Illustrator recovered files location mac

Illustrator recovered files location mac DEFAULT

Recover Adobe Illustrator fileAdobe Illustrator is favored for its ease of use when creating professional graphics, drawings, and logos. The one common complaint is that users frequently have to recover illustrator files when the app or computer system crashes. There are also times when the user accidentally closed adobe illustrator without saving the files. 

Before panicking and assuming your files have gone to the ‘graveyard of unrecoverable lost files, it’s worth learning some of the simplest ways to recover unsaved illustrator files.

Common Reasons for Illustrator Data Loss

It’s frustrating, but we are only human. Sometimes we forget to save our illustrator files, or the battery dies. If you have a power outage, your desktop will turn off, and there is no warning to save your illustrator work. 

Adobe Illustrator is rather complex, which is one of the main reasons for its tendency to crash. It is possible that the fonts are corrupted and cause a crash. If you experience network issues while saving or opening a file, you may also encounter data loss. 

Third-party plugins enable you to achieve more with Illustrator; however, they can also impact the software as a whole. Another common problem is trying to run an older version of Adobe Illustrator. Before we go into how to recover Illustrator files, make sure you have the latest version installed and your operating system is updated.

4 Methods to Recover Illustrator Files

In some cases, one solution will be enough. If you are not sure of the reason behind Illustrator crashing or freezing, you may need to try more than one method. Before giving up all hope, you can try these various options for Illustrator file recovery. As well as the how, we will look at where to find recovered Illustrator files.

Method 1: Adobe Illustrator Autosave

If you have used other productivity apps or software, you will know how useful it is to activate autosave. You may not be able to start from exactly where you left off, but you will be able to open the last auto-saved version of your work. On the downside, autosave Illustrator can cause the program to run slower or even crash. That being said, it is still worth using this feature. 

To turn on the Illustrator autosave you need to take the following steps:

  1. Go to Preferences, then File Handling & Clipboard. 
  2. Open Data Recovery/Crash Recovery. 
  3. Tick the box “Automatically Save Recovery Data Every” 
  4. Choose the number of minutes that you want to autosave your work.
  5. You can also select the illustrator autosave location where you want your backup files to be stored.

turn on autosave in adobe illustrator

It’s important to choose an autosave time that suits your work. If you choose short intervals, you can recover more data, but you may also have more frequent interruptions, and vice versa. You can also select the box Turn off Data Recovery for complex documents. You avoid the risk of disruption, Illustrator running slowly and autosave, causing a crash, but it’s a personal choice. 

Method 2: Illustrator Backup

Make sure that the Automatic Data Recovery time limit suits your desired workflow and uncheck the “Turn off Data Recovery for complex documents”.

Edit > Preferences > General > File Handling and Clipboard > Uncheck Turn off Data Recovery for complex files.

Turn off Data Recovery for complex files

Note: Uncheking this option may lead to slowdown of Adobe Illustrator but give you additional recovery chances.

Method 3: Relaunching Adobe Illustrator

If you prefer not to search for your Illustrator recovered files on your hard disk, you can relaunch Adobe Illustrator after it has crashed. As soon as you relaunch the program, a window will appear telling you that Adobe Illustrator quit unexpectedly. Click Ok, the window will close, and your file will reopen. Don’t forget at this point to save the reopened file under a new name by going to File and Save As. Relaunching will also recover unsaved Illustrator files.

Relaunching Adobe Illustrator

Method 4: Data Recovery Software

Disk Drill Data Recovery is a complete file recovery software that you can use to restore deleted Adobe Illustrator files. The app features an intuitive user interface that simplifies the recovery process and enables the file recovery to be completed efficiently with just a few clicks.

For retrieving Adobe Illustrator lost files using Disk Drill you need to follow the below steps.

  1. Download Disk Drill and install it on your computer.install disk drill
  2. Launch it.
  3. Disk Drill will list all available drives in your system; you will need to select the one with the lost data.
  4. Click the Search for lost data button. It can be found next to the storage device where the deleted or lost Adobe Illustrator files were previously located.Search for lost data button
  5. Wait for the scan to complete, it might take a few minutes, it depends on the size of your target drive.
  6. Once the scanning is complete, Disk Drill will present you with a list of recoverable files. All you need to do is select which files you want to recover and start the recovery process.preview and finally recover illustrator files

Disk Drill has a free version that comes with a host of other advantages such as data backup, data protection, cleanup of hard drives, duplicate finder and disk monitoring to ensure your disk remains healthy. All of these tools are free and also easy for everyone to use.

Disk Drill is available for Mac and Windows and can scan different locations for over file formats.

Where Does Illustrator Save Recovered Files?

If you don’t choose a location for your backup files, they will go to a default location, which can be horrendous to find! You can search in <your username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator [version] Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs/DataRecovery. From Windows, instead of Library and Preferences, look in App Data and Roaming. The other folders have the same name.

