Can You Recover an Unsaved Drawing AutoCAD?

Can You Recover an Unsaved Drawing AutoCAD?

Accidents happen, and sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you accidentally close or lose an unsaved drawing in AutoCAD. Don’t panic! AutoCAD has built-in features that can help you recover your work and minimize the frustration of losing hours of effort.

1. Automatic Save and Backup Files

AutoCAD has an automatic save feature that periodically saves your work in the background.

By default, it saves every 10 minutes, but you can adjust this interval in the settings. These automatic save files are stored with a .sv$ extension.

If you experience a crash or accidentally close AutoCAD without saving, you can look for the most recent automatic save file by following these steps:

  • Go to the File tab at the top left corner of the AutoCAD window.
  • Select “Drawing Utilities” from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose “Recover” from the submenu.
  • In the “Select File to Recover” dialog box, locate and select your recent .sv$ file.
  • Click “Open” to recover your unsaved drawing.

2. Temporary Files

In addition to automatic save files, AutoCAD also creates temporary files while you work on a drawing. These files have a .tmp extension and can be used as a backup in case of an unexpected closure or crash.

To recover an unsaved drawing using temporary files:

  • Navigate to the folder where your drawing was originally saved.
  • Look for files with a .dwg.tmp extension or any other temporary file related to your drawing.
  • Rename the file extension from .tmp to .
  • Double-click the renamed file to open it in AutoCAD and recover your unsaved work.

3. Drawing Recovery Manager

If you can’t find the automatic save or temporary files, AutoCAD has a Drawing Recovery Manager that can help you recover unsaved drawings. Here’s how:

  • Go to the File tab at the top left corner of the AutoCAD window.
  • Choose “Drawing Recovery Manager” from the submenu.
  • In the Drawing Recovery Manager dialog box, locate your unsaved drawing from the list of available files.
  • Select the drawing and click “Open” to recover it.


It’s important to remember that these recovery methods are not foolproof. It’s always good practice to regularly save your work manually using Ctrl+S or by clicking on the Save icon in AutoCAD. Additionally, consider enabling auto-saving at shorter intervals to minimize potential data loss in case of unexpected events.

In conclusion, losing an unsaved drawing in AutoCAD can be frustrating, but with its built-in features like automatic save files, temporary files, and Drawing Recovery Manager, you have a good chance of recovering your work. Remember to save your progress regularly and take advantage of these recovery options as a safety net for unforeseen circumstances!