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Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

This software has done this too me soooo many times. I've had it!!!

Why does the QBO not have auto save and saved versions yet??? When I go to save an invoice or an estimate it kicks me out to the login page and the invoice or estimate doesn't save and is gone. For some reason it doesn't cache it in the audit section either. I have excellent internet and it still does it.

This is frustrating and ridiculous. I work on many online applications that all have excellent versioning and auto save functionalities. QBO needs to figure this out.
27 Comments 27

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Many users have also requested to have an auto-save feature in QBO, ttapp01.


QuickBooks Online has a built-in feature called Automatic timeout. This prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to your QBO account when you're away from your PC. 


The time of inactivity is based from the time that you last clicked Save. So if you walked away from the computer for 20 minutes, you could be signed out when you get back. Because even if you only left for 20 minutes or less, it has been longer since you last saved a transaction.


If you're the Master Admin of the company file, you can set the company settings to keep you logged in for 3 hours. This is to avoid the program from closing unexpectedly and losing all your work.


Here's how:

  1. Click the Gear icon.
  2. Under Your Company, choose Account and Settings.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the pencil icon to edit the Other Preferences section.
  5. Set the hour to Sign Me Out If Inactive for.
  6. Click Save and then Done.

I'd recommend sending a feature request to have an auto-save feature in the program. Here's the link to our feedback site:


The QuickBooks Community forum is always open to help you out. Just leave a reply if you need anything else.

Level 2

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

I have had this problem for years now. I stay up late and work on a large estimate. In the middle of typing, flash, reset, have to sign in, and all my work is gone!! Had this happen a year ago with a bid due within 10 minutes and lost it all. Was a $57,000 job. We won it too because I scrapped the estimate and threw out my last memory of what the total was in an email. Later found out I was wrong. It was actually $87,000 that I had worked out. I lost 30k due to QBO's insane inability to secure our work. I just had it happen five minutes ago which is why I am here. I spent a long time with a long estimate, it's 12:44AM and I want to go to bed, I was in the middle of typing and flash, I was suddenly typing on the password screen. Lost it all. Didn't auto save it because I guess even though it was being used the entire time, QBO thinks it better they turn it off like a jerk at the outlet unplugging your computer before you can save anything except for Microsoft, Google, and any other document type software in the entire world, they have auto save and recover features that give me SECURITY in my business. I am done with QBO and believe that if they think my work is not important, their services are definitely not in my interest.

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

I had the same issue twice the first time I entered 2.5hrs if info into an estimate and pressed the save button on the bottom right and screen blanked out and I had to log back in.  I thought that was strange and immediately checked on my work and it was gone.   I checked the log and there was no record of work.  The second time was from the mobile app on my iPhone.  I purposely saved the estimate more than once then I went back to it and it was gone.  All the info I entered over the period of an hour was lost and no record of log nor record of me logging in.  

QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Hi @Lombardoconstruction,


Let's perform some troubleshooting steps to successfully save your estimates and get you back to business.


To check if it's a browser's issue, let's open a private/incognito browser when creating an estimate. If it works successfully, you can go back to your default browser to clear its cache. This way, you can temporarily delete some internet files and improve your browser's performance.


You can use these keyboard shortcuts to open a private/incognito window:

  • Google Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Internet Explorer: Ctrl + Shift + P
  • Mozilla Firefox: Ctrl + Shift + P
  • Safari: Command + Option + P

If you're still unable to save the estimate, you can use another browser for this.


For your mobile app, you can refresh the app's data to optimize the performance. Here's how:

  1. On your mobile app, click on the Burger (three parallel vertical lines) icon.
  2. Scroll down, and select Help & Feedback.
  3. Click on Refresh Data.

If the problem still persists, I suggest you uninstall and re-install the application on your iPhone.


Don't hesitate to let me know if you have other concerns. I'll be here to assist you. 

Indy Enviroworks
Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Same thing happened to me today.  Spent over an hour typing up an estimate and went to push save as I was going to take a break.  Poof, it took me to the login page after I clicked on save.  I logged back in and all my work was gone.  If QBO cant come up with an auto save or figure out how to fix this issue I am going to be switching to another service.  Not happy with as much as it cost per month.  

Kristine Mae
QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

I bet I'd feel the same way if the same thing happens to me, Indy Enviroworks.


I've checked over our files and didn't see any open investigations similar to yours. If you've tried the troubleshooting my colleagues provided at the top and still encountering the same issue, I'd suggest reaching out to our customer care support. An agent can take a better look at this.


Here's how to get in touch:

  1. Click Help inside QuickBooks Online.
  2. Choose Contact us.
  3. Enter a brief detail of your concern, then click Let's talk.
  4. Choose either Get a callback or Message an agent

The phone line is open from Mondays to Saturdays. During weekdays, it's open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm PST. Then, during Saturdays, it's open from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm PST. The chat line is open from Mondays to Saturdays at 4:00 am to 9:00 pm PST. 


