A draft is a 'snapshot' of unsaved page content, which Confluence creates automatically at regular intervals while you're creating or editing a page or blog post. Drafts can minimise the loss of work if your Confluence site experiences a problem, as you can retrieve the page content from the last saved draft.

By default, Confluence saves a draft of your page once every thirty seconds, however, a Confluence administrator can configure how often drafts are saved. In addition, whenever you edit a page and then move to another screen, Confluence will automatically save a draft. Each new draft replaces the previously saved draft.

Each time Confluence saves a draft, it displays a message and the time of the last save, to the right of the undo and redo buttons in the editor toolbar. When you edit a page that wasn't successfully saved, Confluence will let you know that a version of the page you're editing wasn't saved, and will give you the option to resume editing it from the draft.

 Screenshot: Message displaying the time when the draft was last saved

More about drafts:

  • You only have access to drafts of pages you've been working on, and whose content hasn't yet been saved.
  • You can't create a draft explicitly.
  • Your drafts are listed in the 'Drafts' tab of your profile.
  • Once you've resumed editing a draft, or chosen to discard it, the draft is removed from your drafts tab.

View drafts

Your drafts are listed on the Drafts tab of your user profile. To see your drafts, choose your profile picture at top right of the screen, then choose Drafts.

Resume editing a draft

There are two ways to resume editing an unsaved page or blog post:

  1. Using your drafts view. To resume editing a draft from this view:
    1. Choose your profile picture at top right of the screen, then choose Drafts.
    2. Choose Resume Editing next to the appropriate draft to resume editing that draft.
      (info) If you hadn't entered a page title, the draft will be named 'Untitled'.
  2. If you create a new page or blog post and didn't save it, but a draft is saved, when you next add a page or blog post in that space, Confluence will ask you if you want to resume editing the page. If you choose resume editing, the draft and its unsaved content will be restored, allowing you to continue editing it.

What happens if I'm editing the draft of a page that has since been updated?

Confluence will display a message informing you that you're editing an outdated page. If there are no conflicts between the two versions, Confluence will give you the option to Merge and Resume editing

If there are conflicts, Confluence will give you the option to View the Conflict or to Discard your changes.

View your unsaved changes

When you edit a page or blog post, you can view any 'unsaved' changes you've made since the last automatically saved draft, by clicking the Draft autosaved at message in the toolbar.

Screenshot: Segment of the unpublished changes window

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49 Archived comments

  1. User avatar


    I spend an hour editing something and many updated drafts were saved.  Finally I made the mistake of hitting the cancel button when I meant to hit save.  I know, stupid, but they are right next to each other.  I was hoping there would be a saved draft of the page, but I look in my drafts and there is nothing there. 

    I really hoped I would have access to the last saved draft, but it appears all my work is lost.

    Please make a change so my work is not necessarily lost.

    14 Jan 2011
    1. User avatar


      Hi, I just wrote the commend above and wanted to add something:

      How come I am allowed to hit cancel without being asked if I really want to quit without saving changes?  I do get a nice message like that if I try to navigate away from a page which has unsaved edits.  But somehow hitting cancel just destroys my work?  This is equivalent to closing a word processor file with unsaved changes and not being given a reminder.  This is a serious bug.  I'll try to figure out my atlassian username and report this....

      14 Jan 2011
      1. User avatar


        Even worse: work all day on a document, then close the browser window and say "yes, I want to leave this page" because, hey, your drafts are getting saved, right?  Wrong.  7F12U, Atlassian.

        03 Nov 2011
        1. User avatar

          Michael Gould

          If you're working all day on a document without saving it and then you arrogantly close it assuming the failsafe feature is going to validate your laziness, the problem is not Atlassian - it's your "process" if it can even be so called.

          03 Dec 2014
          1. User avatar


            If the product is advertised as saving your document regularly and automatically for you, why would you need to save it?

            11 Apr 2015
  2. User avatar

    Jacob Groundwater

    I have to say, calling these drafts is definitely confusing. When I think of a draft, I picture GMail drafts.

    1. I have no idea whether my draft is saved or not when closing the page
    2. There is no explicit control in creating drafts
    3. There seems to be only one draft possible at a time

    I wished to write two drafts for two separate pages, but the second page over-wrote the draft of the first page. They did not share the same title. I'm not saying you have to support GMail drafts, but I would suggest calling these "Snapshots" or something.

    04 May 2012
    1. User avatar



      12 Nov 2012
    1. User avatar

      Caleb Cranford

      There is a change request for this, at least the part about protecting unsaved changes from the cancel button. CONF-7526 - Add cancel confirmation dialog to edit page Resolved (Why have a cancel button, really? It's a web page, just close the browser tab/window.)

