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I am having trouble saving any files at all that have information in them in affinity designer. If it is a blank file, it will save. Whenever I DO anything and try to save, it always fails. Please help.


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When I choose save as and use a new file name I get c:/users/user/document/new test doc.afdesign File not found: check the file name and try again

When trying to overwrite an existing file I get: save failed because access to the file was lost : The document must now be closed

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10 hours ago, Rach said:

When I choose save as and use a new file name I get c:/users/user/document/new test doc.afdesign File not found: check the file name and try again

Have you turned on "Controlled Folder Access" in Windows Defender Security Centre?  To check whether it's turned on:

1. Click the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of the taskbar to open the Start Menu

2. Type "Windows Defender" and you should see "Windows Defender Security Centre" listed.  Click on it.

3. Go to "Virus & Threat Protection"

4. Go to "Ransomware Protection"



It’s worth mentioning for those arriving here via search engine, that my replies are for the specific error message listed below only, which is a Windows File Explorer error message when you attempt to save a *new* Affinity file to one of the user folders (I.E. Desktop, Documents, Pictures, etc.).

File not found.
Check the file name and try again.

File not found.
Check the filename and try again.

Pay particular attention to the exact wording of the error message. Other file save error messages that are worded slightly differently are likely due to something else, not due to ‘Controlled Folder Access’ being turned on.



The following Affinity error message that appears when you try to save over a pre-existing Affinity file with ‘Controlled Folder Access’ turned on, may or may not always be due to ‘Controlled Folder Access’ being turned on, as I don’t know what other scenarios Serif use this particular error message.

Save failed because access to the file was lost.
The document must now be closed.



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Controlled Folder Access is predominantly a feature aimed at Enterprise, as it isn’t a ‘turn on and forget’ setting, but something that needs to be configured.  Which is why it isn't enabled by default.

Ordinarily you would run it in audit mode for a while and build up a list of applications you want to whitelist (although audit mode isn’t really necessary for a home user, as you should see a notification anyway). Then when it’s switched from audit mode to fully enabled, new applications that are blocked can be monitored through event logs and added to the whitelist as required.

Regular users can use it too if they choose to, they just need to be aware that it isn’t a ‘turn on and forget’ setting. With the exception of some built-in Windows applications, applications will need to be added to the whitelist to allow them to write to user folders (or any additional folders that are added to Controlled Folder Access as protected folders).

When Controlled Folder Access is turned on, you should see a Windows Action Centre Notification warning you if it’s blocking an application (see the screenshots in my above post). Clicking on the notification itself will take you straight to the settings page in the Windows Defender Security Centre where you can whitelist it (‘Allow An App Through Controlled Folder Access’). You can access the exact same place by clicking on the link of the same name in Windows Defender Security Centre, which can be seen in my above screenshot.

If you aren’t seeing the Action Centre notifications, make sure you haven’t turned off ‘Get notifications from apps and other senders’ in [Windows Settings > System > Notifications & Actions], or maybe something else that would disable Action Centre notifications. These should be being displayed by default, so if you’re not seeing them something isn't right.

In the future, Microsoft could potentially tie Controlled Folder Access in with some sort of application reputation based system, I don’t know, however at the moment it’s a manual process. In the next Windows 10 release (1809), there will be an additional drop down menu in the ‘Allow An App Through Controlled Folder Access’ settings menu, that will also have a list of ‘Recently Blocked Apps’ so in the event you missed any notifications, you can still see what was previously blocked in there.

In the mean time (presuming you’re not an insider running Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17704 or later), you can run PowerShell and copy/paste the following script, which will list applications that have previously been blocked by Controlled Folder Access on your machine in the last 90 days. Ordinarily I would advise against copy and pasting scripts posted on the internet into PowerShell, as they can be harmful unless from a reputable source, but it’s here if you want to use it (I am the source).

# Timescale

$StartTime = (Get-Date) - (New-TimeSpan -Day 90)

# Controlled Folder Access blocked events

$CFAEvents = Get-WinEvent -FilterXML @'
<Query Id="0">

<Select Path="Microsoft-Windows-Windows Defender/Operational">
*[System[( (EventID=1123 or EventID=1124 or EventID=1127 or EventID=1128) )]]


# Output

$CFAEvents | 
Where-Object { $_.TimeCreated -ge $StartTime } | 
Sort-Object -Property "TimeCreated" | 
Format-List -Property "TimeCreated", "Message"




Edit (added after Windows 10 1809 released):

For Windows 10 1809 onwards, either click the Windows Notification Centre message that appears in the bottom-right corner when something has been blocked by Controlled Folder Access—which will take you directly to the Windows Security settings.  Or go to [Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Ransomware Protection > Block History], which will take you to the same place. You can then select ‘Allow on device’ under the ‘Actions’ drop-down menu.



Alternatively, you can go to [Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Ransomware Protection > Allow an app through controlled folder access > Add an allowed app > Recently blocked apps].  You can then add an allowed app from the list.


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THANK YOU!, so very much. This solved my issue completely. I appreciate the detailed explanation, as well as troubleshooting my quirky windows 10, that is regularly getting in my way. These steps are so well laid out it is useful for far more than just solving affinity designer issues, it solves other problems I didn't realize what was the source as well. Again, thank you very much!

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