Adobe Illustrator Data Recovery Folder

Life is generally much easier if you create a new folder for recovered Illustrator files and choose this folder in your preferences, as we mentioned in autosave and backup.

What Do I Do If I Accidentally Saved Over Illustrator Files?

If you have accidentally saved over an Illustrator file and want to recover a previous version, this is also possible. If you are using Mac, you need to start by launching Time Machine. After it has opened, click on File and the Revert To. Here you will see an option to Browse All Versions. The top of the list will be the last modified file; just scroll down to the version you wish to revert to. 

restore illustrator file with time machine

For Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can restore accidentally saved over Illustrator files from the Start Screen and File History. For newer versions of Windows, click on File and Revert to.

restore previous version

How to Recover Illustrator Files—In Conclusion

From personal experience, when you lose your work in Adobe Illustrator, the wave of fear can lead you to click on all sorts of buttons without thinking straight, even stroking and talking to your computer in the hope that your work will reappear with some TLC. It’s either going to do nothing or make matters worse. 

Illustrator autosave and backup are the quickest and often most convenient way to recover Illustrator files. Bear in mind that you need to set both of these up so that your work is saved at ideal intervals for your type of work and that the backup version is saved in your preferred location so that you aren’t left wondering where to find recovered illustrator files. Always try to relaunch Illustrator, and if you are tech-savvy, you can run diagnostics to understand exactly what is causing the crash. 

If you would rather have a more complete solution that not only recovers unsaved illustrator files and accidentally deleted files but also focuses on the general health of your hard disk, data recovery software works incredibly well. Disk Drill is free for Mac and Windows, so you will gain from exploring what it has to offer. 

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Roxana has been writing about the technical subjects that interest her for over 10 years. She is a copywriter with a passion for technical content. She has produced thousands of articles, product reviews, white papers, brochures, and newsletters. Some of the topics she has written about include hardware, software, artificial intelligence and new technologies.


Illustrator Recovery: Recover Unsaved/Lost Illustrator File

Have you come across the situation that Adobe Illustrator crashes but you forgot to save the files? Some user said it doesn't show the file in "Open Recent Files" and don't know what to do. In this post, we will tell you how you can retrieve the unsaved files in Adobe Illustrator in three ways and how to fix Illustrator crashes when opening/saving.

Illustrator Autosave

With the launch of Illustrator , you can recover unsaved Illustrator files thanks to the Adobe Illustrator Autosave feature. When Illustrator has closed accidentally, reopen the program and the files you are editing will appear automatically.

Go to "File"> "Save as" > rename and save the file.

If there is no file opening after you relaunch Adobe Illustrator, you probably haven't turned on the Autosave feature. You can turn on the Autosave feature in the following steps.

Go to "Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard > Data Recovery area" or use Ctrl/CMD + K shortcuts to open the Preference panel.

Illustrator Preference Setting

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

Interval: Set the frequency to save your work.

Turn off Data Recovery for complex documents: Large or complex files may slow down your workflow; select the checkbox to turn off data recovery for the large files.

Recover from Illustrator Backup

If you have turned on the Illustrator Autosave and set your preferences, the backup files will be usually stored in Windows "C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [your version of Adobe Illustrator] Settings\en_US\CrashRecovery".

So next time when Adobe Illustrator crashes, you accidentally save over an Illustrator file or accidentally close Illustrator without saving a working image, you can follow the instructions to find recovered illustrator files:

Step 1

Go to Illustrator's default autosave location(the CrashRecovery folder). If you have changed the backup location by yourself, go to Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard > Data Recovery area to find where Illustrator saves recovered files.

Illustrator AutoSave Folder

Step 2

Look for the files that are named with the words like "recovery";

Step 3

Select the file you need to recover and rename it;

Step 4

Open the file with Illustrator;

Step 5

In Illustrator, click the "File" menu > "Save as". Type a new name and save it.

Illustrator File Recovery

If the first two methods don't work for you, try data recovery software like FonePaw Data Recovery(opens new window), which helps you recover accidentally lost or deleted Illustrator files no matter you are using Mac or Windows PC.

Data Recovery Homepage

Besides Illustrator files, images, videos, audios and other types of documents and archives are also recoverable by using FonePaw Data Recovery.

Step 1

Select file types and paths to begin;

Step 2

Scan the existing and deleted files;

Data Recovery Quick Scanning

Step 3

The suffix of Illustrator files is ".ai". Find ".ai" files in the result then recover. If you cannot find the files you need, try the deep scan.


  • The program cannot recover unsaved Illustrator files; therefore, if you accidentally saved over an AI file or forgot to save an AI file, FonePaw Data Recovery won't be able to recover the changes that you didn't save.

