How Do I Recover an Unsaved AutoCAD Drawing?

Have you ever encountered a situation where you have been working on an important AutoCAD drawing for hours, only to realize that you forgot to save it and now it’s gone? Don’t panic!

There is still hope to recover your unsaved AutoCAD drawing. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to recover an unsaved AutoCAD drawing.

Using the Drawing Recovery Manager

If you find yourself in a situation where your AutoCAD crashes or closes unexpectedly, the first thing you should do is open AutoCAD again. When you relaunch the application, a Drawing Recovery Manager will automatically appear if there are any unsaved drawings available for recovery.

If the Drawing Recovery Manager doesn’t automatically appear, don’t worry. You can access it manually by following these steps:

  1. Step 1: Open File Explorer on your computer.
  2. Step 2: Navigate to the folder where AutoCAD saves automatic backup files.
  3. Step 3: Look for files with the extension “.sv$” (e.g.,$).
  4. Step 4: Open AutoCAD and go to the “File” menu.
  5. Step 5: Select “Drawing Utilities” and then choose “Recover”.

The Drawing Recovery Manager window will open, displaying a list of all available unsaved drawings. Select the desired file from the list and click on “Open” to recover it. Remember to save your recovered drawing as soon as possible to avoid losing it again!

Saving Automatic Backup Files

To prevent future data loss, it is essential to configure AutoCAD to save automatic backup files regularly. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Step 1: Open AutoCAD and go to the “Tools” menu.
  2. Step 2: Select “Options” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Step 3: In the Options dialog box, click on the “Open and Save” tab.
  4. Step 4: Under the “File Safety Precautions” section, check the box that says “Create backup copy with each save”.
  5. Step 5: Adjust the backup file settings according to your preferences.

This ensures that AutoCAD creates a backup copy of your file every time you save it. In case of an unexpected event, you will have a recent backup to rely on.

Taking Regular Manual Backups

In addition to automatic backups, it is always a good practice to manually save your work at regular intervals. You can do this by following these simple steps:

  • Selecting an appropriate location: Choose a location on your computer or cloud storage where you want to save your drawing files.
  • Naming your files effectively: Give your drawing files meaningful names that are easy to identify and organize.
  • Saving frequently: Make it a habit to click on the “Save” button or use the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + S) regularly.

Taking regular manual backups not only helps in recovering unsaved drawings but also provides an additional layer of protection for your work in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


Accidents happen, and AutoCAD crashes or accidental closures can lead to the loss of unsaved drawings. However, by using the Drawing Recovery Manager and configuring automatic backup settings, you can minimize data loss and quickly recover your work.

Remember to save your drawings regularly and take manual backups to ensure the safety of your work. With these precautions in place, you’ll never have to worry about losing an unsaved AutoCAD drawing again!