.PC3 File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .PC3 file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

PC3 File Recovery

What is a .PC3 file?

File created by AutoCAD, a CAD program used to create 2D and 3D designs; contains plotter properties, such as color depth, media type, and print quality; used to configure specific plotter settings and save them for later use.

What Are Common Causes of ".PC3" Files Lost or Failure?

There can be several common causes for ".PC3" files being lost or failing:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete the ".PC3" files while managing or organizing their files, resulting in their loss.
  2. System errors: System errors or crashes can lead to the corruption or loss of ".PC3" files.
  3. Software or hardware issues: Problems with the software or hardware used to create or access ".PC3" files can cause them to become unreadable or inaccessible.
  4. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and corrupt ".PC3" files, making them unusable.
  5. Incompatible software or updates: If the software used to open or edit ".PC3" files is not compatible with the file format or if there are issues with software updates, it can lead to failure or loss of the files.
  6. File system errors: Errors in the file system, such as file fragmentation or disk errors, can result in the loss or corruption of ".PC3" files.
  7. Improper file transfer or storage: If ".PC3" files are not transferred or stored properly, such as during file transfers over an unstable network connection or on faulty storage devices, they can be lost or damaged.
  8. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting of storage devices or improper handling of files, can also cause ".PC3" files to be lost or fail.

It is always recommended to regularly back up important files, including ".PC3" files, to prevent data loss.

How to recover lost ".PC3" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".PC3" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".PC3" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".PC3" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".PC3" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".PC3" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".PC3" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo autoCAD Plotter Configuration File image file file?

Programs that open ".PC3" files

Autodesk AutoCAD 2020 Autodesk AutoCAD 2020

Additional Information

  • File type: AutoCAD Plotter Configuration File

  • File extension: .PC3

  • Developer: Autodesk

  • Category: Settings Files

  • Format: Binary

  • Mime-type: application/octet-stream

  • HEX: 50 49 41 46 49 4C 45 56 45 52 53 49 4F 4E 5F


  • File types that use the extension .PC3:

    • AutoCAD Plotter Configuration File

    • Degas Elite High Res Image File


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 12:22 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .PC3 files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What are the common issues that require a .PC3 repair, and how can they be identified?

    A .PC3 file is a system file associated with AutoCAD software that contains printer configuration settings. Common issues that may require a .PC3 repair include:

    1. Corrupted or missing .PC3 file: If the .PC3 file is corrupted or missing, it can cause problems with printing or result in incorrect printer settings.
    2. Incorrect printer settings: If the printer settings within the .PC3 file are incorrect or outdated, it can lead to printing issues such as incorrect paper size, orientation, or print quality.
    3. Compatibility issues: Sometimes, the .PC3 file may not be compatible with the version of AutoCAD or the printer driver being used, causing printing problems.
    4. Printer driver conflicts: If there are conflicts between the printer driver and the .PC3 file, it can result in printing errors or the inability to print altogether.

    To identify issues that require a .PC3 repair, you can look for the following signs:

    1. Printing errors or failures: If you are experiencing frequent printing errors or the print jobs are not being completed successfully, it could indicate a problem with the .PC3 file.
    2. Incorrect printer settings: If the printed output does not match the desired settings, such as wrong paper size, orientation, or print quality, it suggests that the .PC3 file may need repair.
    3. Missing or outdated printer configurations: If you notice that certain printer configurations or options are missing or outdated within the AutoCAD software, it could indicate a problem with the .PC3 file.
    4. Incompatibility messages: If you receive error messages or notifications indicating incompatibility between the .PC3 file and the AutoCAD version or printer driver, it suggests a need for repair.

    In such cases, repairing the .PC3 file may involve restoring a backup of the file, updating the printer driver, reconfiguring the printer settings, or recreating the .PC3 file from scratch. It is recommended to consult the AutoCAD documentation or seek assistance from technical support for specific instructions on repairing .PC3 files.

  • What are the steps involved in repairing a .PC3 file and ensuring its proper functionality?

    To repair a .PC3 file and ensure its proper functionality, you can follow these steps:

    1. Identify the issue: Determine what specific problem you are facing with the .PC3 file. This could be an error message, missing or incorrect settings, or any other issue that is affecting its functionality.
    2. Backup the original file: Before making any changes, it is essential to create a backup of the original .PC3 file. This ensures that you can revert to the original state if anything goes wrong during the repair process.
    3. Reinstall the printer driver: If the .PC3 file is associated with a printer driver, you may need to reinstall or update the driver. Visit the manufacturer's website to download and install the latest version of the printer driver compatible with your operating system.
    4. Reset the default settings: If the issue is related to incorrect settings in the .PC3 file, you can try resetting the default settings. In applications like AutoCAD, go to the Print dialog box, select the printer using the .PC3 file, and choose the "Properties" or "Settings" option. Look for a "Reset to Default" or similar button to restore the settings to their original state.
    5. Repair the file using software: If the .PC3 file itself is corrupted, you can use file repair software to fix it. There are various tools available online that can repair damaged or corrupted files. Research and choose a reliable software tool, download it, and follow the instructions to repair the .PC3 file.
    6. Test the repaired file: Once the repair process is complete, test the .PC3 file by using it to print a document or perform the desired function. Ensure that the file is functioning correctly and producing the expected output.
    7. Update software and drivers: To avoid future issues, ensure that your software applications and printer drivers are up to date. Regularly check for updates and install them as necessary.

    By following these steps, you can repair a .PC3 file and ensure its proper functionality.

  • Are there any specific software tools or techniques recommended for performing a .PC3 repair, and what are their advantages and limitations?

    There are several software tools and techniques recommended for performing a .PC3 repair, depending on the specific issue you are facing. Here are a few commonly used ones and their advantages and limitations:

    1. Autodesk DWG TrueView: This is a free software provided by Autodesk that allows you to view, plot, and convert .PC3 files. It can be used to repair minor issues in the file. However, it has limited repair capabilities and may not be able to fix complex issues.
    2. AutoCAD's Plotter Manager: AutoCAD itself provides a Plotter Manager tool that allows you to manage and configure plotter devices, including .PC3 files. It provides a user-friendly interface and allows you to modify plotter settings. However, it may not be able to fix all types of .PC3 file issues.
    3. Third-party PC3 repair tools: There are several third-party software tools available that specialize in repairing .PC3 files. These tools often offer advanced features and can handle complex issues. They can automatically detect and fix errors in the file. However, they are not always free and may require a purchase or subscription.
    4. Manual editing: In some cases, you can manually edit the .PC3 file using a text editor. This allows you to modify the settings and fix any errors. However, this method requires a good understanding of the .PC3 file structure and may not be suitable for complex issues.

    It is important to note that the effectiveness of these tools and techniques may vary depending on the specific issue you are facing. It is recommended to try multiple approaches and backup your files before attempting any repairs.

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