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This has been asked regarding Windows, but not macOS.

(Yes, there's a comment on that question regarding macOS, but it's a comment and not an answer, so it's likely to be overlooked, and it's on a question about Windows, and to top it all off it's wrong.)

So, for sake of making (the correct version of) this information easy to find:

Where does VS Code store unsaved files on macOS?

2 Answers 2

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It can be found in a subdirectory of

~/Library/Application\ Support/Code/Backups

Note that the space above has been escaped with a \ character, so you can copy the path and paste it onto the command line.

If you want to put it in quotation marks, then you'll need drop \ character, and replace ~ with $HOME, like so:

"$HOME/Library/Application Support/Code/Backups"

On my laptop the subdirectory is named with a 13-digit number, inside of which is /untitled/. I would guess that the directory above untitled probably varies from installation to installation.

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  • if you are using the VSCodium flavour it is located here: "$HOME/Library/Application Support/VSCodium/Backups"
    – DoRivard
    Dec 16, 2019 at 16:10
  • At that 'Backups' folder location, you can also look at the workspaces.json file; it will list the nice directory path for each project directory which corresponds to the "hashed" directory names. If you go into each one of those and run code ., it'll bring up your unsaved files directly.
    – BrianC
    Feb 22, 2020 at 0:02
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Updated answer in 2022, for MacOS Monterey and VS Code version Version: 1.67.2 (Universal).

The path where I successfully recovered my 'otherwise considered lost in git rebase, uncommitted, unstaged' file is below:

~/Library/Application\ Support/Code/User/History

To supplement anyone trying to figure out a way to search all files with a specific extension containing one of the keyword you remember, here is the command:

find . -name "*.extension" -exec grep whatYouRememberFromFile {} +

Or if you remember only the file name, here is a command that list all 'entries.json' files which will contain all history of the file in hash format

find . -name "entries.json" -exec grep portion-of-the-file-name {} +
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  • I have both directories... does History keep a more detailed running history of changes? I'm not sure whether to change the accepted answer to yours or leave it as mine 🤔...
    – iconoclast
    May 28, 2022 at 4:13

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