Dealing With Corrupt CorelDRAW Files

June 9, 2011

Obviously the best way to deal with corrupt CorelDRAW files is simply to never have a corrupt file. Before we talk about what you can try to do to revive a corrupt file, I’ll talk about some things you can do to avoid them in the first place. For reference, I’ve never had a corrupt file so they can definitely be avoided.

Let’s start with three posts I did last year that should be required reading for all CorelDRAW users. Each talks about things that could lead to file corruption. Many users want to try and create long documents in CorelDRAW. In my opinion, the longer the document, the higher the odds are for corruption. Break Up Long Documents suggests a way to create the same thing with less potential for problems. Those files can be combined back together when printing or exporting to PDF as explained in Combine Multiple CDR Files Into PDF or Print. Along the same lines, Don’t Create Massive Files, talks about files that simply grow too large. They can be easily avoided by using proper elements in the files and not making files with too many pages. Unfortunately there are extra things that can sneak in files that needs to be deleted. Delete Extra Stuff to Speed Up CorelDRAW gives you step-by-step instructions for deleting the extra junk. Follow these rules and the chances of having a corrupt file will be very low.

How do you know a file is corrupt? You won’t know until it is too late. When you try to open the file, it just won’t open any more. In some cases, you’ll get a crash or even an error message. It might even tell you something in the file is corrupt. At this point, you need to assume the file is completely dead. One of the reasons it is so bad to create very long documents in CorelDRAW is that the whole project can quickly go down the drain if the file is corrupt. If you break it up into multiple files, only one portion of the file will be corrupt. One thing you can try is to create a brand new file and import the corrupt file into it. In some cases the file will import correctly. I had a loyal reader contact me last week with a corrupt file and importing solved the problem for him.

Sometimes you can’t even find the file that you feel is corrupt. Do a search in your temporary folder for a file named something like “@@@.cdr.tmp”. Make a copy of this file and rename it to something like “recovery-file.cdr” and try to open it. This may work in some circumstances.

If it is a CorelDRAW X4 or X5 file, make a copy of the file and rename it to have a zip extension. Unzip the file and look for data inside of the zip by the name of riffData.cdr and extract it. Now try to open or import that into CorelDRAW. Again, chances are low that it will work.

Again, the best way to deal with corrupt files is to avoid them. Should you have a file go bad, hopefully one of the suggestions above will solve it for you.

Post Discussion


  1. Abby

    Ah! Changing the @@@.cdr.tmp worked. I’m so happy. Thank you for posting this!!! 🙂

  2. kiran

    sir, I really wanna say thanks to you !! You saved my life…. I was working on my design project since morning and suddenly in the evening my file got corrupted… And i lost all the work … but as you said
    “Do a search in your temporary folder for a file named something like “@@@.cdr.tmp”. Make a copy of this file and rename it to something like “recovery-file.cdr” and try to open it. This may work in some circumstances”

    I followed this and i was able to get back my file … thanks a tonne..

  3. Susan

    Copying and renaming the corrupt file worked wonders! I wished I’d know this a long, long time ago. Thank you Foster!

  4. Jay Mehta

    Hello sir thank you so much for the knowledge you shared but one more thing i would like to ask is how to stop coreldraw from crashing all of a never use to happen any point of time doing anything makes it stop running, sometimes it ask`s to debug it and sometimes not..please help.

  5. Javier Moreno

    I tried to recover his info I did but not much. He works with Corel x3, and he wasn’t able to open his files. So I kind of followed your indications. I added the file into winrar (compressed it with winrar), so I had the file with the .rar extension (test.rar). Uncompressed it into another folder, then imported it to Corel X6 and it worked, or at least it opened, there was a message regarding some missing fonts but corel gives you the option to use a suggestion from corel itself to replace the fonts, I did so and I was able to open/import several files this way. Thank you very much!!!

  6. Manoj Ozha

    Hi i have tried the same but I/O error is coming all the time. …. FYI i am using 64bit, Windows-7, Coral draw 12….
    Please help..

    • Foster D. Coburn III

      CorelDRAW 12 is already twelve years old. Time for you to upgrade.


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III built his first Web site in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013. He has used the Divi theme exclusively since 2015. Earlier in his career he was the author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences.

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