tell you - this keeps happening to me intermittently and I can’t see a pattern to it. The other day half of my open files sat in “offline” state for hours while the other half were fine. It’s pretty frustrating because the natural fix - quitting Figma and restarting - is explicitly not an option unless I’m willing to risk losing work.

Is this still an issue? As I’ve had this occur today. Strange behaviour as I have another project open and it’s not having this issue.

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Yep, I’m having this issue today. Frankly terrifying as I have no idea how long I’ve had the file open and how long I’ve been making changes whilst it’s like this. And it’s huge! I’m saving a local figgy and try and upload, I guess.

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If you use the desktop app, login at the browser and open the file there (or vice versa, go browser to app). Sometimes just opening it somewhere else triggers it to unstick itself. It’s not a sure fix but it’s worked a few times for me. And you’re right, it’s a pretty spooky thing to happen, especially when you’re like “Wait, how long has it been like this?” :sweat_smile:

Same problem for me. No idea how long my file has been stuck. I tried opening it in browser and its NOT showing my most recent changes. I dont know whats going on but that error message is not helpful or accurate at all. Help us out Figma, being able to save your files is a pretty mission critical issue here.

Hey @Aaron_Mitchell, sorry for any disruption to your work!

We sometimes see users encounter this error message after some kind of network or service interruption. Even when you see this message Figma is generally saving your work in the background for later sync — you can read more on this in Can I work offline with Figma?

Can you try opening this File in an incognito window if you’re already using the browser, and sync any offline changes if asked to, as shown in that article? If you find the File is up to date there you can restart the Desktop App and this should clear that message.

If your work isn’t up to date when opened in the Browser, and you’re not alerted to sync offline changes, we’d suggest you use ‘Save as local copy’ from the File menu, to make a backup of your work, and then upload it in the Browser to check it is complete. If it’s incomplete we’d suggest copying and pasting over from the Desktop App to the Browser for any work you need to save.

Once your work is backed up, restarting the Desktop App, and your network and computer if necessary should clear this warning. If you find you continue to see this warning after restarting, just send me through a Console.log from the Developer Tools as shown in Use Chrome Developer Tools and I can create a support ticket on your behalf, so our Technical quality team can troubleshoot further with you.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions and I’ll be happy to help!

This happens when you pull a library update that affects many frames, and especially component instances, across the file. You must wait until all frames are updated.

That can be one of the reasons it happens, but it also happens because [~insert mystery here~] and it takes way longer than the time any typical background process needs to finish. I’ve had it stay up for hours before.