My C4D file says "Incorrect File Structure" or "Unknown File Format" – Can I recover my project?

  • Updated

Sometimes files can become corrupted due to various reasons, including:

  • Crashing while saving
  • HDD/Network failure during saving
  • Plugins corrupting save files

Error Messages:

  • "Incorrect File Structure": It is usually possible to recover some or all of the corrupted file.
  • "Unknown File Format!": This means the file is too corrupt for recovery.

Steps to Recover a Corrupted File:

  1. For Windows:

    • Do a Windows search for CMD to open the Command Prompt.
    • Navigate to your Cinema 4D Program Folder (Normally C:\Program Files\Maxon\Cinema 4D 20XX of RXX).
    • Drag and drop your Cinema 4D.exe into the Command Prompt window.
    • Press space, then paste in -loadcorruptscenes.
      Should look something like this:
  2. For Mac:

    • Go to the Applications > Utilities folder and open Terminal.
    • Navigate to your Cinema 4D Application Folder (Normally Applications\Maxon\Cinema 4D 20XX or RXX).
    • Right-click on the Cinema and select "Show Contents".
    • Navigate through Contents to the macOS folder.
    • Drag and drop the Cinema 4D file into the Terminal window.
    • Press space, then paste in -loadcorruptscenes.
      Should look something like this:
  3. Open Your File:

    • Once Cinema 4D has loaded, try to open your file. It may still say that the file is corrupt, but it will attempt to load what it can.
    • Note: This process is "what you see is what you get", meaning no additional data can be recovered beyond what this process retrieves.

You can also watch a video on this process here.

If the Process Fails:

  • Try the process on a different machine if possible as different machines can produce different results.
  • If you have no other machines to try this on, please raise a support ticket here, and our team can attempt to recover the scene for you.

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