All images disappeared


This morning when I was working on my storyline file, all of a sudden the images disappeared.

The strange thing is that I can still see them in the thumbnails, but when I go to the actual slide they no longer appear.

Stranger still, they still to have been remplaced by a transparent image, because I can still click on them ...

This is extremely problematic because I either have to re-insert all my images, or go back to a previous version of my file and re-do all the work that has been done in the mean time.

I have attached a sample of my Storyline file.

Has this ever happened to anyone? Do you know how to resolve this issue?



58 Replies
Tiffany Shogren


I've got an instance of it with Storyline 2. We're up against a tight timeline so rebuilding from scratch isn't an option. With those cases that you have seen with Storyline 2, what was the best/most successful option for making sure the file doesn't continue to corrupt or hide images from us? 

Thanks :) 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Tiffany,

Sorry to hear you've run into this issue - and I know you mentioned being on a tight timeline, but I'd also like to have our team take a look at it. Can you send it along to us here? 

Filecorruption is unpredictable, and there's no straightforward way to determine what causes it. Common causes are environmental (disk errors, power outages, improper shutdowns), viruses, failed Windows updates, and even file size (i.e., very large files have a higher risk of corrupting).
Consider these preventative measures to protect your project files:
1) Save and publish projects on your local hard drive. Working on a network drive or external USB drive can cause erratic behavior due to latency.
2) Save incrementally. If your app has an AutoRecovery feature, take advantage of it. If not, save a new version of your project every hour or so with a new file name each time. If a file becomes corrupt, you'll still have a working version available.
3) Install Dropbox. Snapshots of changes in your local Dropbox folder are kept for 30 days. If a file is damaged or deleted, you can restore a previous snapshot:
4) Don't leave the app open and unattended for long periods of time. Some users have reported file corruption after leaving their apps open overnight. It's possible that a malware scan or disk backup could run because the machine is idle, making your app vulnerable to crashing.

As far as preventing file corruption, the general guidelines here are worth confirming that you're working within.

There may still be a working version of your project in your temp files. Here's how to check:

1) Open this folder in Windows Explorer:
2) Scan the contents of this folder for a file that starts with the name of your project. If you find one, copy it to your desktop. If you find more than one, copy the latest version to your desktop.
3) Change the file extension of the copy on your desktop from *.tmp to *.story.
4) Double-click the file to open it in Storyline.
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Christina,

I would also look at using local assets as linking to them from the network drive could cause similar issues based on latency and if the assets were moved within the network. Have you run into a specific problem with your course? If so, we'll be happy to take a look at the .story file and just let us know what is going wrong with it so that we can dig in a bit deeper. 

Christina Clark

Thanks, @Ashley. I have a pretty image heavy course of 50 slides with multiple layers and it corrupted as originally described in this thread. Importing didn't do the trick this time. I've now moved my assets to my local drive and reinserted them into the course from there so hopefully that will mitigate the risk of it happening again somewhat. I'm still using SL1 - has this bug been seen in Storyline 360 at all?

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Christina,

Thanks for popping back in with an update.  We do recommend that you work with local project files with Storyline 360. You can read our reason for that, and other tips for managing project files right here.  Unfortunately file corruption can happen, even in the best software, and even if you’re following all the recommended best practices. It’s not just a software crash that could wipe out or damage project files; it could be a power outage, your computer crashing, or even just the size of your project file, as very large files have a higher risk of corrupting. 

Be sure to let us know how you make out after you re-insert the images, and we're here to help if you encounter any roadblocks along the way!

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Karina!

Are you finding that your images are visible on the slide thumbnail but they've become "invisible" on the slide itself? Is it possible that your Storyline file or your images are saved somewhere other than you local hard drive? Saving your files to a network or USB drive can cause problems, so you'll want to move your files to your C: drive if they aren't saved there already.

If that doesn't seem to help, you could try importing the slides into a brand new file, since there may be something corrupt in the original file. File corruption can happen, even in the best software, and even if you’re following all the recommended best practices. To be ready if it happens, follow these important tips.

Karina Souza

Yes I am working on a local hard drive, and when you ask 'importing slides into a new file?" Do you mean, the Import from a storyline template option? If so the answer is no, this is not a template file. I can remove the graphic (because what you get is a box outline without a graphic in it - but is shows on the timeline as if a graphic is there), so... you can remove it - try to reimport it and it only imports a box outline - not the graphic - storyline 'thinks the graphic is there' you see it in the timeline, and can add animation to it - but there is nothing there. The options are to rebuild the project and then you can import, or to copy and paste the graphic from the graphics file into the project and then the graphic is there. That being said, at times this newly cut and pasted graphic will also disappear. That is why this is so frustrating, as it happens without consistency, and not on every slide, without a common denominator on the slides that it does occur on. I have wondered if there was some corruption in the program itself!


Alyssa Gomez

Hi Karina,

Thanks so much for those details, and I'm sorry this is giving you headaches. 

Here's how you can import the slides into a new file:

  1. Open a new Storyline file.  
  2. Go to the File tab on the Storyline ribbon, scroll to Import, and click Storyline.
  3. Browse to the original Storyline file you want to import and click Open.

If those steps don't help, send us your file using this form, and we'll reach out after we've tested it. Our support engineers are available 24/7 to assist!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lu,

I'm sorry to hear about the issue you've run into with your images disappearing. I saw you're working in a Support case with Renson, so I'll touch base with him as he shares some more troubleshooting steps to resolve it. 

Here are the steps to repair Storyline 360 in the meantime. Also, was this a file created in storyline 360 originally or upgraded from Storyline 1 or 2? That would be helpful info for Renson! 

Lu Post

Hi Ashley, thank you for your response. The course was originally built with Storyline 360. I had a bit of a crash while working in the course and that may have caused a corruption because the last half of the course didn't have problems with the images or audio. What was interesting is that even when I started a brand new project and tried to insert the images and audio files, they would also not appear or play. I followed another person's suggestion to rename the media files and that allowed me to change out the image files, so I have been successful in getting my course published. It would be helpful to know what might have caused it since there seems to be many people having the issue over the years. I will go ahead and repair Storyline to see if this prevents future problems. Thank you!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks, Lu for that update! I saw that Renson was also able to test your file and determined that it was corrupt as well. Identifying the cause of file corruption is tricky, if not impossible at times, but it does sound like the naming of the media files could be connected? This article has some reminders on how to prevent corruption, and the section on file names and paths would apply to files outside of Storyline even.