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How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator Files?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

How to recover unsaved illustrator files? Have you ever come across a situation where the illustrator crashed suddenly and forgot to save the files? Don't worry. This article will help you to know about the different types of files created by Illustrator and understand the process to recover unsaved illustrator files cs5, cs6, etc. Also, it will focus on the importance of the "Autosave" feature in Illustrator and how "Recoverit Data Recovery" can be used to recover the lost illustrator files from your computer.

Part 1: Is It Possible to Recover an Unsaved Illustrator File?

Yes, it is possible to recover an unsaved illustrator file after a sudden crash of the Illustrator. Sometimes, the editor crashes due to the following reasons:

In addition to these, Illustrator will be taking backup of large files during the data recovery, and if the backup goes wrong at some point, Illustration will hang and crash.

Part 2: What Types of Files Does Illustrator Create?

Illustrator uses the Save as an option to create the following file formats:

1) AI Illustrator (.ai)

Adobe Illustrator document is the native file format of the Adobe Illustrator, which supports all the features provided by the illustrator.

2) Illustrator EPS (.eps)

Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is used to place the graphic elements on a page. Generally, a .eps file can be an image on a page or a complete page.

3) Illustrator PDF (.pdf)

This is the most common format that has been available in recent days and is also known as the native format for Adobe Acrobat readers. PDF file format supports many features like annotations, notes, search options, and hyperlinks.

4) Illustrator SVG (.svg)

Scalable Vector Graphics files are generally used on the World Wide Web(WWW). Illustrator allows you to save .svg files, which allow you to save part or the entire font. In addition to these options, .svg compressed (.svgz) files can also be saved using Illustrator.

Part 3: 6 Tips to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator Files?

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Tip 1: Restoring Illustrator Files from the Recycle Bin

To recover deleted Illustrator files, the initial step is to check the Recycle Bin or Trash on your Mac. Deleted files are temporarily stored here before being permanently erased.

Tip 2: Relaunch the AI app and save the recovered file

After the crash, you can recover the illustrator file by simply restarting Adobe Illustrator. Yes, it is as simple as it sounds. You can do it by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Relaunch Adobe Illustrator.
  2. A dialog box will appear asking for recovery of the unsaved files, as shown below.

relaunch ai 1

  1. Click "Ok".
  2. A file with the suffix "will be shown on AI.
  3. Head to the "File" menu -> Click on "Save a Copy"-> Give a dissimilar version name and click on "Save".

relaunch ai 2

Also, to the above process, you can fix the crashing issue using the "Run Diagnostics" option that appears after relaunching Adobe Illustrator.

relaunch ai 3

Once you click on "Run Diagnostics", the application will start in safe mode and identify the crash's possible reasons. Follow the resolution steps displayed, relaunch AI and save the recovered file.

Tip 3: Restore Illustrator file from backup

Backup files are stored in "C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [your version of Adobe Illustrator] Settings\en_US\AIPrefs". To recover illustrator from the backup folder, follow the below steps:

  1. Navigate to the location where the backup files are stored.
  2. Look for the files with the name "recovery" and select the illustrator file which you want to recover and rename the file.
  3. Double-click on the file, and it will launch in Illustrator.
  4. In AI, click on the "File" menu -> "Save as", rename the file and select the folder where the files need to be saved and click on "Save".

Tip 4: Recover the lost Illustrator files with Recoverit Data Recovery

Is your illustrator file with type .pdf lost because of accidental deletion of file or crash of your computer? Don't worry. After a crash, you can recover the illustrator file using the "Recoverit Data Recovery" as it performs a detailed scan and retrieves all the lost illustrator files.

Following the below steps will help you recover the illustrator file not saved:

Step 1- Select a Location

Launch the tool after installing, recover lost illustrator files, and choose the location where the deleted files were stored.

recoverit interface

Step 2 – Scan the location

Recoverit will start an all-around scan. Usually, it takes a few minutes to finish the scan and retrieve the PDF and SVG files.

operations during scanning

Step 3 – Preview the scanned files

  1. You can click on the PDF file from the list of .pdf and .svg files.
  2. A preview will be displayed with a recovery button under the PDF preview.
  3. Once the recover button is clicked, the illustrator file will be stored on the computer.

preview recovered photos

Tip 5: Other Ways to Recover Illustrator Files

1. Utilizing the Revert Option

If you wish to return your current Illustrator file to its previous state, you can utilize the Revert option.

Navigate to the top left corner, click on File, and select Revert.

revert the files

2. Retrieving from Recent Files

An alternative method to retrieve Illustrator files is through the Recent Files feature. At times, files may not be deleted but rather misplaced. In such instances, accessing File -> Open Recent Files can efficiently help you locate the missing files.

open recent files

Bonus Tip: How to Enable Illustrator Autosave to Prevent Data Loss After Illustrator Crashes

Whenever Illustrator crashes, the data recovery option available on AI turns off automatically. To recover an unsaved illustrator file, you need to set the data recovery in the preferences panel. This can be done by following the below steps:

  1. Go to "Preferences" - > "File Handling & Clipboard".
  2. Under "Data Recovery", select the checkbox "Automatically Save Recovery Data Every:"
  3. Select the time interval from the drop-down to save the backup.
  4. Click on "Choose" to select the folder to which the recovered file needs to be saved.
  5. Select the checkbox "Turn off Data Recovery for complex document" for a smooth and uninterrupted workflow.
  6. Click on "OK".

enable autosave

The Bottom Line

All the above solutions provide a detailed answer to how to recover lost illustrator files. Software crashes and any other unexpected failure cause sudden data loss when using any software.

In the article, you have seen how Recoverit Data Recovery can be used to restore the lost or unsaved illustrator files. It is also important to enable the "Autosave" feature in AI to minimize data loss and ensure that productiveness is not affected. Remember that the "Autosave" feature may also cause data loss if the backup process faces an interruption or risk.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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