Opening and saving scores

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    Overview

    You can store your files either locally on your computer, or online (“in the cloud”) to your musescore.com account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one for free here.

    In the case of scores saved online, MuseScore also keeps local copies on your computer, so you can work on them even without an active internet connection. Every time you save a "Cloud Score", the online copy at musescore.com is also updated. This system protects both the integrity of your local cloud scores while offering all the advantages of online storage, including backup, viewing and playback across multiple devices, ease of sharing, commenting, and much more.

    Please note that, if you download one of your cloud scores from musescore.com and open it in MuseScore, the file you download and open will be a new, locally-stored file, separate from the file in the cloud.

    Opening a score

    There are a few ways to open a score in MuseScore 4.

    File → Open

    This triggers your file browser, allowing you to select and open scores stored on your computer or storage device (dialog will vary according to operating system).
    Windows/Linux: Ctrl+O. MacOS: Cmd+O

    File → Open recent

    This option allows you to choose from a list of recently-opened scores.

    Home tab → Scores

    This window displays your most recently modified scores. Double-click on any score thumbnail to open it. You can also click Open other… to access locally-stored scores from your file browser.

    Scores that have been saved to the cloud are indicated with a cloud icon. Unlike local scores, it is not possible to rename or otherwise modify a cloud file from your computer’s file browser. You can, however, do this from the score manager on musescore.com. Go directly to your score manager by clicking the Score manager (online) button in the Scores window.

    It is possible to open multiple scores simultaneously. In this case, MuseScore opens each score in a separate window.

    Import file formats

    Apart from its native format files (*.mscz and *.mscx), MuseScore can also open MusicXML, compressed MusicXML and MIDI files, as well as a variety of files in other formats. You can customize various import settings by going to Preferences → Import.

    Saving a score

    To save a score:

    1. Go to File
    2. Choose any of the following options:

    Option What it does Shortcut
    Save Saves current score to new file, or saves changes to a previously saved file Windows/Linux: Ctrl+S, MacOS: Cmd+S
    Save As... Saves current score to new file Windows/Linux: Shift+Ctrl+S, MacOS: Shift+Cmd+S
    Save a copy... Saves current score to new file, but allows you to continue editing the original file None
    Save selection... Saves selected measures to new file None
    Save to cloud... Saves score as a new file on musescore.com None

    The first time you use any of the above save options, a dialog opens asking you “How would you like to save”, then offering you the options of “Save to the cloud” or “Save to computer”.

    To disable this window, click Don't show again to ensure you only see your operating system's native save dialog for future saves.

    Save to computer

    The Save to computer option triggers your operating system’s “Save” dialog, allowing you to save the score as a (compressed) MuseScore file, .mscx.

    There is also an option in your “Save” dialog to save files in an uncompressed format (“Uncompressed MuseScore folder”). This option creates a new folder on your computer that contains a MuseScore (.mscx) file, as well as a thumbnail image file (.png) and any relevant .json, .mss, and .xml files.

    Save to the cloud

    Scores saved online (to the cloud) appear in the program’s Home: Scores tab with a cloud symbol at the corner of the file icon. A local copy is also automatically saved on your computer.

    To save a score to the cloud, choose Save to the cloud. This triggers a dialog with the following options:

    Name

    This is the name under which your score will be identifiable on musescore.com

    Visibility

    • Private allows you to save changes to your score without others seeing your work online.
    • Public makes your score visible to everyone on musescore.com.

    When you’re ready, click Save. The first time you do this, MuseScore will ask whether you also want to upload your audio to musescore.com. You can choose from the following options:

    Never

    Each time you press Save, only the score itself will be uploaded to musescore.com. Online playback will use the MS Basic soundfont.

    Always

    Each time you press Save, MuseScore will generate an .mp3 file to upload together with your score. Score playback on musescore.com will sound the same as it does in your desktop app (including audio from the Muse Sounds library, if installed, or any VST instruments and effects you’ve added)

    Every x saves

    MuseScore will only generate and upload an .mp3 file at a save interval you specify.

    These settings only affect your private cloud scores. You will only be asked to specify this setting once, however you can change this setting at any time by going to Preferences → Cloud. Once you click OK, MuseScore will confirm your score has been saved. Your file will be accessible from both the Home tab as well as the score manager on musescore.com.