AEP File Recovery | How to Recover After Effects Files?

Learn reliable and tested methods to recover After Effects files that were unsaved or deleted and safeguard your creative projects from potential data loss.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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“How do I recover deleted AEP files?”

Accidentally deleting an AEP project file can have significant repercussions on your workflow, especially if it contains crucial files for essential personal or commercial projects.

It will be the same for users of other production tools like CSP, AutoCAD, etc. Some CSP users are also seeking methods to recover Clip Studio Paint files that were unsaved or deleted.


Need to recover deleted AEP


I accidentally deleted my After Effects project on my Windows PC, and I'm freaking out! Can anyone recommend a reliable method or software to help me recover the file? I really need it for my project. Thanks in advance!


- Question from AE forums


Data loss can occur unexpectedly due to various scenarios, such as system crashes or logical corruption, adding to the challenge of recovery. This article aims to guide you through the process of recovering unsaved or deleted After Effects projects effectively.

Firstly, check some necessary information for a better understanding.

What is an AEP file?

Adobe After Effects (AEP) files are video projects associated primarily with Adobe After Effects, a widely-used software for motion graphics and visual effects.

The AEP project files consist of multiple compositions with layers and assets like video footage, audio, images, effects, and timelines, stored in binary format to produce high-quality videos.

Given the significance of these files, understanding how to recover unsaved or deleted AEP files becomes crucial.

Can you successfully recover after Effects files?

Absolutely! It is possible to recover unsaved or deleted After Effects projects on Windows. The quickest way to retrieve deleted AEP projects is to restore them from the Recycle Bin, provided you haven't emptied it yet.

However, in cases where recovery from the trash folder is not feasible, alternative methods should be explored for a successful AEP file recovery.

Additionally, if your After Effects program crashes, you may face unsaved file situations, for which data recovery methods will be outlined.

How to recover After Effects files after permanent deletion?

To recover an accidentally deleted After Effects project, various methods are available. If you have available backups, such as File History, you can easily restore the AEP file.

Alternatively, utilizing professional data recovery tools can be highly effective in retrieving accidentally deleted files.

In this article, we will demonstrate the leading data recovery software, MyRecover. Why choose MyRecover, you ask? Well, let us tell you! This powerful software boasts an array of features that sets it apart from the rest.

Comprehensive file support for photos, videos, software files, and Microsoft documents 
With its user-friendly interface, you can easily locate your desired AEP project in no time. 
Recover deleted files with their original filenames, formats, and paths kept intact, preserving your hard work exactly as it was. 
Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7/Server & NTFS/exFAT/FAT32/ReFS. 
Support recovering files from SSD/HDD/USB/SD card, etc.

Now check the tutorial and recover deleted AE files easily.

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The MyRecover software supports data recovery while scanning, and it is recommended to save the recovered files in a different drive from the source drive.

Step 1. Hover the mouse over the partition where the lost/deleted AEP file was saved before, and click Scan.


Step 2. The software will scan for all deleted and lost files on the drive or partition. You can use the search box to search for files and folders or the filter features to quickly locate your desired files.


Step 3. Select the AEP files and click the Recover XX files button.


How to recover unsaved After Effects files?

Adobe offers robust features in most Creative Suite software to protect your data from complete loss. Here are some methods that can help you retrieve unsaved After Effects projects:

Method 1. Recover from the AutoSave feature

Enable the AutoSave feature in Adobe After Effects, which saves your AEP project at regular intervals, safeguarding against unforeseen computer crashes or power failures. You could follow this guide to find After Effects recovery files.

Step 1. Launch After Effects > if a dialogue box appears, click OK.

Step 2. If After Effects has a recovered version, it will open immediately.

Step 3. Go to File > click Save As and save the recovered file.

Method 2. Restore from AE backup

When AutoSave isn't an option, After Effects saves backup versions of your AEP project. Recovering files from backups will be a safe action. Ensure that AutoSave is enabled before attempting this method.

Step 1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Auto-Save.

after-effect-auto-save.png (891×432)

Step 2. Locate the path mentioned under Auto-Save Location > find and open the latest recovered version of the AEP file.


Step 3. Use Save as to save the recovered file.

Method 2. Restore from Recent Files

Utilize the "Open Recent" option to retrieve your unsaved project quickly.

Step 1. Go to File > open Recent.

Step 2. Select the file you want to recover. Adobe will open the last saved version of the project.


The process of recovering unsaved or deleted After Effects files doesn't have to be daunting.

The methods outlined in this article offer quick, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for retrieving lost AEP files in different situations. However, it is advisable always to maintain backups of critical data to prevent severe data loss scenarios.


Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.