Fix Illustrator Crashes When Opening/Saving

A crash of Adobe Illustrator not only interrupt your workflow but also cost you to lose the work you are working on. Here are some tips that can help to stop your Adobe Illustrator from crashing frequently.

Turn on Data Recovery

It's essential to turn on data recovery in Adobe Illustrator.

It makes sure you can get your work back if you accidentally closed Illustrator without saving. Try turning off Data Recovery for complex documents and setting a lower frequency of auto-save. Illustrator is more liable to crash when it has to frequently save your work, especially complex documents.

Run Diagnostics

If you are not sure what causes the crash, Adobe Illustrator gives you the diagnose after relaunch.

Run Diagnostics in Illustrator

Click "Run Diagnostics" in the dialog box that appears after relaunch to start the test.

Open Illustrator in Safe Mode

Once you run diagnostics in the previous step, Illustrator is opened in Safe Mode.

The Safe Mode box will list the cause of crashing such as an incompatible, old driver, plug-in or a corrupt font.

The Troubleshooting Tips will tell you solutions for specific items. Follow the instructions to fix the problems then click Enable on Relaunch at the bottom of the dialog box.

Illustrator Safe Mode

Note: Illustrator keeps working in safe mode until the problems are solved.

You can bring up the Safe Mode dialog box by clicking Safe Mode in the Application bar.

In conclusion, Illustrator file recovery is not complicated and there three ways to get your Illustrator files back, i.e.:

Also, Adobe Illustrator gives you instructions in Safe Mode when it crashes. But the most important thing is to turn on the Illustrator Autosave feature to minimize the loss of data.

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How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator File?

How to recover unsaved illustrator files? Have you ever come across a situation where the illustrator crashes suddenly and you forgot to save the files? Don't worry, this article will help you to know about the different types of files created by Illustrator and understand the process to recover unsaved illustrator file cs5, recover unsaved illustrator file cs6, etc. Also, it will focus on the importance of the "Autosave" feature in Illustrator and how "Recoverit Data Recovery" can be used to recover the lost illustrator files from your computer.

Part 1: Is it possible to recover an unsaved illustrator file?

Yes, it is possible to recover an unsaved illustrator file after a sudden crash of the Illustrator. Sometimes, the editor crashes due to the following reasons:

  • Software Crash
  • Outdated Software
  • Incompatible version
  • Software bugs

In addition to these, during the data recovery illustrator will be taking backup of large files and if the backup goes wrong at some point, then Illustration will hang and crash.

Part 2: What types of files illustrator create?

Illustrator uses the Save as an option to create the following file formats:

1) AI Illustrator (.ai)

Adobe Illustrator document is the native file format of the Adobe Illustrator which supports all the features provided by the illustrator.

2) Illustrator EPS (.eps)

Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is used to place the graphic elements into a page. Generally, a .eps file can be an image on a page or a complete page too.

3) Illustrator PDF (.pdf)

This is the most common format that is available in recent days and is also known as the native format for Adobe Acrobat reader. PDF file format supports many features like annotations, notes, search options, and hyperlinks.

4) Illustrator SVG (.svg)

Scalable Vector Graphics files are generally used on the World Wide Web(WWW). Illustrator allows you to save .svg files which provide you with the option to save part or the entire font. In addition to these options, .svg compressed (.svgz) files can also be saved using Illustrator.

Part 3: How to recover unsaved or deleted illustrator file?

Tip 1: Relaunch the AI app and save the recovered file

You can recover the illustrator file after the crash by simply restarting Adobe Illustrator. Yes, it as simple as it sounds. You can do it by following the steps mentioned below:

1) Relaunch Adobe Illustrator.

2) A dialog box will appear asking for recovery of the unsaved files as shown below.

relaunch ai 1

3) Click "Ok".

4) A file with the suffix "will be shown on AI.

5) Head to "File" menu -> Click on "Save a Copy"-> Give a dissimilar version name and click on "Save".

relaunch ai 2

Also, to the above process, you can fix the crashing issue using the "Run Diagnostics" option that appears after relaunching Adobe Illustrator.

relaunch ai 3

Once you click on "Run Diagnostics", the application will start in safe mode and identifies the possible reasons for the crash. Follow the resolution steps displayed, relaunch AI and save the recovered file.

Tip 2: Restore Illustrator file from backup

Backup files are stored in "C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator [your version of Adobe Illustrator] Settings\en_US\AIPrefs". To recover illustrator from the backup folder, follow the below steps:

1) Navigate to the location where the backup files are stored.

2) Look for the files with the name "recovery" and select the illustrator file which you want to recover and rename the file.

3) Double-click on the file and it will launch in Illustrator.

4) In AI, click on the "File" menu -> "Save as", rename the file and select the folder where the files need to be saved, and click on "Save".

