How to Recover Illustrator File After Crash for Free (8 Ways)

Adobe Illustrator will suddenly crashes due to different reasons. Here, you can find some effective solutions to recover illustrator file after crash.


By Zoey / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Help! I need to recover Illustrator file after crash


How do I recover Illustrator data after crash?

Illustrator crashes when I open an important file, same with another computer. Is it possible to recover an unsaved Illustrator file after Windows crash? Is there any solution to that?

One of the most painful things that can happen when you use editing software like Illustrator is encountering a system or software crash that results in file loss.

Sometimes, you can restore deleted files from Recycle Bin when Illustrator files are deleted by accident. Don’t panic if you don't find it in the recycle bin, I’ll show you how to recover Illustrator file after crash. In addition, other alternative ways to recover deleted Illustrator files will be provided too. These solutions apply to any Adobe Illustrator version, including CS5, CS6, CC, version 2023 (26.3), and so on.

Illustrator Logo

What causes Illustrator to crash?

Adobe Illustrator crashes can be caused by various factors. Here are some common reasons:

✦ Software Bugs: Like any complex software, Illustrator may have bugs or glitches that can lead to crashes. Ensure that you are using the latest version of Illustrator, as updates often include bug fixes.

✦ Insufficient System Resources: Running Illustrator on a system with low RAM or an overloaded CPU can result in crashes. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Illustrator, and consider upgrading hardware if needed.

✦ Corrupted Preferences: Sometimes, the preferences file for Illustrator may become corrupted, leading to instability. Resetting or deleting the preferences file may resolve the issue.

✦ Corrupted Fonts or Files: If Illustrator encounters corrupted fonts or files during operation, it may crash. Ensure that your fonts are in good condition, and try opening problematic files in other software to identify potential issues.

✦ Outdated Graphics Drivers: Outdated or incompatible graphics drivers can cause instability. Update your graphics drivers to the latest version compatible with Illustrator.

✦ Third-Party Plugins: Some third-party plugins may not be fully compatible with the version of Illustrator you are using. Disable plugins one by one to identify if a specific plugin is causing the crashes.

✦ Operating System Issues: Problems with the operating system, such as conflicts with other software or system updates, can contribute to crashes. Ensure your operating system is up to date.

✦ Hardware Issues: Faulty hardware components, such as RAM or a failing hard drive, can lead to crashes. Run hardware diagnostics to check for issues.

How to recover Illustrator file after crash 

How to recover an Illustrator file after a crash? Just like recover Excel file after crash, or recovering Word files after crash, Illustrator also has an Autosave feature and it’s enabled by default. Besides, it also has a temporary folder that may contain your unsaved work.

📄 Recover files with AutoSave AutoSave will initiate the auto-recovery process.
Recover lost files from Adobe Illustrator backup Locate and recover the target file in the default path.
📁 Recover from the temporary folder Check the temporary folder to find your lost files.

▶ Solution 1. Restore unsaved Illustrator files after crashes with AutoSave

After Illustrator crashes, you can choose to restart this app. If it does not respond, force quit and then restart it. It will initiate the auto-recovery process process and open all the saved files with the Recovered suffix. Try it first and then check the autosave file location.

Step 1. Restart the Illustrator on your PC.

When you see a dialogue box, saying Adobe Illustrator quit unexpectedly and the unsaved documents are recovered with [Recovered], click OK.

Unexpectedly Quit

Step 2. After opening, save the file that has been automatically recovered.

The files you were working on while the app crashed or shut down will show up with Recovered suffix in Adobe Illustrator. Click File > Save as to recover unsaved Illustrator files after crash. Please save it with a different name.

Autosaved File

If it does not show you the unsaved file, you can also go to the Adobe Illustrator AutoSave location. Find the unsaved Illustrator files, open and save them in Adobe Illustrator.

For Windows: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings\en_US\x64\DataRecovery

For macOS: < your username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs

Note: Every time Illustrator crashes, the data recovery feature turns off automatically. If you don’t want to lose your files in this app, turn it on manually.

▶ Solution 2.  Recover lost files from Adobe Illustrator backup

In case of data loss or application crash, Adobe helps you to recover lost data from Adobe Illustrator files on your computer. However, the recovery feature is not enabled during the installation process. You must activate the Data Recovery preference in Illustrator's Preferences.

You can save backup or recovery files to a specified location in a folder. If you do not specify a location in the Data Recovery Preferences, Illustrator files are saved by default to the following locations on your computer:

Default Illustrator Recovery File Location on Windows PC:

C:\>\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator set\en_US*\x64\Adobe Illustrator Prefs/\DataRecovery.

