How to Repair Damaged DWG Files with Recovery Toolbox

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Featured

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Recovery Toolbox. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

If there was a league table of professional file formats that home users don’t come across very often, then DWG would probably top that chart, or at least be in the top five. The CAD file format used by AutoCAD and other venerable old drafting software is old but solid. Latterly, it found use in the world of 3D graphics as an interchange format, allowing users to switch from one 3D graphics package to another, a job it shares with other old formats like 3DS and OBJ.

So DWG has a long history, and you know what that means – many old disks with DWG files, which you really don’t want to lose if you can help it. The first line of defence with damaged or unopenable DWG files is Recovery Toolbox for DWG.

Data Recovery Workhorse

Recovery Toolbox for DWG loads and analyses broken or corrupted DWG files and rewrites them to a fresh file in a form that can be opened and used. The AI within the software understands how the files are constructed and patches any gaps and rebuilds the file structure, saving it as a file that will allow you to examine and extract any useful data.

DWG are traditionally very large files with a lot of data crammed in them, so the process is usually not quick, although having a fast computer may help. Considering how much data it’s probably crunching through, I thought it nipped along pretty fast on the test data I fed it, especially with the online version of the tool. Better to do it well than quickly, though. It takes quite a while to process larger files, but I’d be inclined to go and make a cup of tea while it does its work anyway, as again, better to do it well than quickly.

Bringing DWG Back with Recovery Toolbox

Recovery Toolbox for DWG comes in two flavours: online and offline. The online tool invites you to upload your damaged DWG file into a web interface where the file will be analysed and repaired. The offline tool does a very similar job but uses a standalone desktop app, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Download Main Screen

To use the online tool, you must go to the Recovery Toolbox for DWG web page and upload your problematic DWG file.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Online Main Screen

Once you’ve identified it on your drive and uploaded it, you need to supply an email address and pass a Captcha (to verify you are human).

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Online Upload File

After the file is uploaded, analysis can begin.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Online Analyse

Once the often lengthy process of analysis has completed, you are informed of the success or failure of the process and offered a preview of the file recovered to ensure it contains the data you require from the corrupted file.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Online Recovery Complete And Pay

If the process takes a long time, you can happily leave the file being chewed on by the software and go about your business, as you will get an email notifying you of the completion of the recovery.

Once you are happy with the recovered data, you can proceed to the download phase. The business model here is that if the file can be recovered, you pay $5 and can download it. If it fails, then you don’t owe them a cent. Considering the potential value of a DWG or CAD file, this is not extortionate at all.

Offline Alternative

The standalone downloadable app for Windows does the same repair, but you have to download and install the desktop app. In demo mode the software will show if your files can be recovered, but of course, to recover them fully you have to purchase a license.

To do so, simply load your file into the software.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Initial Screen

Let the software analyse your corrupted file.

Recovery Toolbox Dwg Processing

When it’s done, you get to save it as a new file or export it directly to AutoCAD (if you have it installed).

There are some small limitations to what the software can do, but these are minimal if you have up-to-date AutoCAD software. It can only recover files created using AutoCAD version 15 (or AutoCAD 2000) and higher and can only export data directly into AutoCAD 2000 or higher and not AutoCAD LT.


Recovery Toolbox for DWG is a sound investment if you do a lot of CAD professionally. Of course, it’s not something you will use every day, but if the files you make in AutoCAD are of any commercial value, I’d consider it worthwhile having a workable first aid solution in your back pocket in the event that any storage medium, hardware or power supply outage will corrupt your precious data.

As previously stated, repairing files with the online tool costs $5. Offline you can download and use Recovery Toolbox for DWG for free, but to complete processing of the file and save it, you have to purchase a license. A Personal License for noncommercial is $27, a Business License for use in commercial environments is $45 and a Site License for using it on several computers is $99. As a piece of professional data integrity insurance, I don’t consider this exorbitant pricing.

Phil South
Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He's designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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