Tip 3: Recover the lost Illustrator files with Recoverit Data Recovery

Is your illustrator file with type .pdf lost because of accidental deletion of file or crash of your computer? Don't worry you can recover the illustrator file after a crash using the "Recoverit Data Recovery" as it performs a detailed scan and retrieves all the lost illustrator files.

Download | WinDownload | Mac

Following the below steps help you recover the illustrator file not saved:

Step 1- Select a Location

Launch the tool after installing and to recover lost illustrator files, choose the location where the deleted files were stored.

recoverit interface

Step 2 – Scan the location

Recoverit will start an all-around scan. Usually, it takes a few minutes to finish the scan and retrieve the PDF and SVG files.

operations during scanning

Step 3 – Preview the scanned files

1) From the list of .pdf and .svg files, you can click on the PDF file.

2) A preview will be displayed with a recovery button under the PDF preview.

3) Once the recover button is clicked, the illustrator file will be stored on the computer.

preview recovered photos

Bonus Tip: How to enable illustrator Autosave to prevent data loss after illustrator crashes

Whenever Illustrator crashes, the data recovery option available on AI turns off automatically. To recover an unsaved illustrator file you need to set the data recovery in the preferences panel. This can be done by following the below steps:

1) Go to "Preferences" - > "File Handling & Clipboard".

2) Under "Data Recovery", select the checkbox "Automatically Save Recovery Data Every:"

3) Select the time interval from the drop-down to save the backup.

4) Click on "Choose" to select the folder to which the recovered file needs to be saved.

5) Select the checkbox "Turn off Data Recovery for complex document" for a smooth and uninterrupted workflow.

6) Click on "OK".

enable autosave

The Bottom Line

All the above solutions provide a detailed answer to the question "how to recover lost illustrator files?" Software crashes and any other unexpected failure cause sudden data loss when you are using any software.

In the article, you have seen how "Recoverit Data Recovery" can be used to restore the lost or unsaved illustrator files. Apart from this, it is important to enabling the "Autosave" feature in AI to minimize the loss of data and ensure that the productiveness is not affected. You must also remember that the "Autosave" feature may also cause data loss if the backup process faces an interruption or risk.

Download | WinDownload | Mac

Other popular Articles From Wondershare

How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator Files? [3 Solutions]

How to Recover Illustrator File After Crash

"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?"

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Recover Illustrator Files from BackupGo to the location where you store the backup files, be it the default folder or the folder you set manuallyFull steps
2. Restore the Illustrator Files with SoftwareRun EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Choose the drive where you lost files and clickFull steps

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

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 Illustrator Files 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. 

EaseUS Illustrator Data Recovery Tool

  • Recover lost or deleted files, documents, photos, audio, music, emails effectively
  • Restore data after deleting, formatting, emptying recycle bin, virus attack, system crash, and more.
  • Support over types of files like DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX, M4A, MP3, JPG/JPEG, AVI, MOV, MP4, and more.

Download for Win Recovery Rate %

Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating

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 automatically 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 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.

The Bottom Line

Software crashes or other situations that cause data loss occur 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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Files illustrator location mac recovered

3 Ways for How to Recover an illustrator File on Mac

Updated by Potter on Apr 10,

"How do I recover illustrator file on Mac? Illustrator crashed before saving the file. where are illustrator recovery files location on Mac? Or any suggestions, please help me!"

Adobe illustrator is a well-known graphic editor used by designers to create posters, logos, drawings, and illustrations. However, the software sometimes slows in reaction and maybe crash during the working process. Or some people even lost the illustrator file when the Mac freeze or power off. In this case, to avoid losing the illustrator files, you must learn how to recover unsaved illustrator files on Mac or how to recover illustrator file after crash of Mac OS. Here in the article, we offer 3 ways for how to recover illustrator files on Mac.

Quick Navigation
Method #1. Recover Unsaved illustrator Files on Mac with AutoSave
Method #2. Find Lost AI Files by illustrator Recovered Files Location on Mac
Method #3. How to Recover Deleted/Lost illustrator Files on Mac

Method #1. Recover Unsaved illustrator Files on Mac with AutoSave

Like other Adobe products, it has the autosave feature. It saves the editing file within a specified time interval. In this case, if illustrator quit unexpectedly, it might have saved the file within a time interval and you can recover unsaved illustrator file on Mac when it pops up a dialogue, with the file recovery information.

How to do Adobe illustrator restore unsaved file by AutoSave

1. Relaunch illustrator again on Mac.

2. When a pop-up appears, click "More Info", open it and click File > Save As, save the file on Mac again. Please note that the currently recovered illustrator file might not be the last version you were editing. Forgive it! it! It’s still a good result for illustrator quit unexpectedly recover file on Mac.

recover unsaved illustrator file on mac

Many Mac programs have built-in "AutoSave" options, like Office, Pages and more. So you can rely on it to recover unsaved PowerPoint files on Mac.

