Can't Save Storyline Project

After making a few changes to my long-standing Storyline project today, I tried to save it and received this error message instead: "The project file could not be saved. An item with the same key has already been added." I was also prevented from saving a copy using Save As.

Very concerned. Does anyone have any advice? Could this be related to updating Storyline earlier today before this difficulty? 

Thanks for any ideas. -Michael

18 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi there Michael and Magali,

I apologize for the hang up you're seeing in the latest update! Are you able to save and close that file without losing any work? If so, would you be able to share that project file with our team by clicking here?

Also, if you're able to save and close, I'd recommend installing a previous version of Storyline 360 so you can keep working while our Support Engineers investigate your file. 

Nancy Woinoski

I got this error message today as well after updating to the latest build.  I managed to recover my file by importing it into a new project. I did lose the stuff I had been working on prior to the save.  And the new project has some odd things happening. I turned the notes off in the player settings but the notes still display in the preview and published output.


Alyssa Gomez

Hey, folks. We're so sorry about the headaches the recent update caused you! Our team found the issue and jumped on it right away. We just released a fix for the issue – you can read about it here. 

To take advantage of this bug fix, download the latest update of Storyline 360. Let me know if that resolves the problem!

Gerry Wasiluk

Not being "negative Nelly" here but in the last few months I've run across quite a few developers who were afraid of updating Storyline because of issues like this.  They felt burned by installing a new release and something broke right away.

In two of the cases, they had stopped updating SL for many months and had issues with the current courses they were working on.  The fix for both of them was to update SL to the current version and get the latest fixes and enhancements.

I know you folks are working hard and no one wants to release bad and buggy software.  But anything that you can say to reassure users?

For me, the more bugs that need fixing or are introduced with a new release, the greater the possibility of us seeing less new features that we need.


Crystal Horn

Hi Gerry and Broderick. I can understand where you're coming from. We never want customers to feel apprehensive about updating their software, and we're working really hard to ensure that unexpected bugs don't sneak into new releases in the future.

I'm sharing your concerns with my team so we can focus on shipping releases that you can rely on. When we do spot an issue, we're all-hands-on-deck to get it fixed right away to minimize the impact it has on our customers.

Thanks for continuing to share your voice with us!

Gerry Wasiluk

Thanks, Crystal.  :)

As a SL360 beta tester, I have no apprehension updating software.  When you beta test, you sort of have to be prepared for issues and you get used to things like that.  It comes with the territory.  Developing world-class software is hard and maybe getting harder each day.  And no one wants to develop bad software.  You folks are working hard and sometimes things happen.

My concern was for other users and expressing their feelings, especially from the folks who have felt burned lately.

I discussed this briefly last night at our Twin Cities Articulate User meeting.  I advised folks that if there are wary, to not stop updating, but perhaps wait for a week or two before doing so.  See how the update rolled out and if any issues emerged.  As the IT folks in my former company used to say, sometimes it's better to be on the tail end of the bleeding edge. :)

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks, Gerry. 😊 Valuable insight and experience on the update process! Thanks for the vote of confidence too! 

If folks need to wait to update, no worries on our part, our Support Team is also available to test out files and help clarify if an update fixes an issue anyone ran into. So don't hesitate to reach out for help! 

Fred Ryan


This is caused by a software bug that Articulate is unwilling or unable to fix. The workaround is as follows:

  • When you get the error message click cancel (Do not click "Save As").
  • The software will create a new version of your project with sequential numbering starting at 1.
  • Your revisions are not in the newly created file but can be found in the original file.
Dave Gutterud

I'm having the same issue with a brand new installation of Storyline.  The first couple of times I hit save there are no issues.  But eventually I get the same issue, can't save the file.  Instead I have to Save a Copy.  When I do, my file is, of course, remained but I can't do a "Save As" to overwrite the original file unless I exit Storyline completely. 

It also seems to happen quicker if I'm working with or recording an audio file within Storyline.  

For the past week I've been constantly saving to a new file, shutting down Storyline, then reopening Storyline, the new file and then doing an overwrite to the original file. 

Tonight I was finally fed up with this time consuming process and ready to trash the whole program and demand a refund but first decided to run a search and found Fred's posts.  And he's right, sometimes the program does actually update the original file if I hit cancel, but not always. 

Regardless, this is not only annoying but makes me less confident in the software to the point that I'm now saving constantly and when I do I have to check explorer to make sure that the file actually saved so I don't lose my recent work.  This is simply not acceptable.

Without a fix, this issue makes Storyline a no go for us.



Leslie McKerchie

Hello Dave and welcome to E-Learning Heroes,

I appreciate you contacting us to share that you're running into a similar issue with saving your project file.

I've opened a support case on your behalf so that you can work directly with one of our support engineers. You should be hearing from someone soon.

Christina Stephenson

My colleague and I have been getting this same error constantly since the last update. We've found it has something to do with syncing on Dropbox. If we pause Dropbox to work in the file, we do not get the error. But then we have to remember to un-pause Dropbox once we're done working in the file. We've never had this issue before, so it definitely has something to do with the latest update. Quite annoying but at least we've found a work-around until it's fixed, which is hopefully soon! 

Dave Gutterud

Hi Cristina,  yes, it appears that my problems are related to dropbox as well.  If I save all my files to my C: drive I have no problem saving.  But if I have my story file or I'm using any assets in our Dropbox folders then I get the error if the dropbox sync is running.

I hadn't thought about pausing the synchronization, that's a great idea.  But yes, still annoying.

We work from multiple locations so not being able to work from a Dropbox folder is pretty much a deal breaker for us.  Without that functionality I know that I'll run into issues at some point when I forget to move all my temp files from the local drive to the dropbox folder some day when I'm working remotely.

It's 2020, the world works remotely now.....unless you're trying to work with Storyline.  Luckily, since our department is just starting out in elearning development, I'm not locked into this platform. So I won't be buying seats for the rest of the team and will just chalk this purchase up as a loss.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Christina,

Thank you for letting us know that you're running into a similar issue recently.

We have always recommended working on your local hard drive (typically your C: drive) when creating, editing, and publishing Storyline courses. Working on a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, such as file corruption or an inability to save changes. 

More information can be found in our article: Create, Edit, and Publish Courses on Your Local Hard Drive

In addition, please make sure that you don't have any of the images or other elements of your project opened in other programs (for example, viewing an image in Paint, even in the background, will cause this issue because the software recognizes an instance of the image is in use).

Syncing applications, like Dropbox ( or Google Drive or One Drive) may stall while trying to sync your project to the cloud storage. We recommend disabling automatic syncing of your files from these applications to avoid such issues.