      I really liked Milan's suggestion (below) of an "autosave" or similar feature. The autosaves wouldn't necessarily have to be permanent revisions, it would suffice to have a rotating queue of autosaves which are kept for a given edit session, until such time that the document is legitimately saved.

      03 Feb 2014
  3. User avatar


    I agree with Jacob, the name "draft" is confusing.

    Personally, I would really like to have a draft system similar to Gmail.  The absence of a real draft system and of an explicit Save Draft button is forcing me to make my drafts in another space, for example in a personal space.  Adding a real draft system with multiple drafts and explicit save would be a great addition.

    15 Aug 2012
    1. User avatar


      I so get this.

      11 Apr 2015
  4. User avatar


    Having a button to forcibly save a draft would be very good as well. Work all day on a document, still not ready for publish. How can I shut down the browser and guarantee my last piece of work was saved?


    'Save Draft'    button Please!

    29 Aug 2012
  5. User avatar


    I became honored  receive a call from my friend as soon as he uncovered the important points shared in your site. Going through your blog post is a real excellent experience. Thank you for taking into account readers like me, and I wish you the best of achievements as being a professional in this field.

    12 Nov 2012
  6. User avatar


    This is the worst crap I've experienced recently - I just accidentally cancelled 2 hours of my work.

    Thank you Confluence for informing me that you're saving my draft and what time you're saving it only then to let me cancell the entire thing without even asking me if I'm sure I want to do it.

    Does anyone of the Atlassian team intend to answer on this thread, perhap with some tips?!?

    18 Dec 2012
    1. User avatar


      I just had something similar happen to me, just accidentally lost 2 hours of my work. Not good. Not good at all. Not forgiving enough, IMHO.

      11 Apr 2015
      1. User avatar

        Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

        Hi Josephine and Anonymous,

        We've recently implemented a change whereby the Cancel button in the editor has been replaced by a Close button, which automatically saves a draft of your page. We did this as a result of feedback around people accidentally closing their page and losing their work. If you're using Confluence 5.7.x or Confluence Cloud, you should have access to this functionality.

        If you'd like to make any suggestions for improvements to Confluence, please feel free to make a suggestion via our public JIRA site.

        13 Apr 2015
  7. User avatar



    I accidentally clicked Cancel in the preview (I guess I was thinking 'I want to cancel the preview') and lost an afternoon's work.  Very frustrating!

    Any comments from the Confluence team?


    14 Jan 2013
  8. User avatar


    For god sake add a warning when a user accidentally presses the Cancel button when changes are unsaved!!!! Lost my day's work here.


    21 Feb 2013
  9. User avatar

    Chris Kent

    Atlassian, It would be much better to implement a proper drafting system (like in you JIRA workflow) whereby a copy of a page and all its children are marked as draft and only visible to the modifier and whomever they allow visibility.   Then once all the edits are complete to all relevant pages (like updating a book) then the draft can be Published (which includes all children pages).

    28 Mar 2013
  10. User avatar


    I too just lost 2 hours of work by hitting cancel by mistake - would be nice to get a warning.

    06 Apr 2013
  11. User avatar


    So a draft will be saved automatically the first time you hit cancel or your computer crashes or whatever. Lets just hope your computer doesn't crash AFTER you "resume editing" said draft or it will be gone forever.

    Once you resume editing a "draft" you either need to publish or kiss your in progress work good bye... 

    Please vote up this issue:  CONF-1632 - Add a "Save draft and continue editing" button (user saveable drafts) Open

    There is also a plugin that might help others but it's not available for Conf 5.0... yet... https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.k15t.scroll.scroll-versions

    11 Apr 2013
  12. User avatar

    Hreiðar Arnarsson

    There needs to be an option of keeping a history of saved drafts - where drafts do not get deleted/updated on usage. That might fix a few things.

    27 May 2013
  13. User avatar


    I agree with this, the draft system is poor. I have been tested it quite a bit and find that if you open a saved draft and don't select to continue editing it within 30 seconds then you lose the draft. The autosave mechanism just overwrites the last draft.


    This happened to me yesterday when we had a power cut. I opened the browser, had over 30 seconds to think about which option to select for restoring, but by that time it had already saved a new draft. I lost about 2hrs worth of work. That is the reason I have been testing so heavily today. I am currently running a trial of the software and would like to ensure these situations do not occur in a live environment,

    14 Jun 2013
    1. User avatar

      Bernhard Schwager

      I too have just encountered this issue. A better draft handling would be nice...
      But this autosave bug overwrites a draft even without another modification on the current page. The user has to click "resume editing" before the configured draft saving interval kills the draft.
      30s, 29s.. life punishes those who come too late.

