How to Recover Unsaved/Deleted/Old Visio File

Updated to File Recovery Tips by Robert on Mar 1, 2024 | Approved by Cesar C

Visio is a powerful software application that enables users to create exceptional diagrams from scratch. Architects and professionals frequently utilize Visio to create outlines with figures before implementing them in real life. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to lose a Visio file due to unforeseen circumstances. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you have put significant time and effort into creating the diagram. Luckily, there are several ways to recover unsaved/deleted Visio files, and in this guide, we will explore some of the most effective tips and tricks to help you find them.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Possible Reasons for Visio File Loss
Part 2. How to Enable the AutoRecovery Feature in Microsoft Visio
Part 3. How to Recover Unsaved Visio File
Part 4. How to Restore Older Versions of Visio Drawing
Part 5. How to Retrieve Permanently Deleted Visio Files
Part 6. How to How to Avoid Visio Accidentally Lost/Unsaved
Part 7. FAQs

Possible Reasons for Visio File Loss

Before going into the details of how to recover Visio files, it’s essential to look at some possible factors that may lead to the accidental loss of Visio drawing?.

Thanks to technology, there are solutions for Visio file recovery when the above circumstances occur. If you have mistakenly deleted a critical Visio file or unsafe a Visio file, don’t fret. In this post, I’ll share some options for recovering unsaved, deleted, or lost Visio files.

How to Enable the AutoRecovery Feature in Microsoft Visio

Do you use Microsoft Visio to create diagrams and designs, confident that your work is safe if you don't forget to hit "Save explicitly"? Think again. By default, the autosave feature is disabled in MS Visio, meaning that any unsaved changes you make could be lost in the blink of an eye if something unexpected happens. Luckily, there's a straightforward solution to this problem: enabling the AutoRecovery feature. And even if you've already learned this lesson the hard way, don't despair! With some know-how, you can Visio recover unsaved documents and save yourself from heartache.

  1. Create a Visio document or open an existing one to access the application's public interface.
  2. Locate the "Tools" tab in the opened interface and click on it. Browse through the displayed list and select "Options."
  3. In the window that opens, switch to the "Save" tab.
  4. Locate and check the "Save AutoRecover information" checkbox. Provide the interval that you want the AutoRecovery feature to save. When done, click "Ok" to complete the process.

How to Recover Unsaved Visio File

Have you ever worked on a critical Visio file for hours, only to have your computer unexpectedly shut down or the program crash before you could save your work? It's a frustrating and disheartening experience, but don't panic just yet. You can try a few ways to recover a Visio file not saved.

Ways 1. Visio Recover Unsaved Drawing by AutoRecovery

When you enable AutoRecovery, it will automatically create a visio autosave location. If your computer shuts down suddenly before saving the project, Visio will automatically read the data in this folder to open an unsaved Visio file. So, you need to follow the simple steps below.

  1. After restarting your Visio program, the unsaved drawing files will automatically open on your screen.
  2. At this point, you'll see a Visio file with [Recovered] added to its name. Check if the details are what you need.
  3. After confirming that it is your unsaved Visio project, click the Save button to save it.

Ways 2. Restore Unsaved Visio File with .ini File

If the automatic opening of unsaved Visio files fails, you can also go to the Visio recovery file location to find available .ini files. The suffix added to the name will depend on the version of your Visio program. Visio 2002 will have a file named "AutoRecover.ini," while the 2007 or 2003 version will have "AutoRecover11.ini".

  1. Open Visio Autorecover location: "C:\Users\Computer Login Name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Visio."
  2. Find the latest .ini files for your version of Visio and copy them to a new location.
  3. Open this .ini file in Visio and check if it is your unsaved document.
  4. Make sure it is your target file and save it again.

Ways 3. Check Temp Folder to Find Unsaved Visio Drawing

Keep going if the above methods to recover unsaved Visio files fail. You can also check your system's cache folder but with luck.

  1. Go to "C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp."
  2. Type .vsdm in the explorer's search box
  3. Find the corresponding Microsoft Visio file on the resulting page.
  4. Finally, open it in Visio and save it again.

How to Restore Older Versions of Visio Drawing

Suppose you've ever spent countless hours working on a Visio diagram, only to have it corrupted or changed beyond recognition; you know how frustrating it can be to lose all your hard work. Luckily, there is a way to recover a previous version of the Visio file and get your progress back on track, but it requires you to have file history enabled.

  1. Go to the folder where the Visio document is saved.
  2. Right-click to select "Properties" and switch to the "Previous version" tab.
  3. In Folder Versions, select a version based on the modification time.
  4. Click "Restore" in the window's lower right corner to save.

How to Retrieve Permanently Deleted Visio Files

Have you ever accidentally deleted a critical Visio file and thought it was gone forever? Fear not; you can easily find it in the Recycle Bin if you do not empty it or remove the Visio items by Shift + Delete. If yes, do not despair; you can also rely on iBeesoft data recovery software. But act quickly and try not to save any new files or data on your computer to increase your chances of a successful recovery. So, you can install the following steps to recover deleted Visio files.

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  1. Download the Visio recovery software on your PC. After then, launch it.
  2. When you’ve selected the location to find data, the program starts scanning for the lost Visio drawing.
  3. When the scanning process ends, you’ll see the list of items recovered on your screen.
  4. After finding the accidentally deleted file, select it and click on the "Recover" button to save it.

How to Avoid Visio Accidentally Lost/Unsaved

If you have ever lost or accidentally unsaved a Visio diagram, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to recreate it from scratch. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid such accidents.

Following these guidelines ensures that your Visio diagrams remain safe and secure, even in unexpected technology failures.



Visio is an excellent tool for creating diagrams, charts, and flowcharts. However, we've all experienced that heart-sinking moment when we accidentally lost our work. But fret not, and there is still hope! There you have the detailed processes of how to recover Visio file. We will help you find not saved drawing in the Visio autosave location. Also, iBeesoft Data Recovery can get back deleted Visio files. So, don't panic when your Visio drawings are lost due to a software crash, accidental deletion, and more - follow the above steps to recover your work in progress!