Fix Illustrator file save issues

Experiencing issues when saving a file in Illustrator? Here are some fixes that you can try.

The following are some of the issues that you might encounter when saving an Illustrator file:

Issue 1: Illustrator (.ai) file is reported as damaged

Solution 1: Save file with a different file format

Change the .ai file to a different format (.svg, .png, .jpg, .ps), and then try to save the file again.

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Try it yourself
Save your .ai file in a different format in a few simple steps.

Follow these steps to save the file in Post-Script (PS) format:

  1. Select File > Print.

  2. Specify the desired print settings.

  3. Select Adobe Postscript File from the Printer menu and select Save.

  4. Type a filename, including a .ps extension, then select OK (Windows) or Save (macOS).

  5. Open the PostScript file in Illustrator and then try to save it in the .ai format.

Solution 2: Copy contents to a new file

  1. Remove unwanted items from the artwork, such as stray points, unpainted objects, and empty text paths. Select  Object > Path > Clean Up...

  2. Retain layers for the artwork in the new file. In the Layers panel > More Options, select Paste Remembers Layers.

  3. Select the artwork and then select Edit > Copy.

  4. Select File > New to create a new file.

  5. Select Edit > Paste In Front in the new file to paste the artwork in the correct position on the page.

Solution 3: Identify and remove damaged components

To determine whether an object is damaged, delete it from the new file and then save and reopen it. 

Follow these steps to identify the damaged pattern, gradient, or custom color.

  1. Select Edit > Select All and change the fill and stroke to process black.

    If you change the fill and stroke, you may lose transparency and layer information.

  2. If the issue does not recur in the new file, re-create the pattern, gradient, or spot color in the original file.

Follow these steps to delete damaged swatches, custom colors, color groups, brushes, symbols, or styles:

  • Select Select All Unused from the Swatches panel and then select Delete.

    Delete all unused in the Brushes, Symbols, and Styles panels.

Follow these steps to convert the damaged text object to Outlines or change its font:

  1. Select Object > Unlock All.

  2. Select Edit > Select All.

  3. Select Type > Font and select a font not used in the document.

    Reinstall the problematic font from the original disk to prevent text objects from becoming damaged in the future.

Issue still not resolved?

  • Try the other solutions listed on this page. If no solution works, re-create the file in Illustrator after resaving or re-creating the original file's graphics, templates, and custom colors. 
  • You may face file-related issues like memory, access permissions, network, or removable media. Identify and troubleshoot file issues to know more about your issue.

Issue 2: Error 5000 when saving a file

Error when saving Illustrator file


You get error 5000 if you don't have appropriate permissions to the folder you're trying to save to, or if the folder is locked. Update folder permissions, or save to another folder.

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