      19 Aug 2013
  14. User avatar


    Same thing just happened to me. 4 hours of work down the drain. I feel like i've been "pranked". What a miserable feeling.

    11 Jul 2013
  15. User avatar


    4 hours of work gone cause i hit cancel accidentally!


    Get rid of the cancel button from next to save at least!

    06 Aug 2013
  16. User avatar


    Yeah, I'm another one who hit the cancel button thinking a draft would be saved somewhere and lost an hours worth of work. Poor UX design

    27 Aug 2013
  17. User avatar


    Same issue here. Just lost 2.5 hours worth of work because I had no idea 'Cancel' was synonymous with "discard this draft without warning". Extremely frustrating.

    23 Sep 2013
  18. User avatar


    Browser crashed and was able to view my "draft" and see that it had saved my work. Click to continue editing, and it reverted to the saved version and wiped my draft. Awful.

    16 Oct 2013
    1. User avatar

      Kaven Rousseau

      Same problem here: opening the draft replaced half a day of work by the old version. Nice.

      12 Dec 2013
  19. User avatar

    Ed Kershenbaum

    I just lost 4 hours of very detailed work because Confluence because I accidentally hit the Cancel button from Preview.  I am beyond furious - I have bought 500 seats of Confluence for my company, and a further 50-seat OnDemand for our partners.  I hate to have to tell everyone about this unbelievably STUPID design decision.


    16 Oct 2013
  20. User avatar


    Like all the others I just learned it the hard way that the draft feature is completely useless if you accidently hit cancel (I wanted to cancel editing the current macro) and lost a couple of hours editing. (sad)

    15 Jan 2014
  21. User avatar

    Caleb Cranford

    Something similar to the problems that everyone is reporting just killed 3 hours of very brain-intensive work. I'm completely floored, literally sitting here typing up the implementation rationale for Atlassian in my yearly project plan (among other things), and it's all gone. I can't even begin to reproduce how it happened, because I was trusting it. To say the least, I has the tab open for over 4 hours and it didn't save a single draft. In fact when I clicked save, Confluence saved a version without any of today's changes. I don't think I hit cancel, can't be sure.

    Just shocked..

    01 Feb 2014
  22. User avatar

    Milan Reimann

    Same Problem, second time... Makes me angry!

    Ideal solution:

    There is a autosave function, next to the save button. Confluence should autosave changes every minute for maybe the last 10.

    If there appears any problem, the user chooses edit again and could click on last changes and can restore the page from the last 10 autosaves. Can't image that this basic function is that complicated to realize!

    03 Feb 2014
  23. User avatar

    Felicity Chapman

    If this is a problem for you too then please vote for:

    • CONF-7526 - Add cancel confirmation dialog to edit page Resolved
    • CONF-25416 - Upon pressing cancel while editing a page, wiki should ask if the user is sure about about cancelling the work Resolved
    • CONF-1632 - Add a "Save draft and continue editing" button (user saveable drafts) Open

    Perhaps one day they'll do something about the problems with cancelling and drafts.


    23 May 2014
  24. User avatar

    Valentin Vesa

    I spent almost one hour adding a comment to a page a colleague created on our internal confluence portal. Then I clicked a link in the preview window and it opened _self, instead of _blank, as the portal is set to do, according to this code that was applied at setup time:

    jQuery(document).ready(function() {
        jQuery(".external-link").attr("target", "_blank");

    I would have imagined that whenever I hit the "Preview" button, that action also saves the draft. Ok it did not.
    I got to this post here and I was happy to see I can recover my drafts at /users/viewmydrafts.action but not true.

    The /users/viewmydrafts.action only lists PAGES I started, not COMMENTS. Why?
    02 Jul 2014
    1. User avatar

      Rachel Robins [Atlassian Tech Writer]

      Hi Valentin, sorry auto-save only applies to pages, not comments. A feature request for this can be found here  CONF-12978 - Add auto-save/draft feature for comments Open

      03 Jul 2014
      1. User avatar

        Valentin Vesa

        Any idea when this will be deployed?

        03 Jul 2014
        1. User avatar

          Rachel Robins [Atlassian Tech Writer]

          This issue is not currently being worked on.  If you watch the ticket you'll be notified when / if the status changes from Open to In Progress. 

