AutoCAD: External Reference file missing/unresolved


AutoCAD: External Reference file missing/unresolved.

(DWG,PDF’s, Raster Images,DWF, etc).


You may receive a message stating, “One or more referenced files could not be located or read what do you want to do?”.



Open External Reference Palette.


Ignore unresolved reference files.


  • External Reference file has moved.
  • External Reference file has changed names.
  • Original Path is not available.
  • External References file is corrupted.
  • Permissions issue.
  • Circular External reference (Although this cannot be done via AutoCAD this can be done via other software such as Document Management software).
  • 3rd Party Software (Advanced System Care, Cyco Document management software, etc.), DNS Client not accessible, IP Helper, etc.
  • External Reference is nested.


  • Install all Autodesk Updates.
  • Check the name and location of the file in question.
  • Manually Open the file and test for corruption.
  • Try attaching the file to a new DWG to see if it will work.
  • Try moving the file to a local folder and test.
  • Images, try to embed them rather than referencing them.

About the Author

Jeff Arbogast

Manufacturing Solution Center Team Lead<br><br>Jeff is responsible for manufacturing Technical Support for both internal staff and customers. In addition to the daily activities of the support center, he helps write for the National Support Center blog, and has written online classes for the IMAGINiT training on demand site.

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