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AutoCAD Backup File Location

AutoCAD is a popular computer-aided design (CAD) software used by professionals in various industries, such as architecture, engineering, and construction. It allows users to create precise 2D and 3D designs, making it an essential tool for many professionals. As with any digital work, it is crucial to backup AutoCAD files regularly to prevent data loss in case of hardware failure, accidental deletion, or other unforeseen circumstances. In this article, we will explore the importance of backing up AutoCAD files and provide valuable insights into locating and managing the backup files.

Dec 17, 2023

Understanding AutoCAD Files and Their Types

Before diving into the specifics of locating AutoCAD backup files, it is important to understand the different types of files used in AutoCAD. The primary file format used by AutoCAD is DWG (Drawing) files, which store the actual drawing data. Another file format commonly used is DXF (Drawing Exchange Format), which allows for easy exchange of drawing data between different CAD software. Additionally, AutoCAD utilizes DWT (Drawing Template) files, CTB (Color-dependent Plot Style Table) files, and various support files that are vital for the proper functioning of the software.

One important type of file to be aware of in AutoCAD is the BAK (Backup) file. A BAK file is essentially a duplicate copy of the original file created as a safety measure when changes are made to the drawing. These backup files come in handy if the original file gets corrupted or accidentally modified, allowing you to restore a previous version of your work.

The Importance of Knowing Your AutoCAD Backup File Location

Understanding the location of your AutoCAD backup files is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, backup files serve as a safety net, protecting your valuable work from potential data loss. Accidental deletions, system crashes, or hardware failures can cause irreparable damage to your files if you don't have a backup readily available.

Additionally, having a reliable backup system in place gives you peace of mind, knowing that your hard work is protected. It allows you to experiment with different designs or make significant changes without the fear of losing hours, days, or even weeks of work.

Default Location of AutoCAD Backup Files

By default, AutoCAD stores backup files in a specific location on your computer. The exact location varies depending on the version of AutoCAD and the operating system you are using. However, the general practice is to save the backup files in the same directory as the original drawings, with the file extension .bak.

To locate backup files, navigate to the folder where your original AutoCAD drawings are located. Look for files with the .bak extension, indicating that they are backup files. The presence of these files in the same folder as your drawings ensures easy access to invaluable backups.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Find Your AutoCAD Backup File

Locating your AutoCAD backup file is a straightforward process, as long as you know where to look. Follow the steps below to find your backup files:

  1. Open the File Explorer on your computer and navigate to the directory where your AutoCAD drawings are stored.

  2. Look for files with the .bak extension. These files are your backup files.

  3. If you are unsure whether a particular file is a backup file, you can check the file properties. Backup files usually have a creation or modification date different from the original file.

For a visual guide to locating AutoCAD backup files, refer to the screenshots provided on the Autodesk Support article.

Changing the AutoCAD Backup File Location

While AutoCAD's default backup file location is convenient for many users, there may be instances where you want to change the location to a specific folder or an external storage device. Changing the backup file location allows for better organization and ensures that your backups are safely stored.

To change the AutoCAD backup file location, follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoCAD and go to the "Options" menu, which can be accessed by typing "OPTIONS" in the command line or through the application menu.

  2. In the Options dialog box, select the "Files" tab.

  3. Locate the "Automatic Save File Location" section.

  4. Click on the "Browse" button next to the "Automatic Save File Location" field and choose the desired folder or external storage device where you want to store your backup files.

  5. Click "OK" to save the changes.

By following these steps, you can customize the backup file location to match your preferences and ensure efficient management of your AutoCAD backup files.

Tips and Tricks for Managing AutoCAD Backup Files

Managing your AutoCAD backup files efficiently is essential to maintain a well-organized and secure backup system. Here are some tips and tricks to help you manage your backup files effectively:

  1. Regularly delete outdated backup files to save storage space and reduce clutter.

  2. Create a folder specifically dedicated to storing AutoCAD backup files. This centralized location makes it easier to locate and manage backups.

  3. Consider automating the backup process using AutoCAD's Autosave feature. This feature automatically creates backup files at regular intervals, minimizing the risk of data loss.

  4. Implement a comprehensive backup strategy that includes both local backups, such as external hard drives, and cloud backups for added security.

  5. Keep track of your backup files by maintaining a backup log or naming convention that allows for quick identification and retrieval when needed.

  6. Take advantage of third-party software, such as Slik Safe, that offers advanced encryption and security features to protect your AutoCAD backup files from unauthorized access.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your AutoCAD backup files are well-organized, easily accessible, and adequately protected.

Advanced Measures for Protecting AutoCAD Files

In addition to managing backup files, there are advanced measures you can take to enhance the security of your AutoCAD files. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Regularly update your AutoCAD software to the latest version. Software updates often include security patches and bug fixes that protect against potential vulnerabilities.

  2. Utilize data loss prevention software, such as Slik Safe, to monitor and control data flow, preventing unauthorized access and data leakage.

  3. Implement end-to-end encryption for your AutoCAD files to ensure that they remain secure, even in transit. This can be achieved using encryption tools like Slik Safe or other trusted encryption software.

  4. Consider using document management systems that provide enhanced security features and version control, allowing for better organization and protection of your AutoCAD files.

By adopting these advanced measures, you can further safeguard your AutoCAD files and minimize the risk of data loss or unauthorized access.


Knowing the location of your AutoCAD backup files is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your designs and protecting against potential data loss. By understanding the different file types used in AutoCAD and the significance of backup files, you can ensure the safety of your work.

In this article, we explored how AutoCAD stores backup files by default and provided a step-by-step guide to locating them. We also discussed how to change the backup file location to suit your preferences and provided tips for efficient management of backup files.

Furthermore, we highlighted advanced measures for protecting AutoCAD files, such as updating software, utilizing data loss prevention software, implementing encryption, and using document management systems.

Remember, regularly backing up your AutoCAD files and managing the backup process effectively are essential practices that can save you from potential disasters and provide peace of mind to continue working without the fear of losing your valuable designs.

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