All text in "Text" element lost when computer shut down

I have been using Scrivener quite a bit without any real troubles. However, last night, I was typing in my kitchen. I regularly save. My battery stated I still had an hour of juice or so left, so I thought I would be fine, but then it just shut down.

This morning, when I plugged my laptop back in, I opened my project, and the entire text that was in that Text element is just gone. It’s now completely empty. Is this normal behavior? Text in other chapters and text elements is unaffected, but that one that I was actively typing in is completely empty. It’s quite unfortunate because I had a few thousand words in that area, and now I have to rewrite it all.

I did locate the backup folder, but there wasn’t much to be gained from there. The last backup is from a few nights ago, and while I did manage to get some of my old notes back, the prose I wrote is now missing.

Is there any solution to gaining my old text back other than the backups? And how can I prevent this in the future other than not using Scrivener while on battery power?

Split your text in smaller chunks. You can have each paragraph in its own document in Scrivener.

And close your project every time you take a break so Scrivener is told to male a backup. Or set the options so it makes a backup every time you make a manual save.

Your regular saves has no real effect bevause Scrivener does this anyhow, every time you stop writing for a few seconds.

Getting your text back? No, not very likely.

I suppose splitting my text into smaller chunks is a solution, but man would that be tedious. I want to be able to seamlessly write without having to stop and make a new text element every few sentences.

I have changed my settings so it makes a backup every time I save, so at least I will have more regular backups going forward.

It doesn’t seem like I am the first person to have this issue. A quick google search revealed similar issues, usually when the computer abruptly shuts down for whatever reason (which is what happened to me)… … hp?t=50660 … hp?t=29632 … down_here/

As far as I can tell, Scrivener just cuts out the whole section if it forcibly closed. I could understand losing the most recent changes before saving, but actively deleting entire sections is pretty ridiculous and paints it as a not very reliable writing solution to me.
I’ll likely keep using Scrivener because there are a lot of features I do like, but whenever people ask about programs to write with, I will certainly be vocal about how you have to be extra vigilant about your files, lest entire chapters just disappear :confused:

Hi phantom16,

Sounds like you may have missed the latest update Windows Scrivener (release v1.9.9), which is unfortunate, as it probably would have helped you in this situation.

From the release notes: We have introduced the safer Windows Scrivener 3.0 save mechanism as an option for saving Scrivener project files in version 1.9.9 (not enabled by default). You can switch this on/off via the menu Tools -> Options… then check the checkbox titled: Use safe document saving mechanism. Checking this option protects against losing data during a system crash such as a power failure, unexpected Windows shutdown etc.

Here’s the URL,

I recommend you install it, and also that you continue taking a backup with each Ctl-S manual save. It’s a good practice to get in the habit of.


Well I was updated to v1.9.9, but no, I did not have that feature activated. I just checked it, though, so hopefully that will prevent any future headaches.

Armed with backing up with every save and safe document saving mechanism, I now do feel a bit more secure in using Scrivener. Thanks for pointing it out to me!

I just had this happen to me this morning.

I’ve been able to track down the back up files for the lost project. However, when I hit import files, that ‘path’ doesn’t seem to exist. The path starts with users/myname/appdata…In trying to import, I can find an appdata under a different folder in users, but not under users/myname. So it exists. I’ve looked at the file list. But I can’t acess it when I try to get there by way of import.

Any suggestions?

Try just opening the backup in Scrivener, drag a copy of the file from the backup’s binder into your current project (or copy & paste the text from the backup to current, whatever works for you). Then close your backup project asap, so you don’t accidentally edit it.