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Autodesk Community Tips are bite-sized fixes, shortcuts, advice, and how-to tips shared by Community members.

Little Bits: Recovering AutoSave Files

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AutoSaves, otherwise known as Automatic Saves, are temporary files created by Autodesk that are generated at time intervals while you are working in the software. If you have AutoSaves enabled in your AutoCAD or, similarly, Civil 3D session, you may not have lost work when your session unexpectedly closed. AutoSaves can be utilized to restore work completed in a drawing when your Autodesk session closes prematurely, whether due to an application crash or a computer restart.


First, let's review where AutoSaves are enabled. You cannot utilize AutoSaves unless they are created in the first place.  Open the Options by clicking Options in the main menu or typing op into the CommandLine. Then, navigate to the Open and Save tab at the top of the dialog window. Once in the Open and Save tab, verify the box is checked for Automatic Save. In addition to enabling the Automatic Save, you can toggle how frequently the Automatic Saves occur. Refer to the image below, Automatic Saves are enabled, and the increment is set to 10 minutes.


Options - Automatic Saves EnabledOptions - Automatic Saves Enabled


Staying in the Options dialog window, let's switch over to the Files tab to check the location the AutoSaves are being generated. Refer to the Automatic Save File Location and expand the + to view the file path.  The AutoSaves are saved to the file path shown under the Automatic Save File Location. In the example below, the one for my AutoCAD session is highlighted in blue. 


Options - Automatic Save File LocationOptions - Automatic Save File Location


Copy the file path or type it into Windows Explorer to navigate to the Automatic Save File Location. If your Temp folder is a little cluttered, as mine is, you may want to sort by file Type. The AutoSave files have the .sv$ file extension. Find the file you wish to use, move it to your project folder, and change the file extension from .sv$ to .dwg to convert from an AutoSave file to a Drawing.


Once the file extension is a .dwg, the drawing can be opened and edited as usual in your AutoCAD session.


Note the AutoSaves are temporary files and will be deleted upon closing the application successfully. AutoSaves are not a replacement for QSAVE. You will still need to regularly save your drawings to preserve your work safely. If the AutoSaves are no longer accessible, you may want to utilize the Backup (.bak) files instead. Just like AutoSaves, the file extension can be replaced with .dwg to convert the file for use and editing.


You may also notice .ac$ files in your temporary file directory. These .ac$ extension files are temporary files that contain various commands but do not contain drawing data that can be recovered.


A word of caution: you may want to toggle your AutoSaves off when completing heavy processing design. Rebuilding surfaces and corridors within Civil 3D can conflict with AutoSaves if they happen simultaneously, causing your Autodesk session to stop responding.




For more helpful hints, check out some more Little Bits AutoCAD Tips below:


Little Bits: Nested Copy from Reference 

Little Bits: Change Space 

Little Bits: Match Properties 

Little Bits: Merge Layer