My Articulate 360 Storyline file simply disappeared

Sep 23, 2019


I thought I'd post this here in case someone else encounters this issue.

I have been working on an Articulate 360 .story file for the last two weeks on and off, left if for the weekend and went back to open it this morning to find that it had disappeared.  All of the other files and folder were there.  I that perhaps I'd accidently moved the folder, or deleted the file while I was doing some drive housekeeping late last week, but that couldn't be the case - as everything other than the ".story" files were there. I had a few versions saved with suffixes but they were also gone.  

I downloaded a free recovery tool as was able to recover a version so have only lost about 2 hours work.  But, I'm left shaken.  How is it possible that the files in a folder and only the ".story" files could disappear?

I work on and store my projects on a Western Digital 8TB pro external drive which shuttles to work and back with me.

Anyone experience similar or have a way I might avoid this in the future?

17 Replies
Wendy Farmer
Lionel Dieperink

I work on and store my projects on a Western Digital 8TB pro external drive

Hi Lionel

Articulate recommend the following best practice for Working with Project Files

Always save and publish Storyline projects on your local hard drive (typically your C: drive). Working on a network drive or an external USB drive can cause erratic behavior due to latency. For example, it could cause file corruption or prevent you from saving changes.

Here is the link to the full article

Marc Koenecke

Thanks Wendy.
While I see that point, the drive I use is a USB 3.1 device.  The files were there.  Multiple files with version numbering.  Then this morning they're gone - they were recoverable, so had been marked by the file system for deletion but not overwritten.

I see the logic in saying save locally but it doesn't completely make sense.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate your taking the time to answer.
Looks like I'll need to setup a constant file backup of some sort.

Marc Koenecke

Cheers Matthew,

I've relied on the redundancy I get from using the RAID settings on my external drive enclosure but will need to look at external backup and work locally.  It's just such a simple way to work as I do from time to time work at the office and sometime work on large video files that get published to vimeo then embedded into courses .  Oh well.  The stress of this morning should be a lesson to me though.

I work on Windows 10 so will have a go at setting up an automated backup to OneDrive.

Thanks for the reply.

Jason Davis

Hi Lionel,

Sorry to reply to an old post. But I have been having similar issues. .Story files disappear. I chalked it up to overwriting of files them when I compiled, but that's only a theory. I realized I had lost several .story files once I started looking around for them. I have since started saving them locally, on a shared drive, and on a cloud drive hoping not to have a repeat. 

However, today things got real weird. I had slides go missing on a deck. The results slide disappeared. And, it disappeared from all three spots. I had sent the zip file to my SME who had seen the results slide as he commented on the picture that was on the pass layer. I tried using the zip file that I had sent to my SME and when I unzipped and opened up the .html file the results slide was also gone. It is WEIRD, I do not understand what is going on and it makes me deeply uncomfortable trusting the .story files.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Jason!

I see that my teammate Vincent replied to your discussion here! I'm so sorry you're missing files and pieces of a course.

I'd like our Support Engineers to step in so that we can see exactly what is causing your files to disappear! Please use this link to begin working with our Support Engineers in a support case. They'll reply shortly!

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for contacting us and sharing that you've run into a similar issue.

The .story file should be saved to your local drive as shared above. If you remember what you named it, I'd do a quick search in your file explorer.

Also, when you first open Storyline, your recent files should be displayed:

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks for sharing the troubleshooting you've done, Sharon. Are you working on your local drive, which is typically your C: Drive? Is it just a single file that you're missing?

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: %appdata%\Articulate\Storyline
  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.

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 using the preventative measures described in this article to protect your project files.

Kelly Auner

Hi yoona, and welcome to the E-Learning Heroes community!

I'm sorry to hear that your .Story files disappeared. I understand that can be incredibly frustrating!

  • Are you working from your local drive? Working from a network drive can cause erratic behavior. 
  • Have you checked for your project in your temp files as Leslie suggested above?
  • Is it a specific file that you're missing or multiple files?

I'll look out for your response!

Marta Martinez

Hi; same issue. Working on local file. All good. Finished projec tand used as template for seocnd poroject. Agian both files good. I then opened stroyline to start a third project and imported form powerpoint. Now that is the only project that appeares in my articualte projects folder in my C-drive. and becasue it has dissapeared and cannot work on one drive, i also have no backup. 2 weeks worth of work gone. 

How does soemthing just dissapear? 


Jose Tansengco

Hello Marta,

Sorry to hear that you ran into this behavior. Storyline 360 doesn't have the capability to delete project files on its own, and neither does the Articulate 360 Desktop App. If your Storyline 360 project file disappeared from your computer, I'd recommend reaching out to your IT staff to ask for their assistance in locating it. 

If you are working out of a highly secured computer, there's a possibility that your computer's anti-virus may have flagged the *.story file as a potential risk and moved it to a quarantine location. Try checking the location where your anti-virus moves flagged files to see if any of your Storyline 360 project files are there. 

If you or your IT staff are unable to locate your project file, reach out to our support team by opening a case so we can take a closer look at where the files went. 

Jose Tansengco

Hello Shannon, 

I'm really sorry to hear about your project files. As mentioned in my previous response, Storyline 360 doesn't have the capability to search for any existing project files and delete them. The only time Storyline 360 will delete files is when it is publishing to an existing folder. 

For example, in the screenshot below, if you publish a course to the folder 'test', everything inside the folder will be deleted first before the new course files are published. 

This will however, not delete any other file outside the test folder. In the scenario that you reported, there isn't a way for Storyline 360 to delete all existing files in your local drive, and access your network drive to delete the files there as well. There's a high probability that the files may have been moved or deleted by something else. 

Please reach out to your IT staff to see if the files may have been quarantined by your organization's anti-malware applications. Feel free to open a case with our support team here if you need further assistance in identifying what happened to your files. 

Kelly Auner

Hi Sohee,

Thanks for reaching out!

I'm sorry to hear you. can't find your project files after saving them to your local drive. Is this happening with every file you save? Have you tried checking your temp files for your project using the steps Leslie suggested above?

I hope this helps. If you need additional assistance, please let me know!