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Emacs saves all the visited files from time to time (based on counting your keystrokes) without being asked. This is called auto-saving. It prevents you from losing more than a limited amount of work if the system crashes.
When Emacs determines that it is time for auto-saving, each buffer is considered, and is auto-saved if auto-saving is turned on for it and it has been changed since the last time it was auto-saved. The message `Auto-saving...' is displayed in the echo area during auto-saving, if any files are actually auto-saved. Errors occurring during auto-saving are caught so that they do not interfere with the execution of commands you have been typing.
M.5.1 Auto-Save Files The file where auto-saved changes are actually made until you save the file. M.5.2 Controlling Auto-Saving Controlling when and how often to auto-save. M.5.3 Recovering Data from Auto-Saves Recovering text from auto-save files.