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Did Esri decide to dump the backup file when ArcMap crashes and didn't save the file? Did they change anything to that? Did they change that to MXD Doctor?

Whenever I try to exit or save my project in ArcMap, it just crashes and I when I look for the backup file, I see nothing.

I'm using ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop.

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I'm 90% sure that ESRI does not do this. Although wouldn't it just be amazing if they had an autosave feature for when ArcMap crashes. I would have got back around 4 months of my life over a decade had this been the case. – Cody Brown May 3 '13 at 18:48
Looks like there is an ArcGIS Idea on it. – Chad Cooper May 3 '13 at 18:51
An other reason why I dont like ArcGIS – Below the Radar May 3 '13 at 19:36
Burton449, That's why there's Open source GIS out there now trying to competitive with ESRI ! – PROBERT May 3 '13 at 20:40
You can also recover the log files, which is the equivalent of the results window and often the data files. – user61900 Nov 6 '15 at 6:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As someone who uses ArcMap 10.1 frequently and has it crash frequently, I can say that there is no MXD recovery that I've seen. It's just the "Please tell ESRI what happened!" box and then nothing.

With that said, having ArcMap crash every time you save sounds like a configuration problem. If it's possible, I'd suggest doing a complete uninstall and then a fresh reinstall. I've had issues doing an "upgrade" installation.

Chad Cooper posted a link to the ArcGIS Idea submission in a comment if you'd like to give feedback.

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I agree it is a MUST for all GIS users to have this toolbox ! – PROBERT May 6 '13 at 17:34

While the current session isn't saved, the crash dump files are saved if you want to look at them.

Location of crash dump files

Extract from the Esri technical article:

When using the Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems, the crash dump files (.dmp) can be found at the following local hard drive location within the application data of the user profile:

ArcGIS 10.0:


ArcGIS 10.1:


When using the Windows XP operating system, the crash dump files (.dmp) can be found at this location:

C:\Documents and Settings\your_username\Application Data\ESRI\ErrorReports

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mkennedy, I'll look into this on Monday. Thanks ! – PROBERT May 4 '13 at 2:15
This does not help me...Thanks. – PROBERT May 6 '13 at 17:34

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