FileMaker Pro basics > Opening and managing files > Saving and copying files
Saving and copying files
By default, FileMaker Pro automatically saves and commits changes to your data as you work, so there is no Save command. You can, however:
save a copy of your file as a backup
save a clone of your file with no data
Some actions do not cause a file to be saved. For details, see "What FileMaker Pro doesn’t save," below.
To make a copy or clone of your database file:
1. Choose File menu > Save a Copy As.
2. Navigate to where you want to save the copy on your disk.
3. For File name (Windows) or Save As (macOS), type a filename.
4. For Save a (Windows) or Type (macOS), choose one of the following options:
copy of current file
Duplicate the current file.
compacted copy (smaller)
Optimize the file (remove blank space). See Saving a compacted copy.
clone (no records)
Save a file’s tables, layouts, scripts, page setup options, and field definitions without the data.
self-contained copy (single file)
Create a copy of the current file with all container data that is stored as a file reference or stored externally (by both open and secure storage) embedded in the file’s container fields.
Note  To have a copy of a file that includes container data that's stored externally, choose self-contained copy. The copy of current file and compacted copy options do not copy externally stored data. If you want to use either of those options, you'll need to embed data in the container fields first. For more information, see Setting up container fields to store data externally.
5. Click Save.
What FileMaker Pro doesn’t save
FileMaker Pro doesn't save changes to the state of a file, if they are the only changes you make while the file is open. For example, here are some changes that are not saved:
Displaying a different record or layout
Sorting records or modifying a sort order
Performing find operations such as Find, Show All Records, Omit Record, or modifying a find request
Showing or hiding the status toolbar
For example, if you open a file, sort records, and then close the file, FileMaker Pro does not save the sort order. However, if you open a file, add a new record, sort the records, and then close the file, FileMaker Pro saves the sort order as well as the new record.
FileMaker Pro constantly saves changes to your computer’s RAM, or cache. You can set the interval at which FileMaker Pro saves your work to disk. For more information, see Setting memory preferences.
You can also specify when FileMaker Pro saves changes by creating (and then executing) a script that contains the Flush Cache to Disk script step. This script command moves anything stored in RAM to the hard disk.
By default, FileMaker Pro does not save layout design changes automatically. Therefore you should save your work periodically while you are designing a layout in Layout mode. You can also set a preference so that layout changes are saved automatically. For more information, see Saving and reverting layout changes.
If you want more control over when record data is saved, you can clear the Save Record Changes Automatically option on a layout-by-layout basis. For more information, see Setting the automatic record-saving option for a layout.
The Save a Copy As menu command is not supported in FileMaker Pro database files hosted by FileMaker Server.
If you see an alert that says container data failed to transfer when you created a self-contained copy, see the Transfer.log file located in the user’s Documents folder for details.
Related topics 
Opening and managing files
Saving, importing, and exporting data