Use A File As Template & Prevent Overwriting A Master Copy In Mac [Tip]

Have you ever unintentionally modified a really important file that you have no other copy of? That is probably the best time to say ‘Duh’ if life has yet to give you an opportunity to use the word. The thing is, deleted files can be recovered by recovering older versions of the file that’s been modified. For important files that you frequently use as a template (but do not want to modify) or just ones you hope to never overwrite even in your dreams, Mac provides you a simple  yet widely unknown way of doing both from the general menu of any file.

For whichever file you want to use as a template or that you want to protect from unintentional modification, open the file’s general menu by right-clicking it and selecting Get Info from the context menu. In the small window that opens, you will see two options; Stationery pad and Locked.

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Select the Stationery pad option and each time you open and modify this file, it will always be opened as a copy and leave the original file unchanged. The Locked option ensures you don’t accidentally delete the file and is an extra option you can enable to protect your files.

Although these options should ensure protection, it is still a good idea to backup important files to a hard drive or to cloud storage. Remember that deleted files are more easily recovered, but files that have been overwritten can’t always be recovered and if you’ve modified them multiple times, the recovery probability falls even lower.