Method #2. Find Lost AI Files by illustrator Recovered Files Location on Mac

illustrator has a data recovery mode. If you have enabled it, you can get AI file back by illustrator recovered files location. Here, before you get down to the task, you need to ensure whether you have enabled "Data Recovery" in illustrator or not:

1. In the spotlight window, type in "<your username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator [your version of Adobe Illustrator] Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs".

2. Open the Preferences file with a text editor on your Mac.

3. Locate the text in the Preferences file opened now with the text editor "/aiFileFormat {/PDFCompatibility 1enableATEReadRecovery 0 /enableContentRecovery 0/enableATEWriteRecovery 0/clipboardPSLevel 3}".

4. If you have enabled the data recovery feature before, the value of "enableContentRecovery" should be 1. If not, it is 0. In this case, please change the "enableContentRecovery" value from "0" to "1".

5. Save or close the Preference file.

6. Launch illustrator on Mac, click File > Open.

7. Choose the file you want to recover, highlight it but do not open it. Hold on Command, Option and Shift keys simultaneously on Mac and click "Open". Close the opened window, and navigate to the directory where the file you want to recover once saved to. Open the folder and look for a copy of the file. That’s it!

Method #3. How to Recover Deleted/Lost illustrator Files on Mac

If you failed to recover unsaved illustrator file after crash with the Autosave or data recovery feature in illustrator, try the last resort: recover deleted or lost illustrator files on Mac with illustrator recovery program. Only with the Apple data recovery software , you can make sure it will help you recover illustrator file successfully. Here, you can download iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover files from illustrator on Mac.

illustrator autosave location mac

Your Safe & Effective illustrator Recovery Tool

(Trust Score by Users)

  • It is a trustworthy tool specially developed for users to recover deleted or lost files on Mac and Windows.
  • It supports all kinds of files working on Mac and recovering data lost due to system crash, virus attack, intentional or unintentional deletion, and file lost/disappear.
  • It can get back your lost files from disk, SD card, pen drive, CF card, external hard drive, and more whether it is formatted or deleted.
Download for macOSDownload for Windows

Step 1. Install the illustrator data recovery software on Mac

First, download and install the recover deleted file Mac software. It’s fully compatible with all the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and all versions of macOS. Feel free to install it on your Mac. Do not try to search for illustrator recovery file tool in the Mac App Store. Apple officially denied data recovery software distributed in its store.

Step 2. Select illustrator files to recover

Launch the illustrator recovery software for Mac. From the first start-up window, please select the file you want to recover. Here, by default, all supported files are selected. Since you’re going to recover deleted illustrator files, you need to select "pictures" and "other files" and click "Start". It will save time for the whole scanning process by only selecting needed file types to scan.

illustrator recovery file location mac

Step 3. Locate where the illustrator file was

Next, in the new window, please locate where the illustrator file was. After then, select the hard drive where the file was saved and click "Scan". You know, the file is where it was as it is the rule it has to follow.

how to find recovered illustrator files on mac

Step 4. Recover illustrator files on Mac

Last, let the illustrator recover file software scan your Mac, looking for the unsaved, lost or deleted illustrator files. Be patient for the software to finish the whole scanning process. After that, you can see all found files are sorted into categories. Click the left panel to select file extension, and check out the details on the right side. When find the unsaved, lost or deleted illustrator file, select it and click "Recover" to save them on your computer.

recover illustrator files on mac

Though it’s the last resort, the default scanning mode is not the last opportunity while the powerful "Deep Scan" is. The recover illustrator file tool can scan your Mac more carefully, looking for files you need. You can try it in the scanning result window.

[2021]How to Recover Overwritten Files on Mac with or without Time Machine?

How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Illustrator Files in

Losing an Illustrator file can be a devastating blow to the productive workflow of any project. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Other times, it’s simply by mistake.

This problem can worsen tenfold when that file contains all of the work you’ve been preparing for a client. No matter how it was lost, you’re left wondering how you can get those files back.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can go about recovering those files you so desperately need so you don’t need to start all over again. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can recover unsaved or deleted Illustrator files.

To give yourself the best chance at recovering your files, it’s highly recommended that you stop using your computer for the moment, unless necessary for troubleshooting. Deleted data can be overwritten with new data, reducing your chances of recovering the lost files.

Recover from the Recycle Bin

Deleting files can be an easy mistake for many. All it takes is an accidental click of the delete button on your keyboard for your file to seemingly disappear entirely. Luckily, an easy mistake can be easily fixed if the file still resides in the Recycle Bin.

When files are deleted, your operating system sends them to the Recycle Bin before they’re permanently deleted. This gives you a window of opportunity to recover the files you need if they’ve been deleted (whether on purpose, or by accident).

Recovering deleted files from the Recycle Bin is super easy. Follow the below steps to get it done.

