How to Recover Corrupted, Unsaved, or Deleted AutoCAD DWG Files 2023?

Connie Wisley
August 30, 2023 Preview 21.3K Preview 1
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AutoCAD is a design and drawing software to create professional 2D or 3D files, which is widely applied among architects, engineers and other professionals. The native files created in AutoCAD is saved in DWG format and it is not easy to create a project in AutoCad. So, if your AutoCAD DWG files are left unsaved, deleted or corrupted, that would a disaster.

Yet, it is still lucky that there are solutions to recover corrupted, unsaved, or restore deleted AutoCAD DWG file on Mac, Windows, even external USB device.


A Quick AutoCAD File Recovery

To find and recover a AutoCAD DWG file on Mac or Windows, even from external devices, the easiest and quickest way is to use a piece of dedicated dwg recovery software. Because it scans your drive meticulously, then identifies, extracts and copies the recoverable data to a designated secure location on a device. Most important, data recovery software supports restoring files even you don’t have a back up for the lost files.

Cisdem Data Recovery is a Mac & Windows program to restore files lost under different situation. It allows users to restore files from both internal and external hard drive, that’s to say, you can not only recover deleted dwg files from your Mac or Windows, but also from other external storage devices, like SD card, USB, etc.

Main Features of Cisdem Data Recovery

  • Recover files lost due to different causes: power off, system crash, deletion, formatting, etc.
  • Restore files from internal and external hard drive
  • Recover 200+ file types: video, photo, audio, document, archive, email, etc.
  • Repair damaged videos, images
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Create backup and recover with a backup image
  • Recover files to local drive or to iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, pCloud, Box

Steps to Recover AutoCAD DWG Files on Mac or Windows

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery to your Mac or Windows.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7
  2. Choose the drive.
    Go to Hardware Disk, select the hard drive that stored the deleted or lost AutoCAD DWG files. recover dwg cisdem01
  3. Scan the drive and find the files.
    Click Search for lost files button to look through the drive, go to Type > Pictures > DWG, or you can use filter to find specific files quickly.
    recover dwg cisdem02
  4. Recover DWG files.
    After the scanning, select the DWG files you want to restore, click Recover and choose a location to save the AutoCAD files.recover dwg cisdem03

Notes: In the case that you have found all deleted dwg files before the scanning process finishes, click on the Stop button to end the scanning, this helps save your time to scan all the data on your disk.

recover autocad cisdem04


How to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD Files Online

Struggling to open your AutoCAD DWG files? Often, it is simply because the file is corrupted or damaged for some reasons. If such a disaster strikes, you can try to repair a corrupted CAD file online.

But first of all, you should try the repair tool within AutoCAD program to check if it can recover the corrupted DWG file. Just reopen the file and click Recover to repair.

auto repair

If the auto repair tool in AutoCAD doesn’t help, you can restore a damaged DWG file online and free. There are 2 recommendations.

1. Recovery Toolbox

Recovery Toolbox offers both desktop and web tools to recover damaged AutoCAD DWG drawings, if you have just one or several files to be restored, you can do it online without installing any software. However, you should pay attention to these disadvantages:

  • uploaded CAD files will be saved for 30 days on it server
  • the repairing may take a long time or fail, it is unknown

Steps to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD DWG Files Online

  1. Visit
  2. Click on Select File to upload the corrupted CAD dwg online01
  3. Enter your email address to receive the repaired dwg online02
  4. Click on Next Step.
  5. Once get the email, download the DWG file to your Mac or Windows.​


2. DWG Repair

If you fail to recover corrupted DWG files in recovery toolbox, there is an alternative to repair the damaged AutoCAD files online and free: using DWG Repair.

This repair kit is designed to fix corrupted DWG files, it offers desktop and online solution. Additionally, you can find a lot of repair tools to restore other projects, including CorelDraw, Word, Illustrator, Outlook, PowerPoint, Photoshop, etc.

Like using Recovery Toolbox, the uploaded file will be saved on the server for 10 days, it is also uncertain if this online tool can repair your file or not, and how long it may take.

Steps to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD DWG Files Online

  1. Visit
  2. Click Select File to upload the damaged DWG file, enter your email dwg online04
  3. Click Next step to start the recovery dwg online05
  4. Once the repair is done, download the file in your mailbox.


How to Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG Files?

If you left an AutoCAD project unsaved, don’t panic, its Auto Save may have saved your work, also there are 2 other ways to restore an unsaved DWG file.

