Copy and Back Up your NVivo Project

Do you have a good system for regularly backing up your NVivo projects? Many people overlook this mundane task, but I consider it essential.

Stuff happens! Weird power, hardware, or software glitches can cause NVivo project damage or loss. Or you make drastic changes in your NVivo project, then think better of it and wish you could go back to the previous version. In either case, knowing you have saved the most recent copy of your project is a welcome relief.

My own habit is to regularly copy and re-date my NVivo project, and save it to my backup storage location (like an external hard drive or a secure server that meets your ethics requirements). If you are using the new NVivo, consider the new NVivo Collaboration Cloud as an add-on.

I have outlined the steps to show you how easy it is to copy and save an NVivo project. Copying projects is different in NVivo for Windows and NVivo for Mac – steps for both are provided.

(Note: This QWick tip applies to standalone NVivo projects; project backups work differently if you are working in the NVivo Collaboration add-on.)

Step 1. From the Welcome Window click on File.

Windows Step 1

Step 2. From the main menu, select Copy Project.

Windows Step 2

Step 3. In the Copy Project box, click on Browse to find and select the project you wish to copy. Click Open.

Windows Step 3

Step 4. In the Copy Project box, click on Browse to select the Location where you wish to save the copy (e.g., external hard drive, secure server). Enter a new File Name. Click Save.

Windows Step 4

Step 5. Review the Copy Project box, carefully noting the locations. If all is correct, click OK.

Windows Step 5

That’s it. Your project is copied and backed up.

Step 1. Open Finder. Locate your NVivo project and select Duplicate.

Mac Step 1

Step 2. A copy will automatically be created in the same file location and with the same name plus “copy” added at the end.

Mac Step 2

Step 3. Rename the copy. Using the current date is good practice.

Mac Step 3

Step 4. Create a copy to save as your backup file. Open the backup location and drag and drop the NVivo file into it.

Mac Step 4

That’s it. Your project is copied and backed up.

This is what I have developed as my good practice. Maybe you do something similar, or have a different practice that you follow. The important thing is to have a good system for regularly backing up your NVivo projects so it gets done – time wisely spent could save you the grief of work lost if something should go awry.


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