  1. On your Desktop, double-click on the Recycle Bin icon.
  2. Find the Illustrator file you’d like to recover. File inside the Windows Recycle Bin.
  3. Right-click on the file and click Restore. Restoring file from the Recycle Bin.

Mac has its own version of the Recycle Bin called the Trash Can. It has the same function as the Recycle Bin, in that it serves as a method of recovery for files that have been deleted.

  1. On your dock, left-click on the Trash Can to open it.
  2. Find the Illustrator file you’d like to recover.
  3. Right-click on the file and click Put Back.put back illustrator file from trash bin mac

After restoring the files, on either operating system, the files will return to their original location.

Recover using Revert & Recent Files

When working on an Illustrator project, you may find yourself displeased with the changes you’ve made. If you have at least one saved version of the file, you can use the File > Revert option to revert your file back to its last saved state. Bear in mind that this will remove any changes you made since opening the file.

Reverting an Illustrator file.

In some cases, you may not have deleted the file, but instead, just saved it in another location where you’re unable to find it. If you recently closed a file and are unsure on where that file is located, you can use Illustrator’s record of recently opened files to access it.

In Illustrator, go to File > Open Recent. Here, you’ll find a list of the files you’ve recently accessed within Illustrator where you can open them up again.

Illustrator file in Recent Files.

Recover from an Autosave

Adobe Illustrator has a built-in auto-recovery function for instances where the application crashes before your work can be saved. This gives you the chance to recover the file almost immediately and save it so you don’t lose your work again.

In order to see if your file can be recovered directly within Illustrator, try following the below steps:

  1. Relaunch Illustrator. (If your Illustrator is not responding, force close it so that you can launch it again).
  2. When it opens, you will be met with a dialogue box. Click OK.
  3. If Illustrator has a recovered version of your file, it will open immediately with a [Recovered] suffix in the tabs file name. Example of a recovered file.
  4. Go to File > Save As to save the recovered file.

Recover from an Illustrator Backup

Alongside the autosave feature, Illustrator also has a built-in backup feature. In some instances of Illustrator, the feature is not enabled by default. So, in order to use this feature, you will have to make sure it’s active first.

To activate the backup feature within Illustrator, follow the below steps.

  1. Inside Illustrator, go to Edit > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard.go to file handling in illustrator preferences
  2. Ensure that Automatically Save Recovery Data Every: is enabled.
  3. If you want to change the location where backups are stored, click on Choose… to specify a location.automatically save recover data function in illustrator

When this feature is active, Illustrator will attempt to make a backup of the file you were working on in the event of a crash, and save it in a specified location. If a location is not specified in the settings above, the application will save the files in the below locations by default.

  • Windows:
  • Mac:

In order to recover a backup file, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the location that was specified in Illustrator’s preferences for backup files.
  2. In this folder, find and open the files with the name recovery or recovered.
  3. Once the file is open, use the Save as function to save the recovered as recovered file illustrator

Restore to a Previous Version

Both Windows and Mac operating systems offer a chance at restoring a previous version of your files. For Windows, you can use File History. For Mac, you can use Time Machine.

Essentially, restoring to a previous version will revert you back to a previously saved version of that file. This is helpful if the file has become corrupted, or if you made changes that you cannot reverse.

While these tools are useful and effective in rolling back to a previous version, they can only be used if they were already enabled on your system.

  1. Right-click on the file you want to restore to a previous version, then click Restore to previous restore previous version on illustrator file
  2. Select the version you want to restore, then click on the drop-down next to the Restore button and select Restore To…select needed version and click restore to button
  3. Choose a location for the file to be restored to.
  1. Search for your file using the Finder, then click on the Time Machine icon in your menu.
  2. Scan for a version that you’d like to restore to, then click Restore when ready.restore illustrator file with time machine

Recover using Data Recovery Software

If the aforementioned solutions have not worked for you, it might be time to try using third-party data recovery software.

Recovery software specializes in recovering deleted or lost files that are otherwise unrecoverable using the tools provided by your operating system.

There are a number of recovery applications readily available for download on the internet, and the majority of them have the same functions. We recommend using Disk Drill Data Recovery due to its user-friendly interface, proven success rate, and the fact that there is a free plan available.

Below you will find some easy-to-follow steps that show you how to recover deleted Illustrator files.

  1. Download and Install Disk Drill.
  2. Open Disk Drill, and select the storage device that the Illustrator was located on. Storage devices available for recovery.
  3. Click Scan for lost data. The application will start looking for files that can be recovered on the selected drive.
  4. Select the files you want to recover by ticking the box on the left of the file name. Deleted files that were discovered by Disk Drill.
  5. Click on Recover, then specify a location where they can be recovered to. Click OK. Specifying a recovery location.
  6. When complete, you will be met with a results page detailing the file recovery process. Successful recovery confirmation screen.