          06 Jul 2014
  25. User avatar

    Magnus Bae

    Lots of comments here, a bit of TLDR. Just wanted to chime in that not making drafts available on the page it was drafted on is very counterintuitive, especially when compared with the conventions set in place by other wikis and CMS-systems. I don't mind that it's available on the profile page (nice way to get an overview, etc.), but it should definitely be available on the page that was edited.

    06 Jan 2015
    1. User avatar

      Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Thanks for the feedback, Magnus. I'd suggest raising an improvement issue so that others can watch and comment on it, and we can gauge the interest.

      06 Jan 2015
  26. User avatar

    Helen Gosper

    I have a suggestion, which I don't think has been raised an improvement issue but I apologise if it has already. Would it be possible for Atlassian to have a 'Save Draft' button AND a 'Publish' button? This would potentially have two benefits: 1. Get around the issue of having to publish (after restricting) something before it's finished, and 2. Give the ability to work on upgrading a page while it is still live without interfering with what is published, then being able to publish your changes when ready, without needing to introduce an approvals plug-in. SO each saved draft would replace the one before it, and show in the page history as DRAFT until someone published the updated version. Interested in other people's thoughts on this?

    18 Feb 2015
    1. User avatar

      Hans-Peter Geier

      I would save the DRAFT version (of an existing page) under a different name; you can restrict the read access to yourself without leaving the editor, so nobody would even notice that you are working on a new version.

      18 Feb 2015
  27. User avatar

    Chris Kite

    Personally I highly dislike the new "Close" button when working with drafts. I think it would have been much more intuitive to leave the Cancel button but instead warn the user that the unsaved draft will be discarded.

    Often times I will create a page to test a macro or a layout. I will then Preview, and when done, I just want to cancel the draft. With the new system, I hit close, and there is no indication that the draft was saved and is lingering in the system. At the very least when I chose Close it should take me back to the page at which point I could delete it.

    I just learned about the "Drafts" link in the profile. I had many old drafts 300+ days old. Unfortunately when I click on the page title or "Resume" it takes me straight to the Edit mode and there is no way to view my changes. I have no idea what is different on the 300 day old draft vs the current page and there seems to be no way to view the changes.

    07 Apr 2015
  28. User avatar


    Is adding a comment in Confluence considered to be editing a page? And: Is there any way to prevent Confluence from letting one or more authors open one or more pages at the same time?

    13 Apr 2015
    1. User avatar

      Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Hi Josephine,

      There are different permissions for comments, so it's not the same as editing a page. A user may not be able to edit a page, but still may be able to comment.

      If you'd like to stop someone editing a page, you can do it via page restrictions; comments are handled via space permissions.

      Not sure I totally understand your question re multiple editors/pages but Confluence will allow multiple people to edit the same page at the same time, and will let you know when someone else is editing the same page. It'll merge the changes when you save, provided there are no conflicts it can't resolve.

      15 Apr 2015
  29. User avatar


    Giles, thank you. So, it sounds like commenting on a page is different from editing a page. Why will Confluence allow me to open more than one copy of the same page? That would seem to be inviting trouble, to my way of thinking. I personally find the way Confluence handles resolving multiple editors/pages to be very confusing. Your response caveat "....provided there are no conflicts it can't resolve" only underscores my concern. I've lost work before, and may again, because of the way Confluence handles multiple editors/pages. Is there some way I can set a setting to prevent me from opening up a second copy of the same page? Even that would be better than what we seem to have right now. It's too easy, it seems to me, to overwrite your own work. Thank you.

    15 Apr 2015
    1. User avatar

      Giles Brunning [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Hi Josephine,

      Unfortunately, there's no way currently to turn off concurrent editing. I think you'll see some changes to the way it works in future, but that may not be for a little while.

      16 Apr 2015
  30. User avatar

    Patrick Eaton

    I just lost more than a day's worth of work because of this poorly designed way of storing "drafts." I was able to resume editing a previously auto-saved document with no problem, but when I went to preview the edits I made to the draft, I accidentally clicked the Cancel button by mistake, thinking that it would merely cancel the preview, but no, instead I lost everything I had been working on for the last day and a half...with no hope of getting it back, apparently. 

    Worst. Draft. Handling. Ever.

    07 Jul 2015
    1. User avatar

      Hans-Peter Geier

      it's a good practice to save your work from time to time and not to rely on the working buffer of the text editor. You won't keep your one day of work in MS-WORD either without saving from time to time, right?

      Though you might welcome or even love the related improvement in Confluence 5.8  (which I in turn do not like so much, but I may be the minority)

      08 Jul 2015
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