Revit errors are often vague! What do you do when you get the the “failed to open document” error? This means that the file is incompatible or corrupt and needs to be recovered.
Solutions to common problems with opening RVT documents will be added to this post on a regular basis.
Revit Failed to Open Document
Details: The file is damaged and needs to be restored from a backup.
Step 1 – Check File Integrity
Ensure that the Revit file you are trying to open is not corrupted or damaged.
1. Install the latest available hotfix from the Autodesk Desktop App.
2. Keep the %TMP% folder clean (RVT needs at least 5GB free hard disk space to work).
3. Open the document in another version of Revit. All RVT and RFA files become incompatible with previous versions once they are saved in a newer version.
4. Try the “Open As” workaround: Go to the Insert tab > click Link Revit to open an RVT file. Rename the file and place it in your local directory.
✨ Tip: Do not force a software shutdown when your file is not yet saved or in the progress of saving.
Step 2 – Open a backup file
Browse to the folder that contains the RVT file and restore the most recent backup file.
Step 3 – Turn all the worksets OFF
Go to the File tab > click Open > drop-down the open button menu > click specify. Select all workset and then click Close.
Step 4 – Audit the model file
To make sure your Revit model is safe and working well, you can use the audit feature. It helps find and fix any problems in the model.
However, it doesn’t tell you exactly which things in the model are affected. Still, using Audit keeps your Revit model in good shape.
Step 5 – Rename the RVT file to ZIP and extract it
Rename the file to (filename).zip, then unzip it. If the zip extracts into RVTs (host and linked files), open the extracted model.
When downloading a model from BIM 360, the file is sometimes downloaded in multiple formats such as .RVT, .ZIP, or .ZIP.RVT. This issue is due to specific publishing or downloading workflows within Revit. If a model has no links, it is published and downloaded as a single .RVT file.
Step 6 – Contact Autodesk Support
If the problem persists, it may be helpful to collect the journal files and contact Autodesk Support for further assistance. They can provide specific troubleshooting steps or guidance based on your situation.
Failed to initialize the add-in
Details: add-in.dll doesn’t exist – can’t load, uninstall or repair.
- Remove the add-in files.
- Disable Revit add-ins using the Stantec Safe Mode tool.
✨ Tip: If you have uninstalled the add-in and do not want to continue using it, select the “Do not show me this message again” option before closing the window.
Cloud model: Failed to open document
Details: If you are using the Desktop Connector to reload a cloud model or link to a Revit model, check the journal files to make sure it is not a cache issue.
- Find the BIM360 cache location: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\PacCache.
Failed to initialize Collaboration
During the saving process, the connection to the network (Wi-Fi) is lost. The VPN is not supported and corrupts the files. Transferring files while someone is browsing them, including FTP sites.
- Compress and audit your work-shared RVT file.
✨ Tip: To perform a cleanup of collaboration cache, remove the files in this directory: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\CollaborationCache.
You can avoid “Revit failed to open document” issues by regularly syncing to the cloud and optimizing your backup settings. Back up all journal files before overwriting them with new projects.