Understanding how to back-up and Restore your Data in NVivo

Where is my data in NVivo?

If I upgrade to a newer version of NVivo, will I lose my data?

How do I restore my data?

Is my data in the cloud?

This video explains critical information for any researcher using NVivo who needs to know where their data is and how to protect and recover it if necessary in both NVivo for Windows and NVivo for MAC:


The video discusses essential practices for managing data in NVivo, covering understanding data storage, protecting and backing up files, and recovering data if necessary. It emphasizes the importance of knowing where NVivo project files are stored, how to correctly back them up, and the risks of relying solely on automated backup processes.


  • [💾] NVivo project files are stored locally, not in the cloud or embedded within the software. They are crucial and should be kept in a designated folder like Documents to avoid stability issues.
  • [🔒] Backing up NVivo involves using the “Copy Project” feature under the Share tab, ensuring backups are stored separately from the main project to prevent confusion.
  • [🔄] Regular manual backups are recommended over relying solely on automatic saving, as automated processes may back up errors or fail when needed most.
  • [🛠️] Restoring a project involves selecting the correct backup file manually and ensuring it’s moved out of the backup folder and renamed appropriately before use.
Key Moments
  • Understanding NVivo Data Management00:07
    • Explains where NVivo data is stored and clarifies it’s not in the cloud or embedded in software.
    • Emphasizes the importance of knowing the location of NVivo project files (nvp/nvpX).
    • Advises against storing files in complex paths or cloud folders to prevent crashes.
  • Backing Up Your NVivo Project05:25
    • Demonstrates how to back up NVivo projects using the “Copy Project” feature.
    • Highlights the distinction between copying a project and exporting files.
    • Recommends saving backups in dedicated folders and avoiding overwriting by mistake.
  • Restoring NVivo Projects Safely12:40
    • Discusses automated recovery files (nvb) and their limitations.
    • Guides on manually restoring a project using the “Restore Project” feature.
    • Advises against relying solely on automated backups due to potential errors.