Recovering an Autosaved Drawing in AutoCAD

by Jeff Weber
(Indiana, U.S.A.)

This tip is a follow up to the Using Autosave in AutoCAD tip previously posted. Now that you have Autosave set up properly you should be feeling pretty confident about the safety of your drawing.

This is a great feature and it works wonderfully but what if the power does go out or your computer crashes?

Once you get your machine back up and running what do you do then?

You can be confident that your drawing has been saved in the last ten minutes but when you open the drawing you start to notice that your drawing cannot have been saved in the last ten minutes.

If you go into Windows Explorer, and navigate to your project folder, you will be able to verify on the time stamp that your drawing has not been saved in the last ten minutes.

I know you are thinking "What??!"

As with most of the commands and features in AutoCAD there are pros and cons.

With the Autosave feature, AutoCAD saves the drawing in a different location with a different file extension.

Here is how you find the location and restore your automatically saved drawing.

The first thing you need to do is go back to the options menu by typing OPTIONS on the command line.

Once you are at the Option dialogue box select the Files tab.

Navigate down to the Automatic Save File Location and expand this folder by clicking on the plus sign.

This will reveal the location of the Autosaved drawing on your computer.

I have found that the easiest way to navigate to this folder is by clicking twice in the file location box. This will open the box like you are trying to change the location.

Highlight everything in the box, right click and select COPY.

This will copy the file path to your clipboard.

Now hit cancel so that the Options dialogue box closes.

Minimize AutoCAD and open your Windows Explorer.

I do this by right clicking on Windows "START" and selecting "Explore".

Now that Windows Explorer is open, right click in the address bar at the top.

Select PASTE and paste in the file path you copied out of the Option Dialogue Box from AutoCAD.

Hit the "Go" button in Windows Explorer or hit Enter.

You will be taken right to the folder where your drawing has been saved.

Then next thing I would do is add this folder to My Favorites. That way you will not have to copy the file path again.

(Locating the file this way eliminates the need to write down the path or even to try to memorize the location.)

Now as I said before, AutoCAD saves your drawing with a new file extension, this extension is .SV$. Some may notice that it may appear as .AC$ as well.

I will typically sort the files by "file type" at this point to help me locate the file faster.

Once you find the .SV$ files you will notice that AutoCAD has also renamed your drawing.

It will look very similar to your original drawing but with some additional numbers tacked on to the end.

Now to use this drawing you have to change the file extension back to a .DWG.

Just click on the file like you are renaming it and highlight the .SV$ and change it to .DWG

You may be asked "Are you sure you want to do this?"

Just click "Yes" or "Ok".

Your drawing has now been changed back to a .DWG

Just open it as you would a normal drawing.

Now do a "SAVE AS" and save the drawing back to the original folder as the original name.

AutoCAD will tell you that there is already a file with that name and do you want to overwrite it?

Select yes and viola, you are back in business.

This process may seem long, but once you have the file path saved in your favorites and you know what files you are looking for, this process should only take a minute or two tops.

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