Error: "The Drawing File Cannot Be Opened “


Error: "The drawing file cannot be opened because it was created with a more recent version of AutoCAD" when opening a file in AutoCAD

Products and versions covered

When opening a drawing in AutoCAD or in an AutoCAD-based product, the following message appears:

Open Drawing - Incompatible Version
The drawing file cannot be opened because it was created with a more recent version of AutoCAD
To convert this drawing file to an earlier file format, download DWG TrueView from the Autodesk website,
User added image
User added image

The AutoCAD Command line may also display:

File <drawing name.dwg> was created by an incompatible version of AutoCAD



  • The AutoCAD Product version used to open the DWG file is older than the file version.
  • The DWG file is damaged or corrupted.


Try the following in order:

  • Launch the desired AutoCAD Product and version without opening a file, then close it. Then, double-click on a file in Windows Explorer (see: Double-clicking a DWG file launches the wrong AutoCAD Product).

Note: This procedure only works if DWG files are set to be open using the DWG Launcher.

  • Open the DWG file in a version of AutoCAD that supports it. On a Subscription license, the latest version of the AutoCAD product is always available.

Note: To check what version the DWG file requires, use a text editor (such as Notepad) to open the file. The first characters at the beginning of the file will show the version code for the AutoCAD file version (see: Drawing format version codes for AutoCAD).

  • For Windows, download and install the latest version of DWG TrueView from the Autodesk web site and use the DWG Convertcommand to convert the file.
  • If none of the previous solutions help, the drawing might have become corrupted. Try repairing the file (see: How to repair corrupt AutoCAD files) or obtaining a working backup copy (see: Understanding backup and autosave files in AutoCAD).

See Also:

  • How to view DWG drawing files on the Mac OS platform
  • Error: "Windows cannot find..." [filename].dwg, acad.exe, or acadlt.exe when double-clicking a DWG file to open in AutoCAD
  • Double-clicking a DWG file fails to launch AutoCAD