We’ve all been there before: you create a new Revit project, you save said project, and all of a sudden – as if by some miraculous measure – the project file seems to magically reproduce on its own.
No; your Revit project has not defied all laws of science by mastering the act of procreation. What you are witnessing is Revit creating backup files of the project each time you save, and they can (potentially) eat up valuable storage space.
Jason Kunkel put together a great post recently discussing the importance of periodically cleaning out old unused local files and any corresponding backup folders from your local drive, but I wanted to expand on this to touch on the management of shared project folders and backup files.
The ability of Revit to create these backup files stems from the fact that Revit will never autosave a project for us – and in a lot of ways this is actually a good thing. Because the backup files have the potential of eating up a considerable amount of storage space, we can effectively manage how many of these are created. A maximum “threshold” can be set for the number of backup files Revit will create, and once that threshold has been met the oldest backup will be deleted and a new identifier will be appended to the file – usually a sequence of .0001, .0002, .0003, .0004, and so on. These files will always be stored in the root folder of the original project file.
So one question remains: how do we manage the maximum threshold of backup files?
The process is pretty fool-resistant. With the project file open, simply navigate to create a “Save As” version of the file. Note here that we can configure various Options when saving the file, one of which happens to be the maximum backup file threshold. Set your desired number of backups, and voilà.
All being said and done, Revit will default our backup file threshold at 3 files – and this doesn’t bother me much. But, if even 3 backup files grinds your Revit gears, now you know how to manage them.
*image courtesy of gizmodo.