Is there a way to retrieve your work after a crash, if you haven't saved for a while?

  • 1
    Have you tried praying and cursing a blue streak? Dec 10, 2012 at 16:46
  • 4
    No, but I've tried putting garlic under my monitor and even rubbing it against the motherboard
    – bogatyrjov
    Dec 10, 2012 at 19:06
  • 7
    There's your problem. Garlic doesn't do anything for autosave. You need rosemary for remembrance. Scatter some needles (fresh, please, not dried) under the keyboard and see if that helps. Dec 11, 2012 at 1:33
  • 1
    man, you are my savior!
    – bogatyrjov
    Dec 11, 2012 at 7:46

7 Answers 7


I found this pretty useful technique using the "actions" panel to autosave. http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/scripting/autosave-in-adobe-illustrator-using-the-actions-palette/

In case that link ever goes down, the basic idea is to create an action set 'Autosave' containing two actions, which each trigger each other, creating an infinite loop.

Then, in one action, add a 'Save as' saving to a file you can use as a recovery file, placed somewhere logical, as well as a pause in each one for half the amount of time you want to leave between saves.

If you want a longer pause than the maximum 100 seconds, put a pause in both actions, saving every 200 seconds - just over 3 minutes. If you want longer (e.g. every 5 minutes), add an extra action to the loop with another pause.

  • 1
    that's fantastic!
    – bogatyrjov
    Dec 11, 2012 at 16:53
  • 3
    Hopefully someone at adobe reads tutorials like that and realizes they need to implement something like that on program level.
    – kontur
    Dec 11, 2012 at 18:35
  • This is a sweet and useful find. Aug 8, 2013 at 15:46
  • @kontur Hopefully someone at adobe can read... Nov 13, 2013 at 10:28
  • While this is useful, there are a few issues with it: 1) the "pause" you set applies to everything in your Actions palette. It's per illustrator session, so it might also forget what you set it to next time you start Illustrator. 2) Once it starts, it applies to whatever Illustrator file is in focus. You can't apply the action to one file but not another, and only files in focus will autosave. 3) If you set an autosave folder, that becomes the default save folder for the file. Jun 25, 2015 at 16:44

As of CS6, no there is not an auto save feature in Adobe Illustrator.


If you're on mac, you can make an applescript that does this but it's kind of a pain in the butt. Here's a link to a similar one written for photoshop. You can probably tinker with it a bit if your up to the challenge to save yourself some headaches.



Of note. AstuteGraphics.com has released the AutoSavior plug-in which is designed to auto save at user-specifed increments for Illustrator CS5+. It is a free plug in.

enter image description here

  • 1
    This plugin is no longer free.
    – George C
    May 8, 2015 at 18:24

One small tweak to the Actions method: instead of Save As use Save a Copy. This way you are creating a backup copy in a location specific for backup copies and you can still save your original in the place you want it.


If you're on a Mac then you can also use the "Ai Auto Save" app available on the Mac App Store here.

Note: for the sake of transparency, I'm the developer! I made the app after experiencing the frustrations discussed above. Hope you find it useful.

  • Hello and welcome to GDSE. Could I suggest you to post your self-ads as a comment to the question instead of placing it as an answer?
    – Ilan
    May 29, 2014 at 10:35
  • Hi. Thanks for the welcome. I would leave a comment, but apparently I need 50+ rep to do that? May 29, 2014 at 12:08
  • Thanks for the link. I found your app pretty useful, so I'd regard it as an answer to the question, regardless of what the guy above says. Feb 16, 2015 at 11:39

There's an app for that. Works brilliantly http://www.tool-forcesw.com/foreversave/

  • 4
    Care to elaborate a little more? Just in case the link changes or dies.
    – Dom
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.