I lost a mind map. How can I restore/recover it?

It has happened that users lost some mind-maps and hence the work of days, weeks, or even months was lost. There is a number of reasons why users lost their data. Some had a virus, others bought a new computer and forgot to make a backup of Docear’s data, and a few just deleted their data by mistake. In very few cases it even happened that Docear deleted mind maps, or overwrote them with 0 byte mind maps (this can happen in particular, if your computer crashes exactly when you save a mind map).

If you lost some data, there is a chance to recover it, but first of all: Do not make any changes on Docear. If Docear is running, do not close it. If Docear is not running, do not start it!

  1. If you have activated Docear’s free online backup feature, you can download your mind maps at “My Mind Maps“.
  2. Sometimes, Docear needs to convert mind maps to a new data format. In these situations, Docear creates a backup. Docear also creates auto-backups while you use Docear, but deletes these backups once you close Docear. These backups are stored in c:\Users\<windows username>\.docear\backup\   (or ~/.docear/backup/ on Linux and and Mac OS X). If you are lucky, there is a copy of your mind maps in this folder.
  3. If you have activated the recommendation feature, your mind maps are also transferred to our server but do not appear at “My Mind Maps”. Contact us, we might be able to recover your mind maps.
  4. If you have activated online backup or recommendations, mind maps that are scheduled to be transferred to our servers, are first stored in c:\Users\<windows username>\.docear\users\<docear username>\queue\mindmaps\ (or ~/.docear/users/<docear username>/queue/mindmaps/ on Linux and Mac OS X). Have a look, maybe you find a copy of your mind map in that folder.
  5. If all the previous steps do not help, you may try the free UndeletePlus. Use it to recover deleted files from c:\Users\<windows username>\.docear\backup\ or c:\Users\<windows username>\.docear\users\<docear username>\queue\mindmaps\backup, or from the other places where you stored your mind-maps. If you are really lucky, this works.

If none of the above steps recover your data there is probably nothing we can do about it. To prevent data loss in the future, we can only recommend to use Docear’s free backup feature, and ideally you use an additional third party tool. We can highly recommend Crashplan, which backups your entire hard drive for only 5$ a month (we don’t get any money for this recommendation but Crashplan has helped ourselves several times to recover important data). Seriously, data loss can always happen – due to your own faults, errors in the soft- or hardware, or simply bad luck. Therefore, please, take some precautions before you lose your valuable work.

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