Error parsing or opening the main XML file

My daughter received a tablet for Christmas, and created a project using Pencil 6.0. A power interruption corrupted the file. She has installed the latest update of Pencil. What approaches can we use to try to recover the file?
details below from the “Could Not Open File” notification
Raw file path: C:/Users/Owner/Animals.pclx
Resolved file path: C:/Users/Owner/Animals.pclx
File name: C:/Users/Owner/Animals.pclx
Is old format: true
Recognized Old Pencil File Format (*.pcl) !
XML file: C:/Users/Owner/Animals.pclx
Data folder: C:/Users/Owner/
Working folder: C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Temp/Pencil2D/Animals_Y2xD_tftlchwr/
Error parsing or opening the main XML file
System Info
Pencil version: 0.6.4 (stable)
Build ABI: x86_64-little_endian-llp64
Kernel: winnt, 10.0.18362
Operating System: Windows 10 (10.0)

@Judge Good evening. Sorry to hear about your daughter’s problem with Pencil2D. In this case it seems the power surge interrupted the saving procedure which prevented essential files to be written into the project. It is also possible that some of the work was lost as well so hopefully you can ready your daughter for that.

That said, If possible send us the project file (the one that can’t be opened) so we can try to recover whatever was left inside for you and we’ll send a new file that has such contents.

You can use google drive, dropbox, or to send us a link to the file and I’ll gladly track this issue so we can have this processed as soon as possible.

For future problems with this you can also consider following this guide which outlines prevention tips to avoid losing work and shares some of the steps we sometimes take to recover lost work in different capacities:

Also if you are using a Windows 10 operating system, please consider looking into this guide to avoid permissions problems while using Pencil2D


That’s awesome. She’s already resigned to the project being lost, so any help is welcome, and we understand that it may be corrupted beyond recovery. Luckily it’s Christmas break, so we can get the file to you tomorrow. Kayla has installed the latest version, and I’ll be running out to get her an uninterrupted power source backup.

Take care, and thanks so much for your quick response.

Chris Durham

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Here’s the link to Google Drive and the corrupted file I reference last night. We realize that you might not be able to recover it, but we really appreciate you trying to help.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

Chris and Kayla Durham

@Judge Hey. Thank you for sharing the file, however in your message I do not see any attached link. Can you review if you missed pasting the link itself or did you sent me a PM?

Edit: I noticed you sent the message through e-mail. If you can, please check if your e-mail manager properly parsed the link. If not then please post it directly on the forum thread so we can access it.

Thanks again for taking the time to send the file over, and for sure we’ll do what we can to at least lessen the amount of work Ms. Kayla has to do to get her work to the point where it was before the file corruption. Here is the link. Thank you!


Kayla just posted the Google Drive link to the forum thread. Give me a
holler if we missed anything.

Thanks again!

@Judge Hi. We got the file. I’ve asked for the developers help since the file seems to have been heavily damaged.

However this also helped us to remember that there is a fail safe option in Pencil2D when the program is not closed correctly.

If you are under Windows OS you can look in the temporary files folder, while this procedure is explained in the first guide I linked before, to avoid confusion i’ll paste the steps here:

a) In the Start Menu > go to System, or open the folder explorer
b) In the folder address bar at the top of the window, click over the current folder address (e.g if you’re on C:\User\ click on that), erase the current address text and type the symbol-phrase %temp% This will take you to the “temporary files” folder.
c) Search for a “Pencil2D” folder. Enter the Folder. Organize the files by “last modified”
d) Look for a folder with the name of your saved file (Animals) + the Y2XD extension and a random alphanumeric string. e.g MyFileName_Y2xD_5yz4hsui
e) Inside the Y2xD folder, verify if there’s a “ main.xml ” file. If there is, there’s a good chance your file is still healthy.
f) After checking the main.xml file, browse to the data folder and verify if there is any file inside.

Drawings are saved as numbered images. The name correspond to the naming convention layer.frame.png e.g 003.001.png would be Layer No.3 and Frame No. 1.

Layers are counted bottom to top and the camera layer is always the first layer. If you used the bitmap layer to draw you’ll find PNG images, if you used the vector layer you’ll find .VEC files, which are read by Pencil2D only.

If you indeed found a main.xml and a data folder with the “lost” drawings, then you can take both elements and “zip” them together, then rename the .ZIP filetype part, as .PCLX and try to open it inside Pencil2D.

@Judge Hi again. I’ve tried everything I could and even with the developers help we couldn’t get the file to work.

It was ufortunately damaged beyond recovery i’m afraid. That said please take a look at the steps outlined in my previous message from yesterday as this would be the only choice left to recover anything as long as you’re using Windows. For macOS I have to investigate as the steps are slightly different.

Let us know how it goes in case I can think of any other way to help out recovering the files.

Unfortunately the recovery steps didn’t work. Thanks again for trying to help!

@Judge Sorry to hear that. For future work, even if it’s not done with Pencil2D we suggest that after each milestone reached on a project, the work is saved in a new, and different file with the “Save As” command, this way losing all the work can be avoided in these circumstances as most graphics software, including commercial ones, tend to fail even without fortuitous events like a blackout or a power surge.

Either way, thank you for sticking through support, it’s a shame we couldn’t get to a satisfactory solution, but hopefully the work can be redone in due time. Good luck!

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