Problem: VS 2012 "Cannot Save File" while using Resource Editor


You are using Visual Studio 2012, where you are editing a Visual C++ project and making changes to a dialog in the Resource Editor. An unexpected message box appears with the error message:

Cannot Save File


There is an issue with how the AutoRecover feature is interacting with the Resource Editor. When the resource being edited has not been saved when the AutoRecover interval expires (the default is every 5 minutes), AutoRecover tries to save the resource files. During this, it tries to save a file named is used when you are using Context-Sensitive Help, an option when generating a native UI project. When you have it enabled, it creates help IDs that get written to the help ID header file, There will not be any unless you enable the "Help ID" property for one or more of your resources.


  1. Avoid AutoRecover save of edited resources.
    a. Disable the AutoRecover option in Tools | Options | Environment | AutoRecover, by unchecking the "Save AutoRecover information every:" checkbox:Tools | Options | Environment | AutoRecover
    b. Save your edited resources within the specified interval to avoid the triggering of Auto-Save. You may increase the interval, but this also increases the risk of losing unsaved work.
  2. Don't use context-sensitive help
    a. If you are not using context help ID’s, then turning that off for every control would be the easiest solution. Turning it off from the resource editor would be safest. In the resource editor, check for all the controls and one of the properties will be Help ID. Set it to "False" for every control where it is "True".Control Properties Help ID
    b. Alternatively you could edit the .rc file directly. For instance, removing the last parameter here for every control with a Help ID would turn off the feature:

More Information

See this blog article about AutoRecover: Ultimate Visual Studio Tips & Tricks

Article ID: 2839032 - Last Review: Apr 17, 2013 - Revision: 1

Microsoft Visual Studio Professional 2012, Microsoft Visual Studio Premium 2012, Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012