Solution #1 Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG with Auto Save

You may have realized that lots of professional programs add a feature of Auto Save, allowing users to auto save files every 5 or 10 minutes to a preset location, like Adobe Photshop, Micorsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and AutoCAD is no exception.

With AutoCAD’s Auto Save feature, you can recover unsaved DWG files on Mac and Windows PC too. But first of all, you need to make sure you have enabled this feature.

How to Check If AutoCAD Auto Save is ON?

  1. Run AutoCAD.
  2. Click on the AutoCAD icon, go to Option.
  3. Go to Open and Save, check if the box before Automatic save is checked, if yes, you can recover unsaved DWG file, if not, go to other options for dwg recovery.autocad auto save

Steps to Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG Files with Auto Save

  1. Run AutoCAD.
  2. Click on Options.autocad-options
  3. Go to Files > Automatic Save File Location, copy Auto Save location.autocad auto save location
  4. Locate the unsaved AutoCAD files.
    For Windows 10 users, Press WIN+R, paste the auto save location, you will be navigated to unsaved AutoCAD DWG files.
    For macOS users, go to Apple menu > Go > Go to Folder, paste the auto save location.
  5. Then open the unsaved AutoCAD DWG file in dwg or bak format with AutoCAD, save the file.


Solution #2 Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG with .BAK File

AutoCAD embeds rich features for better user experience, including the one “Create backup copy with each save”, which allows you to recover an unsaved AutoCAD DWG file with backup .bak file. If you have enabled this feature, you can follow the steps to recover your unsaved AutoCAD DWG files.

recover with bak

Steps to Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG File with .BAK

  1. Go to the location where you save the DWG file.
  2. Find the file with .bak, then rename to change its extension to .dwg.recover with bak
  3. Click the Save button to save the file. Done.


Solution #3 Recover Unsaved AutoCAD DWG from Temp Folder

You can also go to Temp folder to check if the unsaved AutoCAD DWG files are there, if above 2 methods failed to recover your unsaved AutoCAD DWG files.

For Mac users

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Run the program Terminal.
  3. Input “open $TMPDIR” to Terminal. recover dwg with temp01
  4. Then press Enter to run the command, you will be directed to the Temp folder and go to TemporaryItems. recover dwg files with temp02
  5. Find the AutoCAD files in tmp format, open with AutoCAD, save the files for recovery.

For Windows users

  1. Open Windows Search.
  2. Enter “%temp%” into the search box.
  3. Now check to see if the unsaved AutoCAD files are in the temp folder.recover files from win temp


Recover Deleted/Lost AutoCAD DWG Files on Mac or Windows

So you’ve deleted an AutoCAD file by mistake, or you just cannot find some DWG files, they are gone for unknown reasons. Now, you need to know how to recover them.

You’ve got several options to do the recovery, range from simple free to advanced, here we will talk about 2 simple and free solutions, if you want advanced and quick solution, go back to Cisdem and recover the deleted files.

1. Restore from Trash Bin

You should check the trash bin first when you realize your files are deleted or lost, it is much likely they will be moved there and wait for putting back, if you didn’t empty the trash bin.

For Mac users

  1. Open Trash bin.
  2. Select the DWG files and click Put back.recover mac trash

For Windows users

  1. Open Recycle bin.
  2. Select the DWG files and click Restore.recover windows trash


2. Recover via Backup

If you have the habit of backing up files on your Mac or Windows to an external storage device, you can recover a deleted or lost DWG file even easier.

For Mac users

  1. Click Time Machine icon in the menu bar, and Enter Time Machine.recover dwg via backup mac01
  2. You'll see a list of backups arranged by date, use the timeline to select a DWG file and click Restore.restore dwg via backup mac02

For Windows users

  1. Enter Restore your files with File History in the Windows search box and open the utility.recover dwg via backup windows 01
  2. Search the DWG files by inputting keyword, preview the file information and select the one that you want to restore, click Restore.recover dwg via backup windows02



We will feel stressful when mistakenly deleting a file or realizing a document get lost, even damaged, if you have a backup, you can recover data such as AutoCAD DWG, photos, videos and others super easily. But most of times, we don’t have a backup. Whereas, with some patience and right tools, we can still recover an unsaved, corrupted or deleted AutoCAD DWG. And here is an important piece of advice: always back up file that matters.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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Comments (1) Leave a Reply

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  • Shannon Gebo

    The online tools did't fix my damaged dwg files, it just stuck there, have you ever repaired your files successfully online? But Cisdem did helped me find some missing dwg files.

    26 days ago Reply

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