How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator File

Learn how to recover unsaved illustrator files if Adobe Illustrator crashes accidentally before you save the files. With some inbuilt features Illustrator allows you to recover the data.

Mar 28,2020 • Filed to: Recover & Repair Files • Proven solutions

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How to recover unsaved illustrator files? Have you ever come across the situation where the illustrator crashes suddenly and you forgot 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 file cs5, recover unsaved illustrator file cs6, etc. In addition, it will also 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 unsaved illustrator file?

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

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


Part 2: What types of files illustrator create?

Illustrator uses the Save as 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 Post Script (EPS) is used to place the graphic elements into a page. Generally, .eps file can be image in a page or a complete page too.

3) Illustrator PDF (.pdf)

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

4) Illustrator SVG (.svg)

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


Part 3: How to recover unsaved or deleted illustrator file?

Tip 1: Relaunch the AI app and save the recovered file

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

1) Relaunch the Adobe Illustrator.

2) A dialog box will appear asking for recovery of the unsaved files as shown below.

relaunch ai 1

3) Click “Ok”.

4) A file with suffix “”will be shown on AI.

5) Head to “File” menu -> Click on “Save a Copy”-> Give a dissimilar version name and click on “Save”.

relaunch ai 2

In addition, to the above process you can fix the crashing issue using “Run Diagnostics” option that appears after relaunching Adobe Illustrator.

relaunch ai 3

Once you click on “Run Diagnostics”, application will start in safe mode and identifies the possible reasons for the crash. Follow the resolution steps displayed, relaunch AI and save the recovered file.

Tip 2: 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 backup folder, follow the below steps:

1) Navigate to the location where the backup files are stored.

2) Look for the files with 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 “File” menu -> “Save as”, rename the file and select the folder where the files needs to be saved and click on “Save”.

Tip 3: 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 you can recover illustrator file after crash using the “Recoverit Data Recovery” as it performs a detailed scan and retrieve all the lost illustrator files.

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

Step 1- Select a Location

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

recoverit interface

Step 2 – Scan the location

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

operations during scanning

Step 3 – Preview the scanned files

1) From the lsit of .pdf and .svg files, you can click on the PDF file.

2) A preview will be displayed with a recover button under the PDF preview.

3) Once the recover button is clicked, the illustrator file will be stored in the computer.

preview recovered photos


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 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 for the question “how to recover lost illustrator files?” Software crash and any other unexpected failure cause sudden data loss when you are using any software.

In the article, you have seen how “Recoverit Data Recovery” can be used to restore the lost or unsaved illustrator files. Apart from this, it is important to enable the “Autosave” feature in AI to minimize the loss of data and ensure that the productiveness is not affected. You must also remember that “Autosave” feature may also cause data loss if the backup process faces an interruption or risk.

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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