GnuCash creates several types of files to help ensure that your data
is not lost. If you look in the folder where your saved file resides, you may see other
files generated by
GnuCash with the following extensions:
.LNK in the same directory
as your primary data file. What each of these files does is presented below.
The following sections are relevant only if you are saving your financial data in the XML format
$ ls myfile.gnucash myfile.gnucash.20100414185747.gnucash myfile.gnucash.20100414223248.log myfile.gnucash.20100415114340.gnucash myfile.gnucash.20100415154508.log myfile.gnucash.20100415173322.gnucash myfile.gnucash.20100415194251.log myfile.gnucash.7f0982.12093.LNK myfile.gnucash.LCK
Each time you save your data file, a backup copy will also be
saved with the extension
.YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.gnucash. This backup file is a complete copy of
your previous data file, and the filename format refers to the data
file, year, month, day and time of the backup. For example, the filename
myfile.gnucash.20100414185747.gnucash indicates this is a
backup copy of the file
myfile saved in the year
2010, April 14, at 6:57:47 p.m.
To restore an old backup file, simply open the
.YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.gnucash file with the
date to which you wish to return. Be sure to save this file under a
Each time you open and edit a file in
GnuCash creates a log file of changes you have made to your data file.
The log file uses a similar naming format as the backup files:
.YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.log. Log files
are not a full backup of your data file - they simply record changes you
have made to the data file in the current
In case you exit
GnuCash inadvertently, possibly due to a power
outage or a system wide crash, it is possible to recover most of your
work since the last time you saved your
GnuCash file using this log
file. This is the procedure:
Open the last saved
Go to→ → and select the one .log file with the same date as the saved file you just opened. Make sure that you picked the right .log file, or you will possibly wreak havoc in your accounts.
Log replaying will recover any transaction affecting the balance entered since the last save, including those created from scheduled transactions and business features (invoices, bills, etc.).
Changes to the scheduled transactions, invoices or bills themselves are NOT recovered, and their transactions that were recovered may not be properly associated with them, and should thus be double-checked. Especially for business transactions, you may have to delete and re-create some of them. If you do not, although the balance will be correct, some reports may not.
You may occasionally see
.LCK files appear. These do not
store any data, but they are created to prevent more than one user from
opening the same file at the same time. These files are automatically
created when you open the file, to lock it so no one else can access it.
When you close your
GnuCash session or open another file,
unlocks the first data file by deleting the
GnuCash crashes while you have a data file open, the
.LNK files are not deleted. The next time you try to open
will get a warning message that the file is locked. The warning message
appears because the
.LCK files are still in your directory. It is
safe to choose to open the file, but you should delete the
.LCK files (using a terminal window or your file manager). Once those
files are deleted, you will not get the warning message again unless
So which files should you keep around? Keep your main data file,
of course. It’s a
good idea to keep some of the more recent
.YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.gnucash backup files, but you can safely
.log files since they are not complete copies of your data.
If you upgraded from a
You should also delete any
.LNK files that you see after
GnuCash. If you decide to back up your data file to another
disk manually, it’s enough to back up the main data file - not the