Why are my LibreOffice doc backups no longer working?

This is a scenario that’s happened two or three times recently, but I’ll go with the most recent occurrence for illustrative purposes:

All the docs I’m working on are saved in the same file. No special permissions or anything like that. I have both ‘Save AutoRecovery information every 5 minutes’ and ‘Always save backup copy’ set in my settings, and have for at least a year now.

Recently, I’d been working on a couple of docs (three or four open) when LibreOffice completely froze on me. I had to force close and restart it and, when I did, all but one of my docs (the most important one and the longest, with about 7500 words types) restored properly. The longest doc, however, claimed it couldn’t restore; there was a yellow check instead of green, and some kind of message about permissions. (It also asked me to save an extra copy on restoration, but I’ve checked and there’s no new doc in the folder I instructed it to save a copy to.)

So, instead of restoring, it pulled up my most recent save with about ~500 words missing. No problem, I thought, I’ll grab the backup, but when I went into the backup path the only backup file available was from six days ago (even though I’ve been working on this document constantly since) and is missing about 1500 words instead of the manual save’s 500.

What’s happening here? Why is my autorecovery failing on me for certain documents so regularly all of a sudden? Why are my backup files being saved so infrequently they’re actually worse than my manual saves? Is there something I can do to fix this, or maybe a macro I can install to autosave on a timer without relying on a button press? With how often LibreOffice freezes on me, this is becoming a really frustrating issue; saving more often only helps so much.


I will not pretend to have an answer for the problems you are experiencing with the backups. But you also asked about an alternative and can present that.

There is a macro in this post → AUTOMATIC Incremental saving function written by @mark_t which I performed quite a bit of testing. It saves documents based upon a selected timeframe (ie: every 15 min) only when there have been changes made to the document. As another add-on, this post → Suggeston for Location of Backup Files (see my answer) provides further enhancement to the macros by showing how to save the backups in their own sub-directories and limiting the number of backup copies.

The macros can also be used in other modules beside Writer.

If this answers your question please tick the :heavy_check_mark: (upper left area of answer). It helps others to know there was an accepted answer.