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Tutorial | When Good SVG Files Go Corrupt

Troubleshooting Weird Errors and Corrupt Files in Silhouette, Cricut and CorelDRAW 


First things first, don't panic! These things happen. I've discussed this with multiple designers and, unfortunately, from time to time our poor little files get beat up on their way from the download server to your software. 99% of the time it's an easy fix - so breath and let's figure out what's happening.


While zip files are super awesome at making it easy to get everything to you in one neat package, they have a dark side too. There are a laundry list of things that can mess with the data in a file.  If you've ever gotten one of these when trying to use an svg in Silhouette, you know what I mean. Panic city!


Corrupted zip file message in Silhouette Studio


If this happens, it usually means some of the data went missing when downloading the zip file. This is especially common during high download periods (like pre-Christmas) due to micro interruptions between the download server and your computer.


First, delete the zip file. It's broken, done, finished. Nothing will save it. Next, try to download it again. If the connection is better this should be a fast fix.


If that doesn't work, contact the person who created the file.  Ask for it to be e-mailed directly to you. If you don't check the one registered to the site you bought it from, make sure to include the email you would like it sent to in your message.


If you purchased on Etsy, send a message from the website. We get a handy pop-up that automatically shows what you ordered and let's us start an email to you making the process faster.






You're not alone! Trust me, it's random and if it's not your end causing the issue, it's near impossible to pinpoint.  I have a few customers who never get clean downloads off of Etsy, but do from other sites. And there are others who have never had an issue before. We get just as frustrated about it as you do. 


Common Culprits


Internet or Wireless Dropout



It could be so fast that you don't notice, but any interruption in service will cause file corruption.  If you are wireless you can try using a wired connection if this is a common issue for you. This is actually the reason I refuse to use wireless when cutting with my Cricut and Silhouette machines. The horror of a ruined piece of vinyl is too much to risk it.


Antivirus Scanners, Ad Blockers, and Browser Plug-Ins



DO NOT disable your antivirus software.  It's far too important. Keep it locked up tight.


You can try to disable any plug-ins you have or try a different browser. If you usually use Chrome, try Firefox or Explorer, etc. Plug-Ins can cause all kinds of issues, so while that handy coupon plug-in is great for shopping, it might cause an interruption elsewhere.


Opening a File Too Fast



Ok, this one sounds silly, but I promise it's a real thing.  After you click extract on your zip file, give it a minute before opening the files.  


Even though it says it's done, it take s a few more seconds to finish the extraction and if you're super fast on opening, it can interrupt that and corrupt the file.  


If that happens, you can delete the extracted folder and un-zip it again.  


Special Note for Cricut Design Space Users


SVG appearing like a Print then Cut in Cricut Design Space


Here's the latest weird glitch I've come across in Design Space. Ever load an svg file and hit Make It for it to all of a sudden act like a Print Then Cut with the bounding box and all?


After bunches of trouble shooting, I finally figured out it was caused by the internet browser's cache being full. Since Design Space runs over the web, not having enough space makes it do wonky things evidently. 


Try clearing your cache in your web browser in the settings and it should free up enough space for Design Space to work properly.


Special Note for CorelDRAW Users



This one's kind of like the Cricut thing above but for different reasons. Ever open an svg file in CorelDRAW and have it act like a png? It's definitely an svg but you can't un-group anything and it wants to cut as one piece. 


Chances are your file contains nested groups. This is where the designer group a few sets of elements then grouped all those groups together and so on. You're best bet would be to contact the seller and ask them to un-group everything then send you a fresh copy. Or if you have a friend with Illustrator, they can do it for you also. 


When all else fails


When all else fails, don't hesitate to contact the seller. We want to make sure your happy with your design and are happy to help out.


I try to email files over asap and have my phone set up for sending files, so unless I'm asleep, driving or out of range, you should hear back quickly.


Some designers work on cut files as a side gig, so 24 hours is normally a reasonable amount of time before hearing back.


If I missed anything or if you have any questions, leave a note below or shoot me a message. 


Happy crafting!


 Cricut and Silhouette User Tutorial on Corrupt SVG Cut Files