On a Mac, the default location for Illustrator recovery files:

Hard drive/Users//Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator Settings/en_US*/Adobe Illustrator Prefs// DataRecovery.

In different Illustrator versions, CrashRecovery is also equal to "DataRecovery".

Step 1. Navigate to the specified location of the Illustrator data recovery file or follow the default location.

Step 2. Search for the file with the name "recovery" or "recovered". Then select the desired file and rename it.

Step 3. Next, open the file using Illustrator and click File. Select Save As to save the file.

- If you can't find an unsaved Illustrator file in this location on your computer, it may be because
- Autosave is not enabled in Illustrator preferences, or You can set preferences to save files to a different location. Go to the specified location to recover the unsaved Illustrator file.

▶ Solution 3. Recover Illustrator files from Temp folder

You can also check the temporary folder. It’s generated when you are creating or editing a file and goes after you close the file. So the recovery rate is quite low.

For Windows:

1. Go to C:\Users\*Your User Name*\AppData\Local\Temp.

Temp Folder for Windows

2. Find the unsaved AI file. Then, open it with Adobe Illustrator, click File>Save or Save as to recover unsaved Illustrator Files.

For Mac:

1. Go to Finder>Application>Terminal, and run this command line tool.

2. Type open $TMPDIR and press Enter to access the temporary folder in Mac.

Open Temp

3. Then, find and open the unsaved AI file with Adobe Illustrator. Save it with a new file name.

How to recover deleted or corrupted Illustrator file

If you accidentally deleted the Illustrator file or lost it due to other reasons, you can try to restore from backup image or data recovery software. If you just overwrite the original files, try to revert the file version.

▶ Solution 1. Restore Illustrator file with data recovery software

MyRecover is a simple and easy-to-use data recovery software for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc and Windows Server. It helps to find and recover deleted or corrupted Illustrator files quickly and successfully.

Powerful File Recovery Software


  • Has a clear graphical user interface, even novices can use it smoothly.
  • Provide advanced scanning methods: Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
  • Filter specific files accurately and quickly. You can specify file type & extension, date modified, and size.
  • Recover data from SSD, HDD, up to 200+ file types. Except for Illustrator files, you can also recover Word files, Excel files, PPT, PDF, emails, photos, videos, audio, etc.
  • Recover deleted or corrupted data due to software or system crash, accidental deletion, virus attack, and so on.

Download this simple data recovery software- MyRecover and install it on your computer. 

1. Open this Windows data recovery software - MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the disk or partition where your Illustrator file was lost and click Scan.


2. It will automatically run both scanning methods - Quick Scan and Deep Scan. Once it finds any deleted or corrupted Illustrator files, it will list them in the following. You can choose to recover it directly or wait for the scanning result.


You can also search for Illustrator files with Filter and it’s faster. Here are 3 options in the following:

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as images, videos, documents, mails, web pages, compressed files, etc.
  • Date Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.

To retrieve deleted Illustrator files, take Illustrator PDF as an example, click Filter > Type, and select Documents. Then, input PDF in the Search for files or folders box.

Filter PDF Files

You can search AI Illustrator (.ai), Illustrator EPS (.eps), or Illustrator SVG (.svg) based on the type of your Illustrator files.

3. Choose the lost Illustrator files to recover and click Recover X files. Please select a new location to save recoverable Illustrator files.

Recover PDF Files

  • MyRecover will display the number of files to be recovered and their entire size.

  • Select a new location to store the deleted files. Retrieving files to their original location may overwrite the space of deleted Illustrator files, resulting in data recovery failure.

  • It is also able to recover files from formatted hard drive, external hard drives, USB drives, SD card,s etc.

  • Except for Windows 10, it still can recover deleted files from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

▶ Solution 2. Recover deleted Illustrator file from Recycle Bin

Like other types of files, the deleted Illustrator file will be moved to Recycle Bin. If you are sure your files are deleted instead of permanently deleted, check the Recycle Bin folder.

1. Just go to the Recycle Bin on your Desktop.

2. Locate the deleted Illustrator file, right-click it and choose Restore.


▶ Solution 3. Recover Adobe Illustrator file from file history

If you are in the habit of backing up important files regularly, such as, using File History, you can choose to restore Illustrator file from backup. It saves different file versions and you can select a specific version you want.

1. Go to Control Panel System and Security and select File History.

2. Select Restore personal files. It will open file history recovery window. 


3. Click the left arrow to locate the deleted Illustrator files, and click the Restore to original location icon to restore deleted files.


