My Mathematica notebooks (as well as all other files I author in my research) are in a directory that is managed by the Google Drive client. This automatically backs up everything I create and I don't have any problems with any applications except Mathematica.

In Mathematica, every time I save a file I get the following popup:

The notebook's file /Users/[user]/My Drive/notes/Books/[My Book]/Figures.nb has changed outside of the Wolfram System. The notebook has been renamed to Untitled-14. The Wolfram System has a complete record of changes made to the notebook, but might not be able to recover some of the unchanged cells. You can open the existing file again to reconcile any unsaved changes.

... and I'm forced to resave the notebook under the desired name.

Any suggestion on what's going on?

Mathematica on MacOS Monterey

  • $\begingroup$ doesn't happen to me on mma 13, Monterey 12.1 $\endgroup$
    – qreus
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 23:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you reported this to Wolfram Support to see if there is a workaround or explanation? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 1:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I understand that this comment is not directly related to the question, but I have been storing all of my notebooks and code files on OneDrive, a similar service, for years now without encountering any problem. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ I've been using Google Drive for many years and this vaguely rings a bell. I think it is something to do with Google Drive making timed backups of each file. Is your directory synced for offline use, or are you streaming your files directly from Google Drive? Offline sync works fine for me on Windows via the Google Drive client, or Linux using InSync. But if you are streaming directly from Google Drive the file name or properties might be getting altered each time Google Drive does its new 'save point' backup, and Mathematica may be sophisticated enough to detect this and raise an error. $\endgroup$
    – Rob F
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ @RobF All my files are local and back up to Google Drive when they are changed. What I described happens after every save. $\endgroup$
    – Wynne
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


I've been having the same problem. Disabling "FileChangeProtection" seems to solve it for me:

SetOptions[$FrontEnd, "FileChangeProtection" -> None]

(The default value is "FileChangeProtection" -> Automatic.)

See this link: https://community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/245278


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