The information in this article applies to:
What is the best way to restore Chief Architect or Home Designer files that I've backed up?
Backing up your important files is an essential practice that you should do regularly because in the event of a computer malfunction, you can be assured that your valuable data has not been lost. Backed up files are also useful when you need to set up a new computer system. But, you can only restore data if you have taken the necessary measures to back it up. Please see KB-00001: Backing up Chief Architect Content to learn more about backing up your Chief Architect/Home Designer files.
There are different types of Chief Architect/Home Designer files that you can back up and restore, including:
When restoring backed up files, it is helpful to know how to copy and paste files in your operating system's file system. There are several ways, and all are easy.
When restoring files associated with Chief Architect or Home Designer, it is important that the software not be running.
To copy and paste files
- Open the File Explorer in Windows or Finder in macOS, navigate to a file you would like to copy to the system Clipboard, and select it.
- If you would like to select multiple files, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard if you're using Windows, or the Command key if you're using a Mac, then click on additional files to add them to your selection.
- Copy the selected file or files to the Clipboard:
- On Windows, click the Copy button in the Home ribbon, right-click and select Copy from the contextual menu, or press Ctrl + C.
- On macOS, select Edit> Copy from the menu bar, right-click (Control-click) and select Copy from the contextual menu, or press Command + C.
On a Mac, hold down the Control key while clicking to initiate a right-click command. More information about right-click commands on Apple input devices can be found in the following Apple resource: Right-click on Mac.
- Once they are copied to the Clipboard, navigate to the location where you would like to paste a copy of the selected file(s).
- Paste the selected file or files:
- On Windows, click the Paste button in the Home ribbon, right-click and select Paste from the contextual menu, or press Ctrl + V.
- On macOS, select Edit> Paste from the menu bar, right-click and select Paste from the contextual menu, or press Command + V.
To restore the software
- Double-click the Chief Architect or Home Designer installer file.
- On Windows, the installer may look like the icon below:
- On macOS, the installer may look like the icon below:
Note: The name of the file will vary depending on what version of the program installer you have, but in general, the file name will begin with the product title, followed by a version number, and ending with the .msi file extension on Windows, and .dmg on a Mac.
- The Setup Wizard will appear. Click Next.
- Read the End User License Agreement carefully, agree to the terms, then click Install to proceed with the installation process.
- Once the program has been installed successfully, click Finish.
For information on installing your Chief Architect program on multiple computers, please see the Related Articles section below.
You can now open the Chief Architect or Home Designer program; but, if you want to use backed up library content or user settings, you may want to restore that data first.
To restore the Core, Bonus, and Manufacturer Catalogs
It's important that the Chief Architect or Home Designer program is not running when you perform the steps below.
- Browse to the file location where you saved your library backups.
- Select the folder or folders you wish to restore. These folders may include one or more of the following:
- Bonus Libraries
- Core Libraries
- Manufacturer Data
- Manufacturer Libraries
- Referenced Files
Do NOT back up or restore the Program_Data folder or the dont_change.dat file. They contain unique, encrypted registration information and if you try to use a copied and pasted version of either, your license registration will not be recognized by our registration server.
- When the folders are selected as a group, copy them to the Clipboard, as described above.
- Next, navigate to the default location for Chief Architect/Home Designer's library content:
- On Windows, press the Windows Key and the letter R on your keyboard at the same time to open the Run dialog. Type
%programdata% and then click OK to open the Program Data folder.
- On macOS, open Finder, select Go > Go to Folder, type:
/Library/Application Support and click Go to open the Application Support folder.
If you have changed the location of the System Library Database Folder,you will want to instead navigate to your custom file location instead. Please see the "Moving Library Content to the Cloud or Other Custom Location" resource in the Related Articles
section below to learn more.
- Look for a folder with the name of the program and version that you want to restore data to and open it.
For example, "Chief Architect Premier X12" or "Home Designer Pro 2021".
- Paste the copied folders to that location, as described above.
- If a folder with the same name exists in this location, a message will prompt you to either Replace the existing folder, Skip this folder and keep the existing one, or Stop the pasting process completely. Choose Replace to paste your backed up folder.
- Open the Chief Architect or Home Designer program and verify that all of your catalogs are present in the Library Browser .
To restore the User Catalog
- Launch the Chief Architect or Home Designer program and create a New Plan .
- In the newly created plan, navigate to Library> Import Library from the menu.
- Browse to the location where you saved the backup of your User Catalog.
- Select the library (*.calibz or *.calib) file and click Open.
- Once imported, an Information message will display saying that the library has been imported successfully. Click OK.
To restore plan and layout* files
*Layout files are only available in Home Designer Pro, Chief Architect Interiors, and Chief Architect Premier.
- In Windows File Explorer or Finder, navigate to the location where you backed up your plan and layout files.
- Copy a compressed folder that you would like to restore, as described above.
- Navigate to the location where you would like your working copy of the project to be located.
- Extract, or unzip, the compressed folder:
- On Windows, right-click on the compressed (zipped) folder and choose Extract All. In the dialog that appears, specify a location that you would like the project to be extracted to, such as your Desktop or Documents, then click the Extract button.
- On macOS, double-click on the compressed folder. The extracted folder will appear beside/on top of the original compressed folder.
- In Chief Architect/Home Designer, select the Open Plan or Open Layout option, and browse for the *.plan or *.layout file that you want to open.
To restore Toolbars, Hotkeys, Templates, and other user data
It's important that the Chief Architect or Home Designer program is closed prior to following the steps below.
- Browse to the location where you backed up your toolbars, hotkeys, and other content.
- Select the files or folders you wish to restore. These may include one or more of the following:
- Database Libraries
- When the files and/or folders are selected as a group, copy them to the Clipboard, as described above.
Browse to the Data folder that your Chief Architect or Home Designer program is now referencing:
- On Windows, the default file path for this folder may be one of the following, but may vary depending on your product and version:
C:\Users\ [ YOUR USERNAME ] \Documents\Chief Architect Premier X12 Data
C:\Users\ [ YOUR USERNAME ] \Documents\Home Designer Pro 2021 Data
- On macOS, the default file path for this folder may be one of the following, but may vary depending on your product and version:
/Users/ [ YOUR USERNAME ] /Documents/Chief Architect Premier X12 Data
/Users/ [ YOUR USERNAME ] /Documents/Home Designer Pro 2021 Data
Note: If you have moved your Chief Architect/Home Designer Data folder to a custom file location, refer to the location you have moved it to instead. If you have forgotten where the Data folder was moved to, navigate into the Preferences dialog, select the Folders panel, and access the file path next to the "My Data Folder" or "Data Folder for Current User" heading.
- Paste the selected files and/or folders, as described above. Make sure that all files and folders have the same names as the originals.
If you're prompted to overwrite files and folders that have the same name, take caution as any data that will be overwritten will be lost and won't be retrievable.