I haven't been able to find in the documentation the role of a few file types created by org-mode to support the main org file.

file.org is the main file

file.org_archive is clearly where archived tasks are stored

what are these: file.org_archive~ , file.org~, .#file.org, #file.org#

Opened in a text editor, they look the same as file.org

1 Answer 1


These are all backup or lock files of one sort of another that emacs itself creates (i.e. they have nothing to do with org-mode: emacs does this for all files). See Backup in the Emacs docs: this explains the files with ~ appended.

The .#file.org file is a lock file that is created when you modify file.org but have not saved it yet. It's supposed to protect the file from simultaneous editing by multiple users. See Protection against Simultaneous Editing.

The file #file.org# is a saved copy of the corresponding file file.org that emacs currently is visiting. As long as you keep the file.org file open, the backup file will be periodically saved with the current contents of the buffer, so that if emacs crashes[1] you will have lost only a little bit of what you had done. When you save the file and kill the buffer visiting it, this backup file will go away. See Auto-Save Files.

The docs describe a bunch of options that you can set to change the default behavior.

[1] Emacs never crashes of course.[2]

[2] Just kidding :-)

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