You can visit the Community anytime if you have other concerns. Have a good one! 

Not applicable

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Yeah, figure it out please!

You would think, for as much as this program cost (not including time lost) it should have thought of this. It seems to me QBO is cutting corners to save a buck and not considering it's users. Frustrating and disappointing! I have used QB for almost 20 years and recently switched to QBO so so frustrated! Time lost money lost!!

QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Hello @Anonymous,


This isn't the kind of service we want you to experience. We're constantly upgrading the product to best help you grow your business.


We make it a priority to listen to our customer and their suggestions for the product. I want to let you know that we appreciate sharing with us your thoughts.


We will strive harder to improve the product and service we provide. This way, we can ensure the success and growth of your business with us.


In the meantime, you can visit our QuickBooks Blog to get the latest news and feature updates.


You can also visit our QBO Self-Help page in case you want to learn some processes.


Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. I'll be here to help you.

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

It seems as if this is not an important issue to you guys seeing as how it is still an issue. 

We get logged out automatically for "security reasons", which just happened to us again, yet we have to set our auto-logout to 3hrs so we will not lose our work.  It appears that since you guys can't come up with an auto-save function, we have to become more lax on our security.

Please give us a solution and not an empty reply.

QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Hi @DarthFred,


I understand that you've set the auto-logout preferences in QuickBooks for 3 hours. But you can consider using another browser in the meantime to double-check. Let me provide additional information on this.


For some reasons, you might want to check your browser settings that can cause the force logged out in your QuickBooks Online. Also, if you haven't yet, you can clear your browser's cache to erase all of the previous files that are saved on your browser.


To check if this issue will persist, let's try using another browser. You can consider these supported browsers below:


  • Google Chrome.
  • Mozilla Firefox.
  • Internet Explorer.
  • Safari.

Also, I can see how important to have an auto-save function in QuickBooks. But I want to let you know that your voice matters and I'm submitting your feedback directly to our engineers.


For now, you can visit our blog site so you'll be able to get the latest news about QuickBooks and what our Product Care Team is working on.


Please feel free to post any other questions you have below. The Community and I are always here to help you out.

Trying to work
Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Same thing just happened to me!! Lost a bunch of work when I went to save it.  Didn't know this was an issue until now.  And now seeing this has been a problem for awhile with quickbooks doing nothing about it is very disappointing.  Thanks for wasting peoples time quickbooks.  I am paying for this program to save time so I can spend it with my family.  I feel like you are stealing that from everyone and don't even care. 



I don't need a replay about upgrading my browser or lowering my security settings to 3hrs.

JUST FIX THE PROBLEM WITH AUTOSAVE!!!!!!! seriously how hard is it?

QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Hi there, @Trying to work.

I'd also want to make sure all transactions created in QBO are automatically saved. This way, I wouldn't have to start things over when unexpected behavior occurs while working in my account.


As mentioned by @SophiaAnnL, the time of inactivity is based on the time that you last clicked the Save button. To keep you logged in, set the Sign Me Out If Inactive for 3 hours.


This way, you can save the transactions and continue any processes you’re working in QBO. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Gear icon at the top to select Account and Settings under Your Company.
  2. This will display the Account and Settings page. From there, tap the Advanced tab on the left panel to choose the Pencil icon for Other Preferences.
  3. In the Sign Me Out If Inactive for section, click the drop-down to select 3 hours.
  4. Click Save and then Done.

I can see that a lot of customers have the same need about the AutoSave feature. Your voice is important to us, and ideas like this help identify what we need to improve on for consideration in future enhancements.

 I'll be sending a product suggestion on your behalf based on this interaction. You can also visit the QuickBooks Blog to learn the latest news about the product and get some tips on how to run your business seamlessly.


Reach out to me whenever you have any questions or concerns. Please know the Community has your back, and I’m here ready to help you. Have a good one.

Save a draft
Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

These are all work around solutions for something QBO should have built in. Many small businesses build invoices as they go. There should be a draft option in invoices. Yes, estimates work but why do we have to work around the problem. Over the course of a month, I add my hours as I go. That's not an estimate, it is a draft invoice so why wouldn't that be an option?  

QuickBooks Team

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Hi Save a draft,


I know how you want the option to create a draft for your invoice. But, at this time our only alternative is to use the estimate form instead. 


I'll pass this along to our product team to let them know of your business needs. 


I have included this link in case you have other questions about sales forms: Sales And Customers.


Let me know if you need anything else. I'm always right here to help.

Level 2

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

We don't need another form to do invoices. He's not requesting we have another form. He's saying we draft (calculate and write up) our invoices and estimates while we are writing them into the program. For many of us, this takes longer than three hours!


