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Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand this file.

New Here ,
Oct 05, 2018

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I am getting this error message on dozens of my files. I can't get any of them to open!

"Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand this file."

Screenshot (4).png

I have Illustrator CC 2018 - The files are saved as CS6 with no PDF or attached files embedded. Only 2 linked files.

What can I do to fix my files?

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Ton Frederiks | Adobe Community Professional

You could try to move the file to a different folder to break the link to the linked files.

Or open the linked files in Photoshop and save them as .psd.

Accor ding to this thread it seems to be related to corrupted linked files.

CS4 error message: Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand the file

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Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand this file.

New Here ,
Oct 05, 2018

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I am getting this error message on dozens of my files. I can't get any of them to open!

"Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand this file."

Screenshot (4).png

I have Illustrator CC 2018 - The files are saved as CS6 with no PDF or attached files embedded. Only 2 linked files.

What can I do to fix my files?

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Ton Frederiks | Adobe Community Professional

You could try to move the file to a different folder to break the link to the linked files.

Or open the linked files in Photoshop and save them as .psd.

Accor ding to this thread it seems to be related to corrupted linked files.

CS4 error message: Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand the file

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 06, 2018

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Exactly where did you save those files?

What did happen to the files since you saved them? Some disk crash, recovery, transferring to new drive ...

How do you get those files on your computer now?

When there is no PDF embedded, then chances are getting small. Did you already restart your computer? Take the files to a different computer?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 06, 2018

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You could try to move the file to a different folder to break the link to the linked files.

Or open the linked files in Photoshop and save them as .psd.

Accor ding to this thread it seems to be related to corrupted linked files.

CS4 error message: Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand the file

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 21, 2020

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illustrator versions post 24.1 already have corrupt links handelling.. so upgrading illustraotr can takeaway the pain of to and fro.

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New Here ,
Feb 26, 2019

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Since a few weeks, I'm having this problem more and more often

Most of the time, saving the file on the desktop and disconnecting does the trick. But when I'm connecting to the server again to link the files and find the corrupt one, there isn't any corrupt file. I can open all the files, none is corrupt. After linking them again, the AI-file still works.

But just now, I've done exactly that. I moved the file to the server again and I could open it. But now, 10 minutes later, the same problem occurs again!! As I said, I couldn't find any corrupt file. AND I could open it already.

Does anyone have any idea? I've already spent hours "repairing" these files without detecting any corrupted linked files. This is so annoying

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2019

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There is a general issue with Illustrator and files on servers.

For some people it still works but for others it doesn't

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New Here ,
Nov 06, 2019

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Hey Monika,

I'm having the same issue with illustrator. I literally created an account yesterday, so all the apps are the latest version. The file we worked on yesterday can't be open today. Any advice on this?

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New Here ,
Nov 06, 2019

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Ok, it seems like I managed to solve it. I went back to the assets that were used in the file (.png file images) for some reason, one of them got the same error message when trying to open it in illustrator. By replacing that .png file everything came back to normal.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2019

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Change file extention from ".ai" to ".txt" to ".ai"

 

It worked for me.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NcHlX3vUYs

How to fix: Change file extension from ".ai" to ".txt" to ".ai" It worked for me. https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator/could-not-read-the-file-because-...

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2019

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I just upgraded to Illustrator 2020 and now I get this message "Could not read the file because the plug-in could not understand this file" to all my files that have clipping paths. I've tried to ignore the links, but it won't let me open the files evne when I ignore, or try to relink the images. I've tried to change the illustrator's file extension, and then chaging it back. Any other suggestions? Anyone else running into this issue?

 

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New Here ,
Dec 09, 2019

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Its because 2020 is now using POSIX style file paths instead of HFS.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 09, 2019

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Yes, I'm having the same exact issue.  I've tried moving the file and changing the extension, nothing has helped yet.  I hate having to recreate files that I could instead just be updating.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 09, 2019

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I found this in another thread...worked for me.

 

 

Hi All,

 

Sorry to hear about this error. This has been reported by a few other users as well and we are still investigating this. Please try following these steps and let us know how it goes.

Go to System Preferences > Full Disk Access > Make sure the Checkbox in front of Illustrator is checked.

 

Once done, quit Illustrator and relaunch it again and you should be able to open the files.

 

 

Regards,

Srishti

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New Here ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Thank you so much!!! You just saved my life. Your solution worked and now I can open my working files from the past 5.5 years.

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New Here ,
Dec 11, 2019

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I'm having this issue too! I can't seem to find "full disk access" under system preferences...what am I missing? 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 11, 2019

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Here you go:

 

System Preferences > Security & Preferences > Privacy > Full Disk Access then check Adobe Illustrator 2020. 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Rick

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New Here ,
Dec 11, 2019

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This solutions did not help me.  It was a recently downloaded .PNG file that my Preview can read on a Macbook Pro but will not open in Adobe AI.

 

Any other suggestions would be helpful!  Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2019

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"This solutions did not help me. It was a recently downloaded .PNG file"

 

This thread is about AI files.

For your PNG, please try and open it in Photoshop and then save via Save for Web. And then try again and place in Illustrator.

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Thank you for your reply.  I should have clarified that while working in AI I am trying to place a PNG into a project.  I still used the work around you provided and the error still happens.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 12, 2019

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Can you save it as a PSD? As a TIF?

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New Here ,
Dec 12, 2019

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changing the file to .tiff extension allowed me to import/place it with the checkered transparancey bg.  Since the graphic was simple, I did a Image/Trace and removed it.  Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 02, 2020

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Saved me hours here man, thank you!

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2020

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Some of these solutions in this thread got me in the right direction and I ended up figuring out the problem. 

For me it ended up being...

 

System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Files & Folders > and then I didn't have "Documents Folder" checked, allowing Illustrator to access the documents folder, once I checked that, my files opened!  

 

Hopefully that helps!

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New Here ,
Jan 26, 2020

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BRILLLLIANT! THANK YOU!!

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2020

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mate you just literally saved my day! thank you so much for posting this answer, it worked a treat! 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2020

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Thank you!  It worked for me 🙂

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New Here ,
Mar 04, 2020

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This did the trick. Really annoying to have a new app and immediately have to spend all this time "repairing" a newly built file. Maybe add some instructions to the download?

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New Here ,
Mar 05, 2020

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Was getting the same error and this fixed it for me, thanks!!

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Community Beginner ,
May 24, 2020

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Thanks for the workaround and for the willingness to try to fix it in future. It should, however, be noted that this is a longstanding problem and has been for more than a decade. Even the workarounds are always changing with the version. I wish the embedding just 'worked'. All the time. I've learned to just vectorize pictures where possible just so as not to have broken links to rasterized versions at some point in future.

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New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Having the same problem with png files - where are you finding 'System Preferences'? In AI preferences or the computer's preferences?  I have been all over AI pref's and can't find that terminology anywhere. A little more info would be really helpful, thanks...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2020

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2020

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Hello, i tried this but im getting the same problem. 

thank you! 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 14, 2020

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This indeed turned out to be corrupted linked PNGs for me. Once I identified the PNGs and replaced them, I was able to open the AI files and resume work.

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