Using Backups 

The backup method you select depends on where your project is saved.

Please note:

If you create publications using the Citavi Word Add-In you can also find backups for your Word documents in the Backup folder regardless of whether you created your publications with a local, cloud, or DBServer project.

icon_localBackups for local projects

Citavi automatically creates backups when you close a local project. The backups are saved in the following folder: Documents\Citavi 6\Backup. The file will have the extension ctv6bak and is saved in a compressed XML format.

Backups contain only the Citavi project file. Attached PDF files or cover images in the Citavi Attachments folder and your custom citation styles are not saved in the backup.

For this reason we recommend regularly saving your most important files or the entire folder Documents\Citavi 6\ on an external drive. Windows offers a nice feature for backups under Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

Changing the Folder for Backups 

You may want to save the Backup folder on a network share if this is automatically backed up by your organization on a regular basis.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Switch to the Folders tab.
  3. Under Create automatic backups of local projects, and then click Browse.
  4. Choose a new folder.

Please note:

If you work with OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive, or another synchronization program, you can save your backups in a cloud folder. However, you should not directly open and edit a Citavi project in a synchronized cloud folder from one of these services. The synchronization process can interfere with Citavi's saving routine and cause data corruption.

Increasing the Number of Backups 

As a default, Citavi saves seven backups. If an eighth backup is created, Citavi automatically deletes the oldest of the backups. You can increase the number of backups.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Switch to the Folders tab.
  3. Under Create automatic backups of local projects, increase the Number of versions.

Creating a Backup Manually 

If you're working on a project for a long time without closing Citavi, you might want to create a backup copy manually.

  1. Click File > This project > Create backup.
  2. Citavi creates a backup in the folder that you set as the folder for backup copies.

Restoring a Project from a Backup

  1. Switch to the folder where your backups are saved. By default this folder is Documents\Citavi 6\Backup.
  2. Switch to the folder that has the same name as the project.
  3. Double-click the backup file. Usually you'll want to use the most recent file.
  4. The project is opened and the project color is changed to gray. The file name appears with the word RECOVERED. You can continue to work on the project or copy references from this project into another project (see Exporting to Another Citavi Project). Click Tools > Project color to change the project color.

icon_cloudBackups for cloud projects 

Cloud projects are backed up automatically every minute and saved for 7 days. If you need to restore a backup and have a license for Citavi, contact the Citavi Support team and let them know your project key which you can find under File > This project > Properties > Description > Project key. In addition to the project key, please send us your support information: in your project on the Help menu, click Send support information. Copy the information you see there.


It only makes sense to use a backup copy of your cloud project if you or another team member deleted content from your cloud project and want to undo this deletion. Please also see the chapter Saving in Cloud Projects. In Citavi 6.2 and later you can restore deleted items from the recycle bin instead of restoring an entire backup copy. Click File > This project > Recycle bin).

However, you can still save a local copy of the project at any time:

  1. On the File menu, click This project > Archive project.
  2. Citavi saves the project and its attached files as a ZIP file in the folder Documents\Citavi 6\Projects\Archive. The file extension is CTV6ARCHIVE.

To use the project saved in the archive, extract the files by double-clicking the archive file.

icon_serverBackups for DBServer projects

Please refer to the chapter Setting up Database Backups.