How to Recover Corrupted, Unsaved or Deleted AutoCAD DWG File 2024?

Connie Wisley
February 21, 2024 Preview 35.4K Preview 3
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AutoCAD is a design and drawing software developed by AutoDesk to create professional 2D or 3D files. This computer-aided design program can automate the execution process, so users can create, edit and manage designs efficiently. The native files created in AutoCAD is saved in DWG format, and you may spend days or hours to meticulously work on a project, so whenever your AutoCAD DWG files are left unsaved, deleted or corrupted, that would a disaster.

Yet, it is lucky that we have reliable solutions to recover a corrupted, unsaved, or restore deleted AutoCAD DWG file on Mac, Windows, even external USB device.


Quick AutoCAD File Recovery in 2024

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 can scan your drive deeply, then identifies, extracts and copies the recoverable data to a designated secure location on a device. 

Cisdem Data Recovery is a Windows & Mac 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. There is also a filter tool built in this program to quickly locate a DWG file. It allows users to preview the AutoCAD file, if the preview is not available, your DWG file may be corrupt, Cisdem can repair and recover damaged AutoCAD files as well.

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 1000+ file types: video, photo, audio, document, archive, email, etc.
  • Repair damaged videos, images
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Support crashed PC recovery and NAS recovery

Steps to Recover AutoCAD DWG Files on Mac or Windows

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery to your Windows or Mac.
    Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7 Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Choose the drive.
    Go to PC Recovery, select the hard drive where you stores the AutoCAD DWG file and click Scan.recover autocad cisdem 01
  3. Locate the AutoCAD file
    Go to Type > Pictures > DWG, search the AutoCAD file that you want to restore, also you can use the Filter tool to quickly find a DWG file.recover autocad cisdem 02
  4. Preview and Recover DWG files.
    You can double click the preview the AutoCAD files, select them and click Recover button to restore the files.recover autocad cisdem 03
  5. (Optional) Repair corrupted AutoCAD files.
    In the case that the preview of the DWG file is not available, you can still click Recover button to repair the design during recovering process.recover autocad cisdem 04


How to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD File (Online Free)?

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 in AutoCAD or online free.

1. How to Recover DWG File in AutoCAD?

It is much likely that you have installed AutoCAD on your device, then you should try the repair tool within AutoCAD program if cannot open the file due to corruption.

  1. Click the application button, go to Drawing Utilities > Recover, then select corrupted dwg 01
  2. Select the corrupted DWG file that you want to repair, click Open.
  3. Close the following dialog box after the auditing and repairing corrupted dwg 02
  4. Save and restore the corrupted file to a selected location.


2. How to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD File (Online Free)?

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 Free

  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. OnlineFile. 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 OnlineFile. Repair. This repair kit is designed to fix corrupted DWG files, it also repair other projects, including CorelDraw, Photoshop, llustrator, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Like using Recovery Toolbox, the uploaded file will be saved on the server for some time, it is also uncertain if this online tool can repair your file or not, and it often take a long time to finish the repairing online.

Steps to Recover Corrupted AutoCAD File Online Free

  1. Visit
  2. Click Select File to upload the damaged DWG file, enter your email corrupted dwg online 01
  3. Click Next step to start the recovery corrupted dwg online 02
  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.

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 (click the app button, then go to Options and check if AutoSave is enabled).

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.


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.


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


How to Recover Deleted AutoCAD DWG File for Free?

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, including the quick solution of using Cisdem that we mentioned in the beginning. Here we will talk about 2 simple and free solutions.

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, like Cisdem Data Recovery.

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 (3) Leave a Reply

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  • Timothy P. Catalan

    An import project file is missing from my Mac, I don't know why, I never thought about starting over, so I came to your guide and finally get the file back, thanks for your clear and concise solution.

    0 months ago commonReply

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  • Chester Dickey

    Sweet! Exactly what I needed. Fast and simple! The first option worked for me. Thanks for laying it out so simply and easy to follow.

    0 months ago commonReply

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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.

    0 months ago commonReply

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