How to Recover Unsaved/Deleted/Corrupted CorelDraw File

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips on Mac Updated by Robert on July 19, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

As a powerful vector graphics software, CorelDraw is a go-to tool for designers and artists alike. From creating logos to designing posters, this software showcases an impressive range of features, making it a top choice for professionals. However, have you ever spent hours working on a Corel Draw project only to lose it due to a software crash, forgetting to save, or accidental deletion? Don't panic because all hope is not lost! This article provides various methods to help you recover CorelDraw files that have been unsaved, deleted, or corrupted.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. What is CDR File?
Part 2. Can a CorelDraw CDR/RIFF File be Recovered?
Part 3. How to Recover Unsaved Corel Draw File
Part 4. How to Restore Corrupted CDR Files
Part 5. How to Recover Deleted CorelDraw File
Part 6. Important Tips to Avoid Loss of CDR Files
Part 7. FAQs

What is CDR File?

CDR files are native to CorelDraw software that contain graphic and design information such as images, layouts, and text. In fact, since Corel Draw 3.0, the file format has been renamed as RIFF, which stands for Resource Interchange File Format. While the file extension may be changing, the powerful capabilities of vector graphics remain the same. However, accessing CDR or RIFF files on different operating systems may be challenging. Generally, people use CorelDraw on a Windows PC, Inkscape on a Mac, and Inkscape on a Linux platform to open vector graphics.

Can a CorelDraw CDR/RIFF File be Recovered?

.cdr or .riff files are essential for those who use the CorelDraw graphics suite. They hold graphic data that is an integral part of their work. Losing these files can be frustrating and even catastrophic. The good news is that CDR data recovery is possible. However, no matter where you lost CorelDraw files, you should stop using them immediately to avoid data overwriting, resulting in CDR files going forever. And then choose the corresponding solution.

How to Recover Unsaved Corel Draw File

Crashes can occur due to computer/application crashes or forgetting to save hours of opponents' work. Please calm down, and you still have a chance to get back a CorelDraw file not saved.

Ways 1. Find Unsaved CDR File by AutoSave

When you create a CorelDraw project, the program will synchronize a backup file and save your progress at intervals. When CorelDraw crashes unexpectedly, and the CDR file is not saved, you can use this backup file to retrieve the unsaved item.

  1. Open the folder where the CorelDraw files are stored.
  2. Find the .cdr file that starts with "Backup_of_."
  3. Double-click to open the file to check if it is your unsaved Corel Draw file.
  4. Finally, re-save it as a new name.

Ways 2. Check Temporary Folder

When the cache folder works, it temporarily stores running files to maintain the smoothness of the system. Therefore, here you will have a chance to find unsaved Corel Draw files.

  1. Go to C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp.
  2. After opening the temp folder, type ".CDRW.TMP" in the search box to filter the files.
  3. Find the one with the most recent modification time and copy it to a new location.
  4. Change its extension to ".cdr" and open it with CorelDraw to inspect the contents.

Ways 3. Restore Unsaved CorelDraw File from Draw Folder

The developer aims to prevent the loss of your essential CorelDraw files due to program or computer crashes to the greatest extent. Therefore, they will create a .bak file starting with Backup and suffixing for your design to provide double insurance. If you can't recover CorelDraw files by autosaving, then you also follow the steps below to locate the .bak file to keep the CDR file safe.

  1. Navigate to C:/Program Files/Corel/Programs/Draw.
  2. Find the .bak file that matches your unsaved CDR file.
  3. Open it with CorelDraw and re-save.

Ways 4. From Previous Versions

If the above methods to recover unsaved CDR files fail, try the previous version of the system's built-in CDR recovery option. If you enabled it before the CorelDraw file loss, then you can try the following steps to get back your designs.

  1. Select the folder where you saved the CDR file.
  2. Right-click and select "Restore previous versions."
  3. Select a backup version in the window that opens.
  4. Click the "Open" button below to check if your CorelDraw file is included.
  5. Find your target file and click "Restore" to save it.

How to Restore Corrupted CDR Files

Designing a creative project can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But it can become a nightmare if the CDR file, which stores all your hard work, suddenly becomes corrupted. Don't fret, though, as there are ways to recover CDR corrupted files.

