Designs missing from Dashboard

I have had my glowforge for about 3 months now. I just logged in after several weeks and noticed all but 3 of my designs are no longer in my dashboard. Please someone tell me that this just some kind of error.

I just found that the files are automatically deleted if I don’t open them periodically. This is so disheartening and this information was not clearly stated anywhere. I have hours and hours of work on the files.

It’s in the Learn By Doing section of the online manual. I’m sorry you didn’t see it in time. For the future, know that you can export your designs to your computer so you always have a copy.


I just scrolled through the “Learn By Doing” section and did not see anything that mentions the file deletion. I also pulled up the glowforge manual and did some keyword searches and did not see it mentioned. It would have been nice to at least get an email or something. I will be exporting my files, thanks.

This is the section you’re looking for:

Store, Export and Save

If you subscribe to Glowforge Premium, you have unlimited storage for as long as your subscription remains active.

Otherwise, designs you’ve opened within the last 30 days are stored. Keep the original file on your computer, or export and save it to your computer when your design is finished, so you don’t lose your work after 30 days. (Catalog designs you own are always stored in your Dashboard, and cannot be exported.)

It’s in that link I gave you above.


You may be past the “new Glowforge” time to sign up for premium, but they do offer bargain periods to sign up for less than “normal” if you keep an eye out. The premium specials are increasing all the time so unless you are a once-a-month hobby user it is getting ever more a bargain.

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Thank you, I can’t really justify the expense at this time.

I’m so sorry - I know how hard it is to lose files.
The best thing to do is to keep all of your files on the computer or somewhere. Where did you get or create the files?
If you created them yourself, do you have them saved on the device where you created them?
If you purchased them, can you redownload the files?

As every new machine comes with a premium trial, it sounds like they dived in and starting using it without having read the info on the “first prints and more” page which the setup process directs you to, as highlighted above.

I have most of them but I had the layout and everything perfect. It is just very frustrating.

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I am well past my premium trial and read pages and pages of stuff but did not come across that information or I would obviously have done something to prevent the deletion.

I understand. What I’ve sometimes done is, in Illustrator (which is what I primarily use, but this would work in whatever program you are using), make my canvas the total size of my material. Then do the whole layout there in the software. It works well.

It’s frustrating. I always say that those painful learnings are the things I will always remember, but it doesn’t take away the sting of it.

Sidenote: There is also a program called deepnest that you can download and install for free (just google it) and if you are trying to maximize your material use, it will nest everything very nicely in your file. It can be done with making multiples of one file, or a sheet of all different pieces, whatever you need.


Thank you for your kind input.

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In the case of those you have done, you can hit that triple-dot and there is an Export Design in there to save it on your computer. You can at any time drag and drop that back into the screen and it will be exactly as it was when you saved it.

Those designs you have acquired from the catalog cannot be exported but they will not disappear like your other designs.

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I’ve had my machine for 4 months with premium never lost a design I have all my files on dashboard since the beginning

Yeah - that’s a benefit of having premium.

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Thank you, I have exported all my remaining files.

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