Message: The plan file you are attempting to open appears to be corrupted.

Reference Number: KB-00960
Last Modified: March 24, 2022

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect InteriorsHome Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


When I open one of my Chief Architect files, I receive the following message:

"The plan file you are attempting to open appears to be corrupted. You should revert to a backup copy of this plan."

What should I do?


There are several reasons why file corruption may occur. The most common cause, however, is actively working on plan files in an unsupported fashion; such as over a network, off of a removable USB flash or thumb drive, or off of a removable hard drive.

Other things that could cause a file to become corrupted include:

  • Hardware problems
  • Abnormal program shutdown
  • Computer shutdown while the file was open

It's possible that you may be able to open a file that has been corrupted; however, even if you are able to, it's likely that the file will have missing information and may become further corrupted in the future. Just as the warning message suggests, you should no longer try to use the affected file and instead resume work on a backup copy.

It is extremely important to regularly back up all of the important or valuable files on your computer, if for no other reason, because every computer's hard drive will eventually fail. If you do not have a regular back up routine you should implement one as soon as possible.

While creating backups onto a flash drive, on a network, or on a removable hard drive are excellent resources, always remember to actively work on, and save, your files on your local machine.

Always copy the file from its network (or other) location onto the local machine before working on the plan. Once saved onto your computer, then open the file in Chief Architect, make changes, save, and completely exit out of the program and then copy the file back to its network (or other) location to avoid future file corruption and data loss.

If you have not backed up your work in the past, you can still recover at least some of your recent work by opening an Archive or Auto Save file automatically saved by the program. For help accessing your archive files, please view the Related Articles section below.