How to Recover Lost Data from Adobe Illustrator

Summary: This post shares how to recover lost data from Adobe Illustrator's work file if the program crashes or suddenly shuts down due to power cut or other reasons. Also, learn the software-based method to recover deleted Illustrator files from your Mac and Windows drive using Stellar Photo recovery software.

How to Recover Lost Data from Adobe Illustrator How to Recover Lost Data from Adobe Illustrator

‘I was working on a large Adobe Illustrator EPS file and suddenly my Illustrator CS 6 crashed. What should I do? I really need to recover the files.’

Adobe Illustrator (AI) is a popular vector graphics editor, which is used by beginners and professional designers to create graphics, logos, drawings and illustrations. It saves and exports artworks in EPS, SVG, AI and other file formats.

Many Adobe Illustrator users complain about file loss after sudden crash of the app or the computer. So, how to recover lost data from Adobe illustrator files in such situations?

This post shares the methods to recover lost data from Adobe Illustrator files on Mac and Windows that were lost or not saved due to sudden crash, freezing of the app, system shutdown or accidental deletion, etc.

You can use these methods for any Adobe Illustrator version including CS5, CS6, CC, and others.

Methods to Recover Lost Work file from Adobe Illustrator

Method 1: Relaunch Illustrator app and save the ‘Recovered’ file.

Method 2: Restore lost file from Illustrator backup

Method 3: Recover the lost Illustrator files with Stellar Photo Recovery

Method 1: Relaunch Illustrator and save the ‘Recovered’ file

While working abrupt system shutdown or crash, may not let you save your work. To recover unsaved Illustrator file, restart the program. It will recover your artwork using the auto saved recovery feature. As you reopen the Illustrator, the unsaved file with the Recovered suffix will be visible on the top bar of the program.

Steps to save the recovered Illustrator file:

  • Relaunch Adobe Illustrator

  • A dialog box as shown below appears. Click OK to close the dialog box
  • The file you were working on while the app crashed/ closed will show up with the Recovered suffix in Adobe Illustrator. Go to File > Save As in the menu to save the recovered file with a different name. You can work on this copy of the recovered file.

Method 2: Restore Lost File from Illustrator Backup

Adobe helps you to recover lost data from Adobe Illustrator files in case of loss or crash. But the recovery feature is not enabled upon installation. You have to activate the data recovery preference in the Illustrator ‘Preferences’.

You can save the backup or recovery files at your specified location in a folder. If you don’t specify the location in data recovery preferences, the Illustrator files will get saved by default at the following location on your computer:

Default location of Illustrator file on Windows PC:

C:\>\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator <version number> Settings\en_US*\x64\Adobe Illustrator Prefs/\DataRecovery.

Default location of Illustrator file on Mac:

Macintosh hard disk/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator <version number> Settings/en_US*/Adobe Illustrator Prefs/ DataRecovery.

Note: In some Illustrator versions ‘DataRecovery’ may be named as ‘CrashRecovery’

The Adobe’s data recovery feature allows you to:

  • Recover unsaved Illustrator file.
  • Recover deleted Illustrator file.
  • Recover crashed Illustrator file.
  • Determine the cause of Illustrator crash.
  • Troubleshoot the problem.

Steps to recover files from Illustrator crashRecovery/ dataRecovery

  1. Go to your specified location for Illustrator data recovery files or follow the default location given above on your computer.
  2. Search for the files with the name ‘recovery’ or ‘recovered’. Select the required file and rename it.
  3. Next, open the file with Illustrator and click the on File Select Save as to save the file.

You can recover the last saved or previous version of the lost Illustrator file with data recovery feature. However, if Illustrator crashes between the recovery intervals that you had set, you can no longer get back the lost data.

Note: Whenever Illustrator crashes, the data recovery feature turns off automatically. Thus, re-enable it from the Preferences panel to auto save your data.

Steps to set up ‘Preferences’ to recover Illustrator files after data loss:

  • Go to Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard > Data Recovery.
  • Select checkbox Automatically Save Recovery Data Every:

  • Select the time interval using the given drop-down to save a backup of your work
  • Select folder/ choose the location at which Illustrator will store the backup files.
  • Click OK. 

TIP: The data recovery preference for large or complex files slows down your system, which interrupts smooth workflow. Select Turn off Data Recovery for complex documents in Preference window to avoid slowing down of Adobe Illustrator.

Method 3: Recover Lost Illustrator Files with Stellar Photo Recovery

Have you lost your Adobe Illustrator files from backup due to accidental deletion, formatting, or crashing of the computer? Use an Adobe Illustrator file recovery software— Stellar Photo Recovery to quickly restore your Illustrator file. It scans the drive or storage media thoroughly to recover the lost or deleted EPS or other Illustrator files.

The DIY software has a highly intuitive interface and supports recovery from hard drives, memory cards, USB flash drives etc. Its advanced scan engine and search filters can recover the artworks without hampering their original quality.

The Stellar Photo recovery software retrieves Illustrator files on Mac and Windows computers.

Photo Recovery photo recovery mac

Steps to recover lost Illustrator files with Stellar Photo Recovery:

  • Connect the drive from which you’ve lost the EPS files to the computer.
  • Launch Stellar Photo Recovery Software on your Mac or Windows PC.
  • In the software, select the location from where you want to recover illustrator files.
  • Customize the Illustrator recovery process. Click on ‘Advanced Settings’ icon on top menu bar. Advanced Settings window opens. Click on the file list icon. Select Adobe EPS file type and click ‘Close’. If you don’t find your Illustrator file format, you can also add it by selecting Add File Type option.

  • Click Scan to start the scanning process.
  • A dialog box of ‘Scanning Completed Successfully!’ displays the scan results. You can preview the found files.
    Note: If you don’t see the required photos in the list, opt for Deep Scan option at the bottom.
  • Select the required Illustrator files and click Recover.
  • In the dialog box, specify the location to save the image files. Click Save.

TIP: How to fix Illustrator crash problem? Adobe Illustrator crashes repeatedly? Fix AI crash issue with ‘Run Diagnostics’ Option and then save the recovered file.

After the crash, when you relaunch Adobe Illustrator, a dialog box appears asking to diagnose the problem. Click on Run Diagnostics option.

The app will launch in the Safe mode. Adobe Illustrator identifies and lists the probable causes of the crash such as outdated driver/ plug-in, or a corrupt font. It also shares the solutions to fix them. Follow the recommended solutions to fix the crashing issue. Next, relaunch Illustrator and save your recovered work.

Wrapping Up

Adobe takes care of data loss and recovery of the artworks in Illustrator. The advanced tool offers a data recovery feature in its ‘Preferences’ wherein it takes backup of your work at regular intervals. In situations of app crash, you can retrieve the lost EPS files from this backup folder. The graphics editor also determines the cause and the relevant fixes with its diagnostic feature.

However, if you lose your Illustrator backup files too due to some reason, Stellar Photo Recovery is the recommended tool to recover them from Windows or Mac drives.

It is 100% secure. Millions of Adobe Illustrator users recommend it due to its high success rate and its ability to recover without harming the original quality of EPS artworks.

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