Recover Unsaved, Deleted or Corrupted AutoCAD Files (5 Ways)

Want to recover unsaved or deleted AutoCAD files? Read this article, you can get the 5 useful and easy ways to recover AutoCAD files. Check out and get help!


By Lori / Updated on November 2, 2023

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An AutoCAD file is a digital drawing in 2D or 3D produced using AutoCAD software. Used by architects and engineers to plan projects such as buildings and machinery. These files come in formats like DWG and DXF and are essential for storing and sharing design information.

However, it can be annoying when you find that AutoCAD files are unsaved deleted, or corrupted due to various reasons. Don’t worry, this article will tell you 5 effective ways to recover AutoCAD files.

Way 1. Recover Unsaved AutoCAD Files from Bak

Restoring files from backups after data, unsaved, deletion, or loss is always a good choice. If you've lost a saved AutoCAD file, you can often retrieve it from the automatic backups stored in the same folder. Here's how:

1. Find the folder where your AutoCAD files are stored. And look for a backup file with a .bak extension.


2. Copy and paste the .bak file to a safe folder (in case it will be overwritten).

3. Right-click the copied file, choose Rename, and change the file extension from .bak to .dwg. Click Yes to confirm the change.

4. Double-click the .dwg file to open it in AutoCAD.

Way 2. Recover Unsaved AutoCAD Files from Autosave

Because AutoCAD has a built-in Autosave feature that periodically saves your work. You can recover AutoCAD dwg files using this feature. Here's how:

1. Open AutoCAD and type options in the Command line. Select Options.

2. Go to the Open and Save Check if the Automatic save box is selected. It's advisable to set the Minutes between saves to 5 or less.

Automatic Save

3. Go to the Files, expand the Automatic Save File Location, and note the location where autosaved files are stored. For example, C:\Users\User Name\AppData\Local\Temp


4. Copy the autosave file path and paste it into Windows File Explorer. Press Enter to open the AutoSave file folder.

5. If you can't find the autosave file, make sure to show hidden file extensions. To do this, go to File Explorer > View > Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types > Click OK.

Hide Extensions For Known File Types

6. Look for the CAD autosaved file with a .sv$ file extension. Copy it and change the extension of the copied file from .sv$ to .dwg.

Change Extension

7. Double-click the .dwg file to open it in AutoCAD.

Way 3. Recover Deleted AutoCAD Files Using Recovery Software

If you've mistakenly deleted or lost your AutoCAD files, including both .dwg files, there's still hope for recovery. Start by checking the Recycle Bin to see if you can restore the deleted folder or file from Recycle Bin. If it's not there, you can resort to a reliable data recovery solution.

I strongly recommend using MyRecover due to the following advantages:

  • Have a high success rate, up to 95%, and fast speed.
  • Recover AutoCAD file types: .dwg, .dwt, acad.dwt, acadlt.dwt, .dws, .dxf, .sat, .slt, etc.
  • Recover lost files or deleted files from various data loss situations like unsaved, accidental deletion, corruption, formation, device crashes, and more.
  • Enabling file filtering and preview by Files Type, Size, Date, etc.

Steps to recover AutoCAD files

1. Download and run MyRecover on your Windows. Select the drive where your AutoCAD folder was located or where you saved your AutoCAD files before they were deleted. Then, click Start Scan.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Scan D Disk

2. MyRecover will scan your drive automatically and thoroughly to locate all the found AutoCAD files on the selected drive. You can use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate the files you want.

Searvh ALBM Files

🌟Tip:  Preview or filter your desired file based on Files Type, Size, Date, etc.
  • Type: Select the file type Documents and filter.dwg, .dwt, acad.dwt, acadlt.dwt, .dws, .dxf, .sat, .slt, etc. in the search box.
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, 512MB above, etc.)

3. You will see a list of recoverable files that MyRecover found on your drive. Choose your desired AutoCAD files to recover and press Recover x files.


4. Select a new location to save the recovered files and click Select Folder to confirm it. Your files will be recovered in a few minutes or longer, depending on the amount of data you want to recover.

Select New Location

  • You recover AutoCAD files for free, up to 30MB. Once exceeded, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • If you are unable to recover AutoCAD files with software or the situation is complicated, it's wise to seek help from data recovery services such as Geek Squad. They have skilled professionals and advanced equipment to handle even the toughest data recovery cases.

Way 4: Recover Corrupted AutoCAD Files Using Drawing Utilities

Sometimes after successfully recovering AutoCAD files, the files may be corrupted or you cannot open them in AutoCAD. You may encounter the "Drawing file is not valid" error message when trying to open a .dwg file, you can use AutoCAD's Drawing Utilities to repair the file:

1. Click the AutoCAD icon at the top-left corner of your screen. Then, select Drawing Utilities>Drawing Recovery Manager.


2. Expand the drawing node within the Drawing Recovery Manager window to access the active drawing before the crash occurs. Double-click the corrupted file you want to recover.

3. If this doesn't work, go back to step 1. Then, select Audit If the file is still corrupt, a message will appear asking you if you want to continue.


4. Choose Yes or enter Y in the command window to initiate the repair process. A diagnostic report will be displayed during the process. Just wait for it to finish.

Choose Yes

5. When the repair is successful, save the drawing file when it opens.

Way 5: Recover Corrupted AutoCAD Files Using RECOVER Command

If the previous method doesn't work, you can try using the RECOVER command in AutoCAD:

1. Open a new DWG file in AutoCAD and enter RECOVER in the Command line. Select the corrupted file and AutoCAD will attempt to recover and open it.

2. Open a new DWG file and run RECOVERALL command. Select the corrupted file and AutoCAD will attempt to recover and open it.

3. Open a new DWG file and run INSERT command. Choose the corrupted file to see if it will be inserted. If not:

  • Run EXPLODE and select the inserted block
  • Run AUDIT and PURGE commands
  • Click SAVES to create a new DWG file

4. Go to C:\Windows\Temp and look for files with an SV$ extension. If you find a similar file with the same name as the corrupted .dwg file, rename it to .dwg and see if it opens.

5: Try opening the corrupted drawing using DWG Trueview. If successful, convert it to an older DRW version and try opening it again.


Losing AutoCAD files due to unsaved or deletion and recover AutoCAD files can indeed be frustrating. However, you can use the above 5 simple ways to recover unsaved, deleted, and corrupted AutoCAD files easily.

Remember, it's crucial to regularly back up your AutoCAD files to minimize the risk of losing it. In case of an unexpected situation, you'll be able to restore files from backups quickly and get your files back.


1. How do I recover a corrupted CAD file?

  • Step 1. Open AutoCAD and start a new drawing.
  • Step 2. Type "RECOVER" in the command line and press Enter.
  • Step 3. Browse and select the corrupted CAD file.
  • Step 4. Run the "OVERKILL" command.
  • Step 5. Choose all objects and adjust settings if needed.
  • Step 6. Click OK.
  • Step 7. Save the recovered file with a new name.
  • Step 8. Open the recovered file to check if it's restored correctly.

2. Where are unsaved CAD files for Windows?

Unsaved CAD files in AutoCAD are typically stored in the temp folder on your computer, and you can open Windows Search, and enter “%temp%” into the search box.

3. Why is my DWG file not opening in AutoCAD?

If your DWG file won't open in AutoCAD, it could be because the version of AutoCAD is incompatible with the DWG file, the DWG file is corrupted, or the file is located on the cloud or server.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.