Ways 1. Try Different CorelDraw Versions

You should know that CorelDraw can save its CDR files in different versions. But the program of the lower version cannot read the CDR file of the higher version. Therefore, you can open this file in a different version of CorelDraw.

Ways 2. Use Archiving Tools

.cdr is a CorelDraw-specific file that includes information such as color, content, connections, media data, etc. However, archive programs have a repair function and can read .cdr file information, so you can try the following steps to recover a corrupted CorelDraw drawing.

  1. Copy the damaged CDR file and modify its extension to .zip
  2. Open it with Winzip/WinRar.
  3. Locate "riffdata.cdr" and extract it to a new location.
  4. Use CorelDraw to open and save it.

Ways 3. Use Recovery Toolbox for CorelDraw

It is a must-have tool for designers that helps recover damaged graphic files in CorelDraw. With its user-friendly interface, the CDR recovery process is made easy and accessible for both novice and expert users. So, you need to follow the steps below to make this work.

  1. Download and install Recovery Toolbox for CorelDraw to your computer.
  2. Select the corrupt CDR file and click the "Analyze" button after running it.
  3. Preview the repaired counterpart and click "Start Recovery" to complete the process.

Ways 4. Corrupted CDR File Recovery Online Free

If the above methods for recovering corrupted CorelDraw files don't work, you can also try many online services. For that, we list 3 of the best for your reference.


How to Recover Deleted CorelDraw File

Losing a file can be devastating, especially if it's a valuable CorelDraw project that you've invested countless hours in. Whether it was a mishap or someone accidentally hit the delete button, knowing there is a chance of getting the file is essential. The good news is that several methods exist to recover CorelDraw files, many of which are easier than you may believe. You can check them:

Ways 1. Find Accidentally Deleted CDR Files from Computer's Recycle Bin

To prevent computer users from losing data due to accidental deletion, the system provides a recycle bin to store removed items temporarily. If you didn't empty the recycle bin and delete the CorelDraw drawing with shift + del, you can follow the steps below to get them back when you regret it.

  1. Click the Recycle Bin icon on the computer desktop and open it.
  2. Find the CorelDraw drawing you accidentally deleted from the file list.
  3. Select it, right-click and choose "Restore."
  4. Finally, go to the location where you saved the CDR file to check it.

Ways 2. Retrieve Permanently Deleted CorelDraw File wiht Software

You may have permanently removed the CDR file if the deleted files not in Recycle Bin. Don't give up, and there is still hope! You still have a chance to find them, but you have to use professional recovery software. Here, you can use iBeesoft Data Recovery to help you quickly recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 7, and macOS.

Your Best CDR Recovery Software

(Trust Score 4.7 by 1695 Users)
  • It supports various file types, including pictures, audio files, videos, documents, installation files, compressed files, and more, including CDR files.
  • This CDR data recovery tool is specially designed for the user to recover all kinds of files deleted or lost due to virus attacks, deletions, file system failures, computer unexpectedly shut down, and more.
  • Quick Scan mode scans for lost CDR files quickly, and Deep Scan modes scan CDR files even with part of the file properties lost.
  • SSimple interface with excellent built-in navigation, making it very easy to recover CorelDraw files on Mac/Windows.
Download for Windows Download for macOS
  1. Install CorelDraw file recovery software on your PC.
  2. Locate the hard drive where the lost CDR file is and click "Scan."
  3. When the progress is complete, you can locate the accidentally deleted CDR file in the left panel.
  4. Once found, click on the "Recover" button to save it.

The above are all the methods of how to recover CDR file, and I hope they can help you. However, these solutions are just remedies. After all, you should follow the tips below to avoid such a situation from happening again.

Important Tips to Avoid Loss of CDR Files

In the world of data and digital files, losing critical information can be devastating. This is especially true regarding CDR files - the files used by CorelDraw. Losing these files can mean losing hours, if not days, of hard work. However, there are some tips you can follow to avoid the loss of CorelDraw drawing.

By taking these simple tips, you can avoid the heartache of losing your CDR files and keep your work safe and secure.



Losing a CDR file can be a frustrating and stressful experience, especially if it's an important project. Fortunately, this article provides several methods to help you recover unsaved/deleted/corrupted CorelDraw files. With time and patience, you can retrieve your lost creation and return to your work.