HELP!!! Invalid/corrupt file

I am working on a storyline project when my computer shut down suddenly. When I restarted it I received an error saying the file had been corrupted and can not be opened. I've tried looking for previous versions in properties but there are none; I've also tried opening a new file and importing the slides but I get a 'cannot open file - file is being used by another process or you do not have the proper security permission to view this file' error. I was also working from my C drive at the time.

I am under an extremely tight deadline and do not really have time to be dealing with this. If anyone could please suggest a solution ASAP.

18 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Adrienne, 

I'm really sorry to hear about your Articulate Storyline project file. It appears to be corrupt beyond recovery. However, 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.
Also, be sure to always create, edit, and publish projects on your local hard drive. Working from a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, such as file corruption, an inability to save changes, and loss of resources. See this article for details.
Kevin Clemence

I appear to be having the exact same problem following a computer restart over lunch. When I go to open the file I get "This Project is invalid or corrupt and cannot be opened. It may have been created in an earlier version of Storyline". 

When I try to import the file into a new Storyline project, i get "Could not open project. The file "C://....." is being used by another process or you do not have permission to access this resource". 

I tried looking under "%appdata%\Articulate\Storyline" which on my work PC appears to be "AppData/Roaming/Articulate/Storyline" but there is only one temp file listed from a project I worked on back in March. 

Is there any hope that I can recover this Story file?!? I am running into a tight timeline and shutter at the thought of losing 3 days worth of course development. I was literally 15 minutes away from publishing. 

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

miliza tadeo

Hi Ashley,

I am having similar issues. I cannot open the file directly due to the corrupt error message.

I've tried the method where I have a blank project and imported my file and got the following error: "The file ..... is being used by another process or you do not have the proper security permission to access this resource.

I've also tried renaming the file and saving it to my desktop, still getting a corrupt error message. Please help! This particular document is a training project for work.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Miliza,

Thanks for reaching out here and sharing your .story file. I downloaded it as well and saw the same error message. File corruption 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.