▶ Solution 4. Recover Adobe Illustrator file to Previous Version

You can also try to restore Adobe Illustrator file to its previous version if you enable File History and save over a Illustrator file.

1. Press Win + E to open This PC. Locate the folder which is used to save the deleted Illustrator file.

2. Right-click it and then select Properties > Previous Version.

3. Select the previous folder version and click Restore to restore Illustrator files to previous version.


▶ Solution 5. Recover Illustrator file with Revert & Recent Files

If you accidentally save your Illustrator file but don’t want to keep the change, you can try to revert it to the last saved version.

Revert Illustrator file:

Open Adobe Illustrator and click File > Revert. Then, it will automatically revert your Illustrator file to the last saved version.


Check the Recent file:

In Adobe Illustrator, go to File > Open Recent Files. You will see the files you recently working on. Open it in Adobe Illustrator and save it with a new file name.

Open Recent Files

How to repair corrupted Illustrator files

If your Illustrator Files are damaged, you can try to repair them after recovery. It may happen due to different reasons, such as interruption due to a power surge or computer crash, improper editing, converting, or formatting, virus attack, etc.

▶ Solution 1. Repair AI Illustrator file

If you create AI Illustrator File with Create PDF Compatible File option, you can convert .ai file to .pdf file and it’s recoverable.

1. Open the damaged .ai file in Adobe Illustrator.

2. Click File > Save as and select .pdf as file type. Then, click Save.

3. Open the converted .pdf file in Illustrator and save it with .ai file type this time.

▶ Solution 2. Repair Illustrator PDF file

For PDF files, there are many PDF repair tools online. For Illustrator PDF file, you can try

1. Visit Click the SELECT FILE button to upload Illustrator PDF files.

Select File

2. It requires an email address to repair your files. Type in and click NEXT STEP to run this repair process automatically. It will ask to you pay for the repair.

Prepare Repair

How to prevent Illustrator files deleted or damaged

If you don’t want to lose Illustrator Files or other file types, you need to protect it well in daily life. Here are two main ways to achieve it, namely enable Autosave to keep a copy of your unsaved files and directly create a file backup with backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.

▶ Solution 1. Enable Illustrator AutoSave to keep unsaved files

1. Click Edit > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard.

Illustrator Preferences

2. Then, tick the Automatically Save Recovery Data Every option. The default time interval is 2 minutes. You can also change it to a different time interval.  

3. Click Choose to select a new location for unsaved Illustrator file.

Turn On Autosave

4. Check Turn off Data Recovery for complex document to avoid interruption of the workflow.

5.  Finally, click OK to confirm you want to make these changes.

▶ Solution 2. Create a complete copy of the Illustrator file

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and easy-to-use backup software for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc. With it, you can create a complete copy of your Illustrator file and keep changes automatically. And it allows you to backup files to internal/external disk, USB drive, cloud drive, network drive or NAS.

1. Download and install Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, click Backup and File Backup to backup your Illustrator files.

File Backup

2. Set the Task Name to distinguish this backup task from others. Click Add File or Add Folder to choose Illustrator files you want to backup.

Add Folders Files

3. Select a location to store your data. It can be internal or external disk, USB flash drive, network drive, NAS device, Cloud Drive, etc.

Select Destination

4 (Optionally). Click Schedule Backup and enable DailyWeeklyMonthlyEvent triggers or USB plug in to backup Illustrator files automatically.

Schedule Settings General

5. Confirm the operation and click Start Backup. By default, it will enable incremental backup to backup only new or changed Illustrator files.

Besides you still need to keep your drivers up to date and scan for viruses and malware regularly to prevent data loss.


This article introduces you to 7 effective ways how to recover Illustrator file after crash, deletion, or corruption as well as repair damaged Illustrator files. If you have problems dealing with them, please follow the methods above. MyRecover can be a nice assistant for file recovery. Hope it will help you.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Besides, you still need to take some precautions to protect your Illustrator file. For unsaved files, please ensure the Auto-save feature is enabled. For deleted or corrupted files, the best practice is to create a complete copy of them in advance.


Can I recover unsaved Illustrator files in Windows 10?
Yes, you can recover unsaved Illustrator files in Windows 10 as long as you enable the Autosave feature in Adobe Illustrator. It will save a copy of unsaved file and give you a change to recover them.
Why I don’t find unsaved Illustrator files from its backup location?
There are 2 main reasons. One is the Autosave feature is not enabled while the other is you set a new location to save your Illustrator files.
How do I recover Illustrator temp files?
The Illustrator temp files are usually located in C:/Users/UserName/AppData/Local/Temp. You can go to this folder and select the file you want to recover, then open it and click File > Save as to make it.
Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.