How to Recover Illustrator File After Crash

It's almost inevitable that Abobe Illustrator may crash when you use it at one time or another. Given the necessity to get back your AI files, here we provide two ways for you to recover lost Illustrator files after crashing, either with the Illustrator Autosave feature or with reliable data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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"I use Illustrator CC, and now I have a problem. My questions are here. How and where do I recover my Illustrator file after Illustrator CC crashed, which happened when I was working on it? Where can I set up the Autosave options in case that one day I'd lose a file again?"

Adobe Illustrator Crash Problem

While working with Illustrator, sometimes, the editor crashes. That's mainly caused by its Autosave feature. You may ask, why? When data recovery is turned on, Illustrator may pause while backing up large or complex files. If the backup went wrong, it makes Illustrator halt, hang, and then crash. In addition to the Autosave feature, there are many other causes that may result in a software crash, like outdated software, incompatibility, third-party plugins, software bugs...

After the software crash, the Illustrator file (AI file) you were editing will be gone, apparently. Most of the time, it takes a quite long time to accomplish a vector design, 3-D rendering, and perspective drawing of an Illustrator file. Nobody would bear the loss without a save. Before presenting you the ways to recover Illustrator files, we will show you how to turn on the Autosave feature in Illustrator. If you have enabled this feature, you can move on to learn how to recover files from the backup files. While if you haven't turned it on yet, follow the steps below to switch it on to avoid further data loss.

Enable Illustrator Autosave to Prevent Data Loss After Illustrator crashes

Although the Autosave feature in Illustrator may cause a software crash, it's necessary to turn it on. With this Autosave on, you can recover your unsaved Illustrator files from the backup file after a crash or an accidental shutdown, closing the software without saving, and more. 

Steps to enable Illustrator Autosave:

Step 1: Go to "Preferences" > "File Handling & Clipboard" > "Data Recovery".

Step 2: Select the checkbox "Automatically Save Recovery Data Every" to turn on data recovery.

Step 3: Set time interval "xx minutes" to automatically save a file. (Setting a short interval will interrupt your work, while a long one increases the chance of data loss. Choose a time interval best suited for you.)

Step 4: Click "Choose" to set a location where Illustrator stores backup files.

Step 5: Select the checkbox "Turn off Data Recovery for complex documents" to prevent your workflow from being interrupted and Illustrator being crashed.

Illustrator data recovery preferences

Notice:
Whenever Illustrator crashes, the data recovery function will be automatically turned off. Therefore, you should re-enable the Autosave function every time the software crashes to increase the possibility of recovering lost illustrator files.

Method 1. Recover Illustrator Files from Backup

In some cases, when you relaunch the program after its crash, the file you were working on will show up and be marked as "recovered". If you see the recovered file, save it as a new file and continue working on it. However, that doesn't always work. You may either try to recover the lost file from backups or use the Adobe file recovery software to do the recovery. Hope at least one of them would help save your Illustrator artwork.

If you have turned on Illustrator Autosave, Method 1 will work perfectly for you. By default, the location of Illustrator backup files is:

C:/Users//AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator Settings/en_US*/x64/Adobe Illustrator Prefs;

To recover files from the backup files made by the Autosave feature:

Step 1: Go to the location where you store the backup files, be it the default folder or the folder you set manually.

Step 2: Locate all the files the name of which have words like "recovery" or messy code. Select the one you want to recover and rename the file.

Step 3: Double-click the file to open it with Illustrator.

Step 4: Click the "File" menu and select "Save As"'. Type a new name for the file into the Name field, select a folder for the file and click the "Save" button.

Note that you can only recover a previous version of the lost Illustrator file. If the software crash happens between recovery intervals, you might fail to recover your files.

Method 2. Restore the Illustrator file by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

If there is file loss after the crash and you have no backup available, you can try to recover your lost AI files using the data recovery software -  EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. If you find you have lost Illustrator files or can't locate the backup files while trying method 1, for they are hidden, lost, or deleted, EaseUS file recovery software would quickly find them out by three steps. 

Important
The software can recover lost files but cannot recover lost content in a file. Thus, if you attempt to restore the content you were working on, using Method 1 instead. If you have no backup available, it's highly likely you can't get your files back anymore.

Step 1. Choose the file location to scan

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Choose the drive where you lost files and click "Scan". If your lost files were on an external storage device, connect it to your computer firstly.

select the file location and click scan

Step 2. Scan the lost files

The software will start immediately a quick scan for deleted files, and later a deep scan will launch to scan more lost files all over the selected drive. After the scan, you can use the Filter to quickly filter a specific file type.

scan the lost files

Step 3. Preview and restore files

Double-click on a file allows for a full preview. Finally, select the desired files, click "Recover" and browse another safe location to save all the files at once.

recover lost files

 

The Bottom Line

Software crash or other situations that cause data loss occurs almost inevitably when you use the software. Thus, you are highly recommended to turn on the Autosave feature in Illustrator to minimize the chance of losing the progress on the file you are working on. 

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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