Repairing Corrupted AI Files

Illustrator files, like all other files, are susceptible to corruption. File corruption can happen for various reasons, but the most common cause is because something has disrupted the ‘save’ process of the application, like a power surge or your computer crashing.

If your *.ai file is damaged, it may still be recoverable using the PDF version. Because of this, the below steps are only possible if you had the Create PDF Compatible File option enabled when the file was saved last.

To recover your *.ai file using the PDF version, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the *.ai file using Acrobat Reader.
  2. Save the file as a PDF.
  3. Open the PDF in Illustrator, and save using the *.ai extension.

Once you’ve saved it again, you can re-open the file using Illustrator.

Protecting Your Data

Simply put, the best way to protect your data is by having a copy of it. Having a copy of your work ensures that, in the event of hardware failure or data loss, you can get yourself back up and running in no time.There are a range of options out there, suited for many different lifestyles.

Nowadays, many prefer hassle-free cloud-based storage options like Google Drive and Dropbox because they’re automatic and provide easy access to your files from anywhere with an internet connection.

However, for those who work with Illustrator, file sizes may pose a problem, especially for those with a less-than-average internet connection. In that case, physical back-ups to external drives or secondary internal drives may be the preferred option. While this isn’t as plug-and-play as a cloud-based alternative, it can be made easier using specialized tools like Disk Drill’s Guaranteed Recovery feature.


Where is Illustrator’s autosave location?

By default, Illustrator will hold your autosaved files in the below locations:

  • Windows:
  • Mac:

The autosave location can be changed in Edit > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard.

Is it possible to recover the previous version of an Illustrator file?

If the file you’d like to restore to a previous version is still open in Illustrator, you can try using the Revert function. To do this, go to File > Revert. This will revert the file back to its last saved state, and cannot be undone.

Alternatively, if you have File History enabled, you may be able to restore an older version of the file by right-clicking it, then going to Properties > Previous Versions.


Recovering lost or deleted Illustrator files can sometimes be a challenge, but as we’ve discussed, it’s not always impossible. One of the most important factors that go into data recovery is speed, as deleted or lost files do not sit around forever.

If your files have been overwritten, there’s a chance that they cannot be recovered. However, this can easily be avoided going forward by implementing a reliable backup system to keep track of your files, in-case you lose them again.


You will also be interested:

4 Ways on How to Recover Unsaved or Lost Adobe Illustrator Files (CC,CS6)

Adobe Illustrator is still the king among vector images editors after so many years, it is cool to create and design projects on Adobe Illustrator. Designers or artists may spend several hours even days in Adobe Illustrator to create a satisfactory work. So, whenever an AI file left unsaved or lost, that’s a disaster to the creators.

But you needn’t to redo the AI file if you find a solution to recover unsaved or restore lost Adobe Illustrator AI files. Today, we are going to introduce multiple solutions for AI file recovery on Mac or Windows.

Restore Deleted/Lost AI Files Mac

  • Recover files from internal & external hard drive
  • Support + types of files (audio, video, photo, docs, archive, etc.)
  • Support APFS, HFS+, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc.
  • Offer 5 recovery modes for different data loss situations
  • Preview files before recovery
Free Download

Part 1. Recover Unsaved AI Files in Adobe Illustrator CC or CS6

An unsaved AI file may be caused by system crash or irresponsive AI program. Whenever we left an Adobe Illustrator unsaved, we should never give up restoring them. There are 3 ways to recover an unsaved AI file, no matter your AI files are created in AI CC, CS6 or earlier versions.

#1 Recover from AutoSave

We create and edit files everyday in different file processors, those files cost us time & effort and they are valuable to us. Most of the file processor developers know this too and this is the reason why there is always an AutoSave or AutoRecover feature added to those programs, Adobe Illustrator is not an exception. We can utilize AI AutoSave feature to recover an unsaved AI file.

By default, the AutoSave feature is enabled, you can go to Edit>Preferences>General as following:

ai autosave new

Then go to File Handling &Clipboard, check if the check box before “Automatically Save Recovery Date Every:” is selected. If yes, we can use the AutoSave function now, if not, select it for next possible AI file lose.

ai autosave new interface

Steps to Recover Unsaved AI Files with AutoSave

  1. Restart Adobe Illustrator program;
  2. In the AutoSave prompt box, click OK to open unsaved AI files again in Adobe Illustrator;autosave launch
  3. Go to File>Save or Save As to recover your unsaved AI files to preferred path. There may be some latest edits won’t be kept in the recovered AI file, but still worth a ai files

In the case that there is no response when you re-launch the AI program, you need to manually find and open the auto saved AI file.

For Windows Users:


For Mac Users:

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

autosave folder

#2 Recover from Temporary Folder

When we are creating or processing a file, a temporary file will be generated to store data before a task is completed, it works a backup in case that a file is left unsaved. To recover unsaved AI files, we can also check our temporary folder, the recovery rate is low, but we don’t have another option.

