Does Canva save automatically?

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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Working on a design in Canva is easy and user-friendly, but some projects take longer than others. That's why the auto-save feature comes in handy. If anything happens to your design, like the program or your laptop shutting down, it will be automatically saved.

But how can you be sure that your progress has been saved? This article will explain how the auto-save feature works, how often the program auto-saves, and other ways to save your design.



How often does Canva save automatically?

Canva offers the auto-save feature on both PC and mobile versions. To do this, Canva uses the Mongo DB cluster to save your design. The automatic save rate has obvious technological advantages and disadvantages. The more often your design is saved, the less you will lose it in the event of a crash or other mishap. However, this comes at the cost of additional write operations on the backend and the DB cluster.

Canva started the auto-save feature at a rate of five seconds, which means the software only saves every five seconds if the user changes their design. It seemed to work well under the average workload.

However, considerable spikes in design activity do occasionally occur, and these quickly exhaust the database's limited write capacity, causing serious performance degradation for all Canva users. The autosave feature was the biggest contributor to the write load.

One way to solve this problem would have been to scale the DB cluster to improve steady-state write capability. However, this implies that most of the obtained and expensive write capacity would have remained unused under typical stress.


Instead, Canva decided to change the auto-save design rate mechanism dynamically, asking every user to take a break. This pause allowed Canva to stabilize and moderate the demand for database writes during periods of high usage.


Canva was able to set the autosave criteria in two ways.

The approach covered throughput of requests per second (or QPS) and latency (or delays in milliseconds). A monitoring system measures a five-minute rolling average of throughput and delay supporting the auto-save feature.

The monitoring system is associated with dynamic thresholds to be modified in real time, allowing fine tuning. When determining the criteria, the number of active users of the program should be taken into account.

When thresholds overflow, users may receive a response. When a user receives a response with "throttle: true", this reduces the pace of autosaves to the lowest possible level. If the user receives a "throttle:false", the speed of autosaves is increased by a fixed amount up to the maximum rate allowed.

Unfortunately, this means that Canva's auto-save rate for edits isn't fixed; it depends on the overall traffic on the platform. The average is every few seconds after the changes occur.

How to save automatically

Besides automatic backup, there is also manual backup. Autosave is more accessible, and to do so, follow these steps:

  1. On the Canva homepage, click on "Create a design".
  2. Check if "All saved changes" is written in the taskbar right next to "Resize".
  3. Modify your design as desired. When adding changes, the text "All changes saved" will be replaced with "Saving changes". This means that it is currently saving all the things you have changed.

You can always save manually if you want to be sure that you have saved all the current changes you have made to your design. The steps to do this are:



  1. Click "File" on the taskbar after completing your design.
  2. Select "Save" from the menu.
  3. If you don't see the words "All changes saved," click "Save."
  4. Go to the "Save to Folder" option if you are working on multiple projects at once. Select this option and navigate to the folder where you want to save your current design.

However, you can also save your designs directly to a platform such as the Plann Workspace grid or Plann Media Collections.

Here are the steps to save designs to the Plann workspace grid:

  1. Click on the “+” symbol to create a new design.
  2. Select the “CANVA” button.
  3. You will be taken directly to your Canva account, where you can make changes to your custom design.
  4. Select "PUBLISH" when you're done.
  5. Your work will appear in your Plann Workspace Grid, where you can write a description and schedule an Instagram post.

To save your designs directly to Plann Media Collections, the steps are as follows:

  1. Add media to your design by clicking the "+" icon.
  2. Choose "CANVA" as the media source.
  3. You'll be taken to your Canva account, where you can make changes to your custom design.
  4. Choose "PUBLISH" after completing your design.
  5. Your work will appear in your Plann Media Collection, where you can write a caption and schedule an Instagram post.

Additional FAQs

What can I do if my automatic backup isn't working?

It's possible that the changes you made to your design weren't saved because you're using an older version of the app or software, you have unstable internet access, or you're having ongoing difficulties on the site.



Check if your browser or mobile app is up to date. If necessary, update your browser or app to the latest version. Make sure JavaScript is enabled in your browser. You can try using another browser, as the one you are using may not meet the technology requirements. Also check if you have a reliable and fast internet connection.

Sometimes your changes may not be saved because the save process was interrupted. To avoid this, watch the status bar. Canva saves designs every few seconds after they've been edited. Before closing designs, wait for the status bar to show "All changes saved". To check the status on the mobile app, first tap the three horizontal dots.

You can always save the design manually or clear your web browser's cache and history. Cookies that have accumulated can sometimes create problems. However, you should be aware that this may cause you to be disconnected from other websites.

Design without worries

The auto-save feature can save you hours of wasted work. However, it's not perfect. Some issues may occur from time to time, and sometimes not all changes are saved. If you're not sure all your changes have been saved, check the taskbar or save your file manually just in case.

How often do you use Canva? Have you ever lost work due to autosave failure? Do you prefer to save files automatically or manually? Let us know in the comment section below!

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