Project file corrupted, could not be saved. Happen more and more often

Sep 14, 2023

Lately, I've been encountering a recurring issue when attempting to save my project files. It consistently displays an error message stating that the file is corrupted and cannot be saved. This problem has persisted across all of my recent projects. Here are the steps I take to troubleshoot this problem:

When this problem occurs, my first course of action is to navigate to the "Media Library." I look for files with default placeholder thumbnails and blank metadata; these are the corrupted files. In my experience, the corrupted files are always large video files, ranging from 50MB to 1GB in size.

When I attempt to play one of these corrupted video files in the "Media Library," Storyline crashes every time. Similarly, trying to delete the file results in Storyline crashing. Occasionally, I encounter an error when opening the "Media Library."

Once I've identified the corrupted file, I proceed to the slide that contains it and delete the file from the slide. However, even after removing the corrupted file, I encounter the same error when attempting to save the project file. This is particularly frustrating, as I have already pinpointed and removed the corrupted file, yet Storyline still cannot save the project. I believe Articulate should offer a more robust solution for handling this issue.

The only way I've found to recover the project file is to create a new project and import all the slides from the corrupted one. After importing, the corrupted slide typically contains nothing (it's blank) or fails to import at all. This serves as another method for identifying which file is corrupted in the original project.

I've noticed that this error tends to occur when I leave Storyline open and step away from the computer for a while(the computer in idle), such as during lunch or a meeting. When I return and continue working on the project, attempting to save the file triggers this error.

It's clear that Storyline could benefit from an improved file recovery mechanism. Dealing with this issue consistently consumes 1 to 2 hours of my time for every project, as I must import and recreate the corrupted slides in a new project file. Additionally, Storyline appears to struggle (low timeline and playback performance) when handling video files.

2 Replies
Judy Nollet

I'll pass on the advice I received from an early Super Hero: Always close your files when you're not working on them, especially if the computer will go into or be put into Sleep mode. 

Your experience indicates that that is good advice to follow. (I got into the habit of closing my SL file before taking any break, and I haven't had issues with corrupted files.)

Jose Tansengco

Hello Tianxuan Liu,

I'm really sorry to hear about your project file, and thanks for sharing the troubleshooting steps that you've taken to isolate the cause. I know how frustrating losing a project file can be, especially if there are no backups to restore the content. 

We've listed the common causes of file corruption here, as well as some tips on how to reduce the risk of running into issues with the project file.

In our experience, sticking to the guidelines mentioned in the article will greatly help minimize the risk of losing your project files. Regarding the file that you were working on, please feel free to open a case with our support team here so we can take a look at the file to see if anything can be recovered from it, such as media files and text. 

Hope this helps!