We expect our work to be saved and protected by the program. Currently, our estimates or invoices that take more than three hours to write up as we 'draft' them into the current forms is in danger of being deleted. Why would QBO put our work in danger of being removed? Especially work that takes longer than three hours to do!!


To not recognize typing, or modifications of a form is insane.  The recognition of user input is the save button only? Is there any data or events to support the need for a security tactic of kicking us out of the program when the save button isn't hit over a period of time? Has this saved any business from fraudulent activity? I seriously doubt it. But even when the idea of shutting the program down to secure it during non-use came up, not a single engineer or executive thought about the need to save whatever was left on any forms? It's like a conscious decision to ignore the obvious and expensive set back of utilizing such a feature.


I'd rather have the option of turning off the "auto-off and erase your work security feature". I'd feel safer.

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

It's 2020 now and Quickbooks still has this obvious problem!

Like others I worked on an estimate for over an hour, leaving to other tabs as one does, and when I returned and hit print/preview --- poof ! Gone! I'm staring at the login screen. Why, when I log back in, and go to the sales screen, do I don't see the unfinished estimate there???? In my rage, I found this thread and it's super frustrating to see it hasn't been addressed. Gmail and other services have trained us to assume our work is saved in real time. The amount of money Intuit has, (purchasing Credit Karma for $7.1B in cash and stocks!) Can't we get AutoSAVE!! Maybe I should go back to doing my estimates in a google sheets mod!

Sure, I've adjusted for three hours working time now as suggested above, but I'm not going to trust it. Maybe Intuit knows that people are locked into their services for other reasons, like online payments and accountants who prefer we use quickbooks, so they can get away with letting things slip! l Let's be honest, the overall interface of Quickbooks is a bit Byzantine and clunky (estimates don't even get their own category under Sales), I don't need more reasons to cancel your service!

Auto Save Feature Now before I fund a social media campaign!

Level 2

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

This just happened to me and its beyond frustrating!!! I usually spend a long time on estimates and bam it logs me out and saves nothing! I just went online after having data issues on the desktop and now this?? This software is garbage for what they charge you monthly. I can believe they can't figure this out. 

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Just happened to me yesterday, twice. The second time I entered it, I continually hit "save". Didn't matter. I saved what I had been working on to finish it today and this morning there is no record of it at all. This has been going on for over a year and a half and QBO hasn't fixed it. It is hard to believe that a company that has the $ they do and charges what they do cannot figure this out. Then find someone who can! This is a huge disservice to the businesses you supposedly serve. Very irritated and angry about this lack of action over this ongoing issue!

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Just a current update to let others know that the lack of auto save is still an issue with Quickbooks Online.  A fellow employee just lost an invoice he was working on for 3+ hours. 


Thanks to the others who have posted on this thread -- at least we know the invoice loss was not our error, but that doesn't ease the sting of hours of lost work.  (FYI:  If you lose an new estimate or invoice due to timing out, you will not find it in the audit trail.) 


We did go into settings, as suggested, and increase from one to three hours.  We're not trusting the setting change though, based on another commenter's experience, and will try to save our work periodically to be on the safe side.


I find it ironic that while typing this Quickbooks discussion board message an autosave notice comes up letting me know my work is being saved periodically.  Come on Intuit -- get it together and solve this problem!   

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

I'm glad im not the only one dealing with these insane frustrations. worked on an estimate 2+ hours just to have it dissapear.. FKN ridiculous OUT OF ALL THIS technology WHY NOT incorporate AN AUTOSAVE. 

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

if so many users have these same frustrations then fix it. auto save every 5 minutes or something. This was a major bid and all my hard work is gone and dissapeared for "security" purposes. I logged into my account when i first stared and i do everytime isnt that enough security. I cant put into words my frustration with this.

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

Had the same issue -_-

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

So frustrating with how much this service cost to essentially have to start over. A small auto-save feature is all that is needed but the only answer Quickbooks has is to extend worktime before idle. I have been putting information in for two hours and I click the save button and poof  there goes all that work. Even some sort of recovery option would work but they charge a lot and offer bare bones for it. Not asking for much and a relatively simple change to something that has been a problem for awhile. Get it together!

Level 1

Estimate Disappeared After Saving

How is this still a problem?!! I am beyond pissed right now. I just spent 3+ hours working on a detailed estimate and its FKN GONE!! This is truly asinine that QBO doesn't autosave this work. I CANNOT in good conscience recommend QBO to any other contractor at this point!! As small business owners, we do not have the time to completely redo estimates as well as deal with the frustration of explaining to a client WHY it happened. (The dog ate my homework - SUPER PROFESSIONAL!!!)


I recently attended a conference focused on the Painting Contracting business where we saw demonstrations of excellent estimating software. I will be recommending those solutions as well as a different accounting software. As soon as I can figure out how to transition my company out of QBO into a different software suite, I'm gone. 


QBO execs - feel free to call me for feedback. Save your BS answers unless it somehow gets my estimate back. 

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