How to Recover Illustrator Files If My Computer Crashes

By Bonnie Conrad

Adobe Illustrator is a popular choice for desktop publishing, and is widely used in both homes and businesses. Building an Illustrator file can be a time-consuming endeavor, so the last thing you want to do is lose all of that hard work. That is why it is so important to know how to recover in-progress files in the event of a computer crash.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • File recovery tools

Step 1

Log on to your computer and open Adobe Illustrator. If the program automatically saved any Illustrator files prior to the crash, those files will be listed in the Recently Used list. To see these files, click on the "File" menu and look at the bottom of the list. Highlight the file you were working on and attempt to open it.

Step 2

See if you have any built-in recovery tools on your system. McAfee, Symantec and other makers of antivirus protection often include file recovery tools in their full security suites.

Step 3

Download a file recovery tool if you do not have one installed already. Many of these tools are freely available. Even many of the pay programs include a free trial period, so you can test them to see if they are able to recover your lost files.

Step 4

Open the file recovery software and browse to the folder where your Adobe Illustrator files are saved. The file recovery package will automatically highlight the recoverable files. Click on those files and choose "Recover" from the menu.

Step 5

Open Adobe Illustrator, open your recovered files and make sure they display correctly. Save a copy of the files to a separate location on your hard drive. This will give you a backup you can use if your computer crashes again.