I have a lot of AI files that are on a main computer. When I try to access them from my other computer all the links within the file are broken.

Is there a specific way of saving an AI file so that the links work over a network?

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    Adobe has always recommended against working on a server. Copy files locally, work, then copy them back.
    – Scott
    Dec 7, 2014 at 2:24
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    Adobe timeout, it works pretty well at the university where I work (works on windows and mac equally). See here all assets are on a network drive, but its ultra fast so adobe does not notice anything (the network drive is faster than the bootup disk, although its prone to occasional lags). So it certainly does work just does not work very well over say sshfs, use something like unison/version control this makes replicating transparent.
    – joojaa
    Dec 7, 2014 at 8:35
  • What OS? Are your network drives mapped as local drives?
    – joojaa
    Dec 7, 2014 at 10:11
  • Adobe can not test each and every possible network configuration. Things may or may not work with your network. If they don't, there practically nothing you can do other than alter your network setup until maybe things work.
    – Scott
    Dec 7, 2014 at 16:07

4 Answers 4


From Adobe:

Organizations use many different network configurations (for example, multi-launch, client-server, or peer-peer) and types (for example, ethernet, token ring, or IP). Each configuration requires specialized software and hardware, with varying set-ups, preferences, and updates. This additional layer of software and hardware can impact application performance. (For example, the amplitude of line noise, RF interference, or packet collisions are all factors that impact the reliability of the network.)

Multiple factors affect data transmission along a network, including file servers, routers, bridges, network cards, software, cables, connectors, power cables, and power supplies. Network connections can suddenly become unavailable, increasing the risk of data loss and application error. During transmission and reception, network software verifies that data has been sent and received. The depth of verification depends on the network software package, and may not be accessible by the operating system. When you try to save files across a network, you can receive the error, "Could not complete the request because the file is locked," or "Could not save because of a disk error." However, the network and operating system may not notify you if an Illustrator file or scratch disk file contains damaged or incomplete information.

Possible causes:

  • The server doesn't have the same format of your hardrive.
  • You don't have priviligies to read the files.
  • You may be connecting to a different server.
  • The images in the files are not linked to the server.
  • Illustrator is being blocked by a firewall or antivirus solution.
  • The connection to the server it's slow (high ping causes time out error).
  • You are not connected to the server.
  • The images not longer exist.
  • (Wi-Fi) You are far from the router.
  • The project file is damaged.

Possible solutions:

  • Edit -> Preferences -> File Handling & Clipboard -> Update Links -> Manually
  • Edit -> Preferences -> Plugins & Scratch Disks -> Scratch Disks -> Set both to C:/
  • Copy all your linked files to the project folder.
  • Use another computer connected to the same network or type of removable media.

After experimenting with Packages, I found that Illustrator will always look for a "Links" or "links" folder with placed files.

It has to be in the same folder as the AI document.

You can try moving all your linked files into a links subfolder and seeing if that helps.

Theoretically the path will be updated every time you open the document, no matter where you are.


Just saw this old question again, the best solution now is a NAS (Network-attached storage) setup with all computers connected mapping it with the same drive letter and your good to go. Works with Indesign and Illustrator.


There is no such thing as a drive letter on a mac, so not sure how a NAS setup is going to help.

Really, the big thing is Adobe sucks and doesn't use relative paths. Well, Premiere and AfterEffects both do, but not for supporting files like luts. Again, Adobe sucks big time. But illustrator's file handling has always sucked.

You'll have the same problem if you have the files local if the links aren't next to each other. having a folder named links also doesn't always work. The only thing that Truly works is having all the file next to each other, which is Incredibly stupid because when you package a file that's not how it works.

If anyone figures out a file path solution to actually make windows/linux/mac use the exact same UNC style paths I'm all ears. Of course, that would only solve the problem locally and not if you send files to someone outside your company, but that's at least something.

Maybe someday Adobe will get their act together and decide to add in relative paths.


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