How to recover an unsaved photoshop file

Updated February 21, 2017

You are in the middle of editing a design or photo in Photoshop and all of a sudden your computer freezes or crashes. The unexpected crash causes you to panic as you realise that you didn't save your work. Unfortunately, Adobe Photoshop doesn't have an auto-save feature that automatically backs up your files. Therefore, your files are permanently lost. To prevent this from happening in the future, make sure that you frequently save your work or install an auto-save program to automatically back up your files.

Save your documents frequently. Click "File" and "Save" to save your file to disk.

Download and install auto-save software to perform automatic backups of your work. See Resources to download and purchase ATopSoft AutoSave software ($19.95 as of 2009).

Open one application at a time. Opening too many applications on your computer often causes unexpected freezes and crashes of software. If you notice your computer becoming sluggish, save your document, exit the program, and reboot. This will free up the memory and resources of your computer so that you don't experience an unexpected crash.


When saving your Photoshop files, make sure to save them as PSD files so that you can later edit your work in case of computer freeze or crash.

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About the Author

Diana Braun began her writing career as a consultant and technical writer for a software company focusing on how-to, training, white paper, and internal process documentation. After two years, Braun left to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, she has launched several startups including a t-shirt business, an online marketing and advertising t-shirt distribution business, and an entertainment site. She currently resides in South Florida.