Disappearing Documents

29.03.2021, 10:29

Hi, I am using MAXQDA 2018 and I have twice had the problem that my documents are gone when I reopen the file. I am doing a large project with 26 documents, and I realised the last time that the disappearance might have been due to using cloud storage. I therefore started saving MAXQDA files to my desktop instead. However, the problem has reoccurred, and this time it is different. Whereas before, the files were completely gone, and I had to restore them from a backup file, this time, the codes still appear to be present, but without a document name (see attachment). The documents are still missing from the document list, and I cannot find them. When I click on a code in the 'coded segments' box to display the coded item, it is blank for images, but coded text is still visible. Then when I try to restore the documents by re-importing them from my back-up file, the codes I already have are duplicated, instead of replacing them, so I end up with double the amount of codes I should have. I need to know two things: 1. Are these two documents hiding somewhere inside MAXQDA and I can't find them? If so, how can I restore them? 2. If they are not in MAXQDA and I need to restore from a backup, how can I delete the codes that belonged to the orignal two documents (without doing it one by one)? Thank you.

Version: MAXQDA 2018
System: Windows 10
MAXQDA issue.png
MAXQDA issue.png (76.99 KiB) Viewed 3755 times
Posts: 3
Joined: 29.03.2021, 02:29

Re: Disappearing Documents

30.03.2021, 08:18

Hi lawson.shelley,

Thank you for posting here! In this case, it would be best if you could contact our support team directly so we can take a look at you file here. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior indicates there might be issues with your projects files database.

The most common reason for this kind of issues results from not opening the project file from a local hard drive, but from a network resource, USB flash drive, external hard drive, or from a folder that's being kept synchronized with a cloud service. Since MAXQDA is a database program, all changes get saved automatically. If however the connection gets interrupted, this can lead to errors in the database structure. This is why we strongly recommend to always open the project file from a local hard drive. (You can save it anywhere you want of course, this is just about opening.). You can read more about this here in our FAQs:

You can contact our support team directly via the following form:

Kind regards in behalf of MAXQDA,
MAXQDA support team
Posts: 58
Joined: 27.11.2019, 11:44

Re: Disappearing Documents

31.03.2021, 04:40

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. I'm afraid the data I am dealing with includes a lot of personal stories which I couldn't share with anyone else for ethical reasons. In any case, I have now checked where the backup was saving to, which was indeed the cloud storage website I use. In order to solve the problem, I have now managed to save the backup to my desktop so that this problem won't happen again. In order to deal with the current problem, I have block deleted the empty codes and merged the file with a previous version containing only the missing documents. Now I have the right numbers of codes, except for the ones I changed between these two versions. Hopefully this won't happen again.
Posts: 3
Joined: 29.03.2021, 02:29

Re: Disappearing Documents

02.04.2021, 07:48


a great workaround :) Should you have any concerns, you can always send a ticket to us via https://www.maxqda.com/function-support

You don't have to send your entire project file(s) - we can try to help you without accessing them.

Best regards,

MAXQDA support team
Posts: 82
Joined: 19.07.2019, 09:48

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