Steps to Recover Unsaved AI Files from TEMP Folder on Mac

  1. Go to C:\Users\*Your User Name*\AppData\Local\Temp;
  2. Find the unsaved AI file;
  3. Open the AI file with Adobe Illustrator, go to File>Save or Save as to recover.

Steps to Recover Unsaved AI Files from TEMP Folder on Windows

  1. Go to Finder>Application>Terminal, run this command line tool on your mac;
  2. Enter “open $TMPDIR” and press “Enter”;recover from temp mac
  3. Then find and open the unsaved AI file in TEMP folder;
  4. Open and save the AI file with Adobe Illustrator;

#3 Contact Adobe Illustrator Support

If you fail to recover unsaved AI files with above 2 methods, stop launching and writing to your Adobe Illustrator program, get help from Adobe Illustrator staff right now.

You can either ask for help in the Adobe Community or just contact Adobe support, this may take time, but there are many cases that successfully solved by contacting Adobe support.

Part 2. How to Recover Deleted or Lost AI Files

But what if you accidentally deleted or lost AI files on Mac or Windows? That would be quite easier to recover as long as you find a professional data recovery program. There are no other solutions to recover a deleted or lost AI file, a data recovery tool is required.

Recover Deleted/Lost AI Files on Mac

Cisdem Data Recovery is recommended to recover your deleted or lost AI files on mac. It supports recovering + types of files, including photos (vector graphics, common images, etc.), videos, audios, documents, archives and so on, regardless that the files are saved on mac internal or external hard dive or other storage devices. Users are allowed to preview found files before recovery. The data recovery process is extremely easy and fast, you don’t have to know much more about data recovery, Cisdem basically does all the jobs.

Main Features of Cisdem Data Recovery

  • Recover files from internal & external hard drive, USB, SD Card, etc.;
  • Support data recovery on + types of files (audio, video, photo, docs, archive, etc.)
  • Restore lost data caused by system crash, deletion, formatting, OS upgrade, etc.;
  • Support APFS, HFS+, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, etc.;
  • Offer 5 recovery modes for different data loss situations;
  • Preview files before recovery;

How to Recover Deleted/Lost AI Files on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery to your mac;
    Free Download
  2. Choose a data recovery solution, you are recommended to start with Basic or Trash mode;recover lost ai mac01
  3. Select the hard drive or storage device where you lost the AI files, and click Scan to start the scanning process;recover lost ai mac02
  4. Go to Other>AI folder, check and preview the AI files before recovery;recover lost ai mac04
  5. Select the AI files you want to recover and click Recover button to restore, you will be able to find the recovered files in Finder.recover lost ai mac06

Recover Deleted/Lost AI Files on Windows

While, Wise Data Recovery is the one recommended recovering deleted or lost AI files on Windows. It supports recovering more files, up to types, including documents, graphics, videos, audios, emails and so on. You can use this program to recover AI files from local drive, external drive, USB, SD and other removable devices. It works on Windows 10/8/7, Vista and XP.

Main Features of Wise Data Recovery

  • 2 scan modes: Quick and Deep;
  • Recover files from internal and external device;
  • Restore + types of files: video, audio, photos, documents, emails and others;
  • Support FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32), exFAT, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, HFSX, Ext2, Ext3;

How to Recover Deleted or Lost AI Files on Windows?

  1. Download and install Wise Data Recovery onto Windows PC;
  2. Select the drive where you lost the AI files;recover lost ai win01
  3. Choose a scan mode, you are recommended to start with Quick mode;recover lost ai win02
  4. Find the lost AI files and select them, then click Recover button to get them back to your Windows PC.recover lost ai win03

Part 3. Tips to Avoid Unsaved or Lost AI Files

It is not % for sure that an unsaved or lost AI file can be restored, to avoid any loss, there are multiple tips to prevent your AI files from being unsaved or lost.

Tips to Avoid Unsaved AI Files

An unsaved AI file is mainly caused by program crash or no response, we should always prepare Adobe Illustrator for coming works.

  • Always update to the latest versions;
  • Check AutoSave feature is ON or Not;
  • Free up system memory for Adobe Illustrator tasks;
  • Antivirus scan your device at a regular basis;

Tips to Avoid Deleted or Lost AI Files

An AI file may be deleted by mistake. We should be very careful when perform a file deletion.

  • Don’t empty Trash bin immediately after a file deletion;
  • Always have a backup for important files;
  • Share files to iCloud storage for future use;


No one want their files ended with unsaved or deleted, but it cannot be avoided. Whenever we run into an AI file loss, we should never give up and turn our backs on those unsaved or deleted AI files. Have a try on our recommended solutions as above, it may help. And we should notice that, recovering unsaved AI files is totally different thing from recovering deleted/lost AI files, to restore deleted or lost AI files, we have to use a data recovery tool.

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