I have been working with some stippling style brushes I downloaded off of the internet a while ago on Adobe Illustrator. I have used these in my file before but added a few more today on the artboard. Then the file decided to freeze and all my artboards aren't visible. I am having trouble opening the file. It has become very large as well. How can I reopen the file? I am assuming the brushes are the problem but am not sure why they made my file so big.

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  • 1
    There is not much info we can help with here. You can try to open it as a PDF file. but most likely the file is corrupt.
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 4:00
  • 2
    Each stipple will be a path, i.e. a separate object, and if you have thousands of them that might explain the massive file size. It might have been better to split the document into separate files rather than have multiple artboards in the one document. If you now can't open the document, there's probably not much that can be done TBH.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 12:08
  • My largest .ai file ever is 159MB -- You must've really had way too much going on in the file.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 18:51
  • wondering if, prior to opening the file, checking/increasing the AI scratch disk/memory preferences might be worth looking at, but yeah, such a massive bloat may mean the file-saving was thrashing.
    – Yorik
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


To be honest at this file size, a freeze was likey due: AI is notorious for slowing down and even crashing on large composite files (especially with heavy artwork like brushes and embedded images). There is no specific fix here, in my opinion the hardware and software limitations are pushed to the extreme at this size.

I found 882 AI files in my work folder, the largest being 17 MB, approx 0.017 GB.

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