Message: One or more files referenced by this view could not be found

Reference Number: KB-00935
Last Modified: December 16, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


When I open a file that another Chief Architect user has sent to me, or a file created in a previous version of Chief Architect, I see the following message:

"One or more files referenced by this view could not be found."

Missing files dialog box.

Why is this message appearing?


This Information message displays when the program cannot find the backdrop image or a picture file associated with the plan or layout file you are opening. This message displays the file path, and when extended it will show you the location of the missing file, texture, backdrop, etc.

Viewing the missing file paths.

  • If the missing file is associated with an item in the Chief Architect Library, you may be able to resolve the issue simply by downloading the needed library content.

  • If another Chief Architect user sent you this file, then that user likely has a graphic file you do not have. Have the other user send you the plan file by following the steps in our article on Using the Backup Entire Plan Tool linked in the Related Articles section below.

  • If the missing file is a custom backdrop, image, picture or texture, you have several choices to resolve this issue in the short term:
    • Help the program Locate the missing file.
    • Replace the missing file with a new file.
    • Remove the reference to the missing file from the plan or layout in question.

To locate or replace the missing file

If you know that the graphic file in question, or a replacement graphic file is saved on the computer that you are currently using, then you can do the following.

  1. In the message dialog, click on the Replace File or Add Search Directory button to open the Browse For Missing File or Browse For New Folder To Search For Files dialog respectively and direct the program to the file's location.

    Browse for new folder or missing file dialog.

  2. In this dialog, browse to the location of the graphic file on your computer, select it, and click Select Folder.

    If you chose Replace File, instead you can search for any file with the same file type, select it, and click Open to replace the missing file.

    Before directing the program to the file's location, you may want to consider copying it to a location where it is unlikely to be lost in the future. Then, open the plan or layout file and point the program to the new location, as described above.

    To learn more about organizing your graphics files, read To organize your custom graphic files, below.

  3. If the graphic file is saved on a different computer, and not on the one you are currently using, then you will need to copy it to the machine where it is missing.

    There are many ways you can do this:
    Via e-mail, using a removable storage device such as a flash drive, or by copying across a network if you have one.

    Once the file is saved on the computer where it was missing, place it in an appropriate location where you will be able to easily direct the program, and where it will not be deleted or moved in the future.

  4. If you know that multiple missing files can be found in the same location on your hard drive, click the Add Search Directory button and browse to that folder. The next time the program needs to find a missing file, it will check this location.

To remove the missing file reference from the plan or layout

A third option is to click the Delete Material button to remove the material from the plan.

If the missing file is a backdrop image of imported picture, however, then you can click the Replace File button and replace the missing image or backdrop with a generic picture that will stand out. Then delete it from the plan or layout.

In the longer term, there are some things you can do to prevent this problem from occurring in the first place.

To organize your custom graphic files

To make sure that texture, image, picture and backdrop files are always located by the program, there are some simple file management strategies that you can follow.

  • Save Graphic Files in the Data Folder

    You can save custom graphics in the Backdrops, Images, and Textures folders located in program's Data folder. To locate this folder, open the program Preferences  and on the Folders panel, the current location of the Data Folder for Current User is shown.

  • Save the Graphic Files in the Project Folder

    If you have support files that are only applicable to one project, you can copy them into the folder where the plan and layout files for that project are saved.

    To learn more, visit the Guide to File Management for Chief Architect Files article linked in the Related Articles section.