How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted AutoCAD File?

This article covers how to recover unsaved AutoCAD file through easy methods such as Recoverit, and you own back up.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Apr 10, 2023 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

AutoCAD is a widely used software application for creating designs on the computer and drafting. Architects use it for creating blueprints such as bridges, computer chips, and buildings. While most people don't face any problem with this software, sometimes its possible to slip up and not save your work. AutoCAD files get saved in DWG format with the .dwg extension. In case, you are also wondering about how to recover your lost work or projects, then you can look below. In this article, we will discover methods about how to recover unsaved AutoCAD file if it gets deleted or you don't save it.

Is it possible to recover an unsaved or deleted AutoCAD file?

Yes, we know that rendering a draft on AutoCAD is extremely time-consuming. Losing a file there may not only waste your precious efforts but also may be why you miss deadlines. Here are some ways through which you can recover unsaved AutoCAD files:

Method 1: Recover unsaved Autocad file from backup

- Use back up file (.bak) method

For this method, all you need to do is change the extension of the BAK file to DWG. This can be done in Windows Explorer. The steps for the same are:

Step 1: In Windows Explorer, all you need to do is locate the backup file, which is identified with the file extension of .bak.

Step 2: After this, all you need to do is right-click on the file and opt for the rename option.

autocad bak to dwg extension

Step 3: Post this, you can feed in a new name by changing the extension to .dwg.

Step 4: You can then just open the file as you would for any simple drawing file.

- Use the Automatic Save method (.sv$)

Step 1: Start by locating the autosave folder location ((C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp\)

Step 2: Find the files that have the extension- .sv$. You can find the files which have a similar name along with different dates and time like the .dwg file that got corrupted.

automatic save method dwg autocad

Step 3: You can then rename the extension again from .sv$ and change it to .dwg.

Step 4: After this, just attempt to open the new file and you would be able to recover the unsaved AutoCAD file.

- Save temporary files (.ac$) extension

Step 1: First, you need to go to the path of the temporary file which may be labeled as "C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp". Alternatively, you can access it with WIN+R -> %temp%.

temporary file extension autocad recovery

Step 2: Then to recover deleted Autocad files, you can search for the ones with having a BAK or ac$ extension. You would need to figure out the right file with the help of either the file size or the partial name.

Step 3: Copy this file onto the local server. You would not want to corrupt the temporary files in this process.

Step 4: After, this simply open the AutoCAD file, go onto drawing utilities, and then recover. After this, an open file dialog box will open.

Step 5: Locate the earlier temporary file and then after the recovery process is over, you can recover your unsaved AutoCAD file.

Video tutorial: Recover AutoCAD Autosave or Backup File

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Method 2: Recover deleted AutoCAD files with a professional tool

We strongly recommend using Recoverit when you want to recover deleted AutoCAD files. It is a professional tool, which is quite easy to use as well. Here are the steps you need to follow for this particular tool:

Step 1: Select the location

The first step towards recovering the data on any computer is to first find where you have lost it. You can select a hard disk under the tab. Or, go on to the Desktop- select the location tab. Alternatively, you can choose the 'Start' button to scan the location as well.

recoverit interface

Step 2: Scan the location carefully

This process by Recoverit is quite convenient. It takes a few minutes to start the process. You can carefully scrutinize the process and pinpoint the files you need to recover. For more convenience, you can even stop the process anytime you want. We recommend you to pause the process continually in case there is a lot of data. DWG files may have partial names that may be difficult to recognize. Hence, you can carefully look through the data to find your files.

operations during scanning

Step 3: Run a preview and then recover the files

The last and the most important feature for how to recover AutoCAD files is to simply preview the files you may have lost and then recover them for your perusal. This way, you can restore the unsaved or deleted files and use them again.

You can use the same features on your MAC too. Use Recoverit to recover AutoCAD files that are unsaved.

preview recovered photos

Bonus Tips to Back Up and Protect AutoCAD Files

One of the most important steps to keep your work protected is to enable the Autosave feature in your AutoCAD files. It is almost like the autosave feature on Google Docs. You would never need to lose your work again if this feature is on. Here are the steps you can use to do the same:

Step 1: Go to the CAD options dialog box. Open this box.

Step 2: Right-click the open and save option in this particular box.

Step 3: Customize your minutes and tick the Autosave options.

autosave autocad

The Bottom Line

We hope the above guide helps you with how to recover the unsaved file in AutoCAD. We recommend you to use Recoverit since it is a professional tool and can effortlessly help you recover your data. It is also safe and secure to use. It works for both MAC and Windows, so you do not need to worry about which operating system you are using. Recover unsaved AutoCAD files with whichever method works the best for you, and do not worry about repeating your hard work.

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