Recently I have begun to play Skyrim as I once played it but never really carried it on. However, I have reached a problem.

For example, during the quest Bleak Falls Barrow - upon completion I noticed that the whole level had been broken up into 4 or 5 autosave segments. I liked this as I could easily load one of them and play from any which part in the level. The same can be said for gameplay outside of levels, as it keeps a charter if you will of my progress, it makes autosaves automatically where I find them to be most important so that I can replay a point in time if I wish to correct something.

Today, however I played it again to find that these autosaves made during the level are not there anymore - why is this the case?

  • Are the auto-save points missing? or the auto-save files? Dec 19, 2013 at 18:33
  • Sorry to be the brick hahah, but what do you mean by auto save files? to my knowledge all i know is that the auto saves that appeared in the load section of the 'system' section in the pause menu have gone - which i assume are the auto save points you refer to?
    – Jake
    Dec 19, 2013 at 18:38
  • Auto-save points are places in the world that trigger auto-saves. Auto-save files are save files created automatically that bring you back to a previous game state. It sounds like your auto-save files are missing which is usually caused by being overwritten by newer auto-save files. Dec 19, 2013 at 19:03
  • Skyrim only keeps the 5(?) most recent auto-saves if that's what you are asking. Dec 19, 2013 at 19:06
  • Ah right, so i wouldn't be able to go back and replay a certain point in my gameplay by relying on auto-saves?
    – Jake
    Dec 19, 2013 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


Skyrim creates auto saves that are usable from the load menu by default at the following times:

  • When entering certain areas (usually quest related)
  • When the character menu (inventory/map/magic/skills) or the pause menu is opened after a set amount of time has passed, configurable in settings.
  • On waiting
  • On sleeping
  • On fast travel

However, these are created on a rolling system which by default only allows for three auto-saves to be kept. Once there are more than three autosaves (including across characters), the oldest one will be overwritten on the next save.

In addition to this, whenever you encounter a loading screen a temporary non loadable save is made that serves as your respawn point if killed. There are no story replay style saves (as seen in GTA V, for example) in Skyrim, nor to my knowledge ever have there been.

Manual saves can be made at any time, and if you are playing on PC then there is a mod available that adds new autosave options.


To add to Rory's answer, if you're playing on the PC, you can change the amount of autosaves that Skyrim keeps by setting this in your INI file (My Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Skyrim.ini):


x is the number of autosaves you want Skyrim to keep. Increasing this variable will allow you to have more autosaves to choose from in case you need to load a previous save. .

If you're playing on the PC, the mod, Auto-save and time adds additional auto-save events to the vanilla game: at discovery of new location, after clearing a dungeon, at completion of a quest and when the player leaves the combat area. This will allow you to have more specific gameplay points to choose from in case you need to load a previous save.

  • When you say "combat area", do you mean that there are special fixed areas (like a given part of a dungeon) that have a special combat state, or is this just a given area where there are hostile mobs? Dec 21, 2013 at 17:13
  • @CocoaNibsJackson I took that phrasing from the description of the mod. I believe "leaves the combat area" means that the current combat state has ended (either by the death of nearby aggressive enemies or if the player escapes them). You'll now when you're in combat state or not as there is a background combat music that will play if you're in combat. Dec 22, 2013 at 2:19

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