How To Recover Illustrator Files

Have you worked day and night on something to lose it to a glitch or accident? It has happened to the best of us. These files can be recovered most of the time.

To recover an illustrator file, you can recover them from the recycle bin, recover them by relaunching the software, or you can reopen them from the backups that are saved on your PC. 

To learn more about all the methods, please continue reading this article. 

Why Is The Recovery Of Files Needed?

Some of us may be wondering why there would be a time when the recovery of files would be needed. These people have yet to have the unpleasant experience of losing files. Here are some instances when the recovery of files becomes imperative because the file is not usable. 

Glitches in Illustrator

The Adobe Illustrator software is very prone to glitches, despite being high-end software with an excellent user interface. When such instances occur, the files appear corrupt and cannot be used.


After spending hours on a project, it is understandable for artists to make small errors. With the trial and error that takes place, deleting files accidentally happens quite often. 

Corrupt Files

Sometimes, you might be doing everything right, but the file would only save as a corrupt file. Even when the file is saved as a normal one, it may show an error for a corrupt file when opened. 

Device Malfunction

The only thing about technology that keeps all of us on edge is its uncertainty and unreliability. Device malfunctions are quite common and may result in significant data loss. 

File Types Supported On Illustrator

Before recovering files, it is important to know the type of files supported on Illustrator. When a document is saved, you are shown the options to choose from when deciding the format for your final file. 

  • AI Illustrator (.ai)
  • Illustrator EPS (.eps)
  • Illustrator PDF (.pdf)
  • Illustrator SVG (.svg)

This Youtube video may provide insight into recovering files: 

Recover Illustrator Files From The Recycle Bin

This method addresses the accidents part of our reasons for why a file may need to be recovered. If you accidentally deleted a file, you should go to the recycle bin and check if the file is still there. If it is, right-click on the file and “Recover File.” 

Recover Illustrator Files By Relaunching Adobe Illustrator 

Adobe Illustrator may have glitches; it often crashes in the middle of working or does not save files as it should. However, with these glitches, Adobe Illustrator offers its users a way to recover the file. 

  1. Relaunch the software.
  2. Wait for a dialogue box to pop up, which shows an alert for the unexpected quitting of the software and an unsaved file. 
  3. When the dialog box appears, click on OK. 
  4. The file that you were working on will be displayed.
  5. Now go to File, click Save as, name the file, and click OK. 
  6. Your file has successfully been recovered. 

Recover Illustrator Files From Files Backup

Illustrator offers the option of backing up the files for users who may be scared of losing them. The files are saved directly to your pc and can be discovered. Let us break this down into two steps and explain how to go through the process smoothly. 

How To Turn On Backup

To turn on Auto-save for your Illustrator files:

  1. Go to Edit.
  2. Then in the drop-down menu, choose Preferences.
  3. A window will pop open. Here, in the panel on the right, choose File Handling.
  4. Under the File Save Options, click on the box next to Automatically Save Data After to turn Auto save on. 
  5. In time, choose whatever time suits you. We recommend two minutes.  
  6. All your files will be backed up after this point. 

How To Recover Files From Backup

To recover the files that are automatically saved by Illustrator:

  1. Go to your windows explorer on windows.
  2. Go to the Users folder and go to your User. 
  3. Now go to App Data and Adobe, followed by Adobe Illustrator Settings. 
  4. Click on the en_US folder > x64.
  5. In the folder that opens, go to Data Recovery.
  6. All the files will be here, and you can find the file of your concern to recover it. 
  7. Open the file in Illustrator.
  8. Go to File > Save as > Name the file and hit Save. 


Losing files can be heartbreaking and might lead to emotions, but most files can be recovered using the right tools. If the steps mentioned above do not work, you may use software specializing in data recovery. You should research and pick the one that fits your needs and budget.