How to Recover Unsaved/Overwritten/Deleted InDesign Files

Home > HowTos > File Recovery Tips Updated by Nancy on May 15, 2024 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

For designers and publishers alike, Adobe InDesign is an essential tool that enables designers to create stunning graphics, typography, and layouts. However, even with the most advanced software, accidents can still happen, such as program crashes, power failures, accidental deletion, and so on, leading to the loss of work. But if this has happened to you, don't worry because you have options. In this blog, we'll explore several ways to recover InDesign files in Windows 11/10 and Mac and learn more about InDesign autosave so you can get back the beautiful designs you love. Keep reading to choose the right solution for your specific needs.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Does InDesign Have Autosave?
Part 2. How to Recover Unsaved InDesign File
Part 3. How to Restore Previous Version of InDesign File
Part 4. How to Retrieve Deleted InDesign Files
Part 5. How to Avoid InDesign File File Loss/Unasved
Part 6. FAQs

Does InDesign Have Autosave?

You spend hours brainstorming, designing, and editing, only to have your computer/program crash and lose your progress. It's a nightmare every designer has experienced at least once. But fear not! Gone are the days when you worry about losing your work thanks to the InDesign autosave feature. So, when disaster strikes, you can check out the following InDesign autosave locations:

Open InDesign recovery files will be a breeze when you know the temporary file location.

How to Recover Unsaved InDesign File

As a designer, you know the pain of losing an unsaved InDesign document. Fortunately, InDesign's autosave option works every minute. So when it closes unexpectedly, you can recover InDesign file not saved by following methods.

Ways 1. From InDesign Automatic Recovery

  1. After restarting InDesign, you will see an automatic recovery dialog box.
  2. Click "Yes" to open InDesign recovery files.
  3. After confirmation, click "File > Save/Save As" to save the copy of the automatically recovered InDesign file.

Ways 2. By InDesign Recovery Folder

After starting the program, if the prompt box of InDesign recovery does not appear, you can directly access the backup file location to restore unsaved InDesign files on Mac or Windows PC.

  1. Go to the InDesign recovery file location in part 1 according to your system.
  2. Find the most recent temporary File starting with "dbt" by time sorting.
  3. Copy it to a new location and use InDesign to open it.
  4. Once you find the InDesign unsaved document, hold down "Ctrl + S" to re-save it.

How to Restore Previous Version of InDesign File

Accidentally saving an important InDesign file can be a real headache, especially if you've put hours, or even days, of work into it. However, don't panic just yet. It's a common mistake, and there are a few options to recover previous version of InDesign file in Windows 11/10 and Mac.

Ways 1. Use InDesign's Built-in Options

Ways 2. Restore Overwritten InDesign File From Your Backup

This mode requires you to back up your project before InDesign accidentally saves over.

For Windows:

  1. Select the folder where the InDesign document is located.
  2. Right-click and select Properties > Previous Versions.
  3. Select the most recent time in the folder version and click the arrow behind Restore.
  4. Click "Restore To" to store the previous version of the InDesign file in another location.

For Mac:

  1. Connect the external drive as a backup to the computer.
  2. Click the clock icon in the top menu and choose to "enter the time machine."
  3. Click the up and down arrows on the screen's right side to find the previous version of InDesign files.
  4. Finally, click Restore to save.

How to Retrieve Deleted InDesign Files

Above, we mentioned how to recover unsaved/overwritten InDesign files in Windows 11/10 and Mac when InDesign software closes unexpectedly. However, another situation is where InDesign files are accidentally deleted; what should I do? Don't worry; there are still solutions for undeleting InDesign files.

Ways 1. Check Your Computer's Trash Bin

Whether your computer system is Windows or macOS, they have a security option to avoid permanent loss of files due to accidental deletion called Recycle Bin. If you have not permanently removed or emptied Trash Bin, you can pass the following steps to find the deleted InDesign files.

  1. Open the trash bin (the name is Recycle Bin on the desktop for Windows, and the name is Trash on the lower right corner of the screen for Mac).
  2. Locate the InDesign document that was thought to be deleted
  3. Right-click the option "Restore (Windows)/Put Back (macOS)" to restore the deleted file to its original location.

Ways 2. Recover Permanently Deleted InDesign Files by Software

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you accidentally deleted a file and frantically searched for it in the Recycle Bin, only to realize it wasn't there? Or you intentionally permanently deleted a file, but now you need it back. Don't worry, and all hope is not lost. While you can't manually recover deleted InDesign files on Mac/Windows, professional software options like iBeesoft Data Recovery can help. It uses advanced algorithms to extract any remaining traces and returns a complete InDesign file.

  1. Download and Install InDesign File Recovery Software
  2. Download for Windows Download for macOS
  3. Select the drive where InDesign is stored to scan.
  4. Last, when the scanning process is finished, choose the target InDesign files and click "Recover" to save them on your computer.

Ways 3. Recover InDesign Files with the Data Service

If the above ways do not work, then Data Service can be helpful. It offers solutions to restore valuable items and prevent a potential nightmare. This service specializes in recovering lost or corrupted files. They use advanced software and techniques to locate and recover InDesign files. Whether working on a small project or a large-scale publication, the InDesign Data Service can help ensure you don't lose any valuable work. However, it will cost you more. If you decide to try it, you can search for your nearest service provider for the InDesign File Recovery consultation.

How to Avoid InDesign File File Loss/Unasved

Losing valuable data can be a nightmare for anyone, especially regarding complicated graphics design software like InDesign. Although it is impossible to avoid all possible threats to your data, there are some simple tips you can take to reduce the risk of InDesign file loss.

Implementing these easy steps saves time and hassle and ensures your InDesign files are safe and secure.



InDesign is essential for designers, marketers, and business owners alike. Losing a project due to a technical malfunction or accidental deletion can cause significant stress and frustration. Fortunately, this blog offers solutions to recover InDesign files not saved, deleted, or previous versions and prevent a potential nightmare.