An entire chapter of my novel disappeared before my eyes

This morning, while I was putting the finishing touches to my chapter 4 (25 pages), I saw my text literally disappearing before my eyes.
I searched with all the instruments at my disposal (Command + F, the oldest, Spotlight, Time Machine, preferences Scrivener), nothing worked.
Someone here has he ever had this problem? Does anyone know the solution to bring back my text?
Thank you in advance.

do you sync with DropBox (or equivalent)?

No, my dropbox is saturated !

A couple of questions occur to me, for example:

  • Is the title of the chapter or scene(s) still present in the Binder, but with no text, or has the title in the Binder disappeared as well?
  • What actions were you performing in Scrivener at the time the chapter disappeared?
  • When you write that it “disappeared before my eyes”, do you mean that you actually saw the text suddenly vanish within the Editor, or you saw the title of the chapter vanish in the Binder?
  • have you found your back-ups on your hard disk? Look in Scrivener > Preferences > Backups if you’re uncertain of their location. If you have found them, does the latest contain some or all of the missing text?

Thank you, Hugh,
My English skills are zero. I will answer each of your questions short so:
1 - Is the title of the chapter or szene (s) still present in the Binder goal with no text, gold Has the title in the Binder Disappeared as well?
everything is gone
2 - What activities were you performing in Scrivener at the time the chapter Disappeared?
I typed the end of a sentence
3 - - When you write That it “Disappeared before my eyes”, do you mean That You Actually saw the text vanish Suddenly Within The Editor, or you saw the title of the chapter in the Binder vanish?
I saw the text disappear from the editor and when to I Looked at the binder, There Was nothing more
4 - have you found your back-ups on your hard disk? Look in Scrivener> Preferences> Backups if you’re uncertain of Their rental. If you found-have 'em, Does the latest contenir Some or all of the missing text?
I Looked in preferences. I found zip files, but not the One That interested me files only the first three chapters, characters, etc.
It Seems my chapter 4 has Somehow “exploded”!

Thank you for your kindness, Hugh!

You might check to see if it got moved into the Trash folder within the project.


Fellow Scrivener user here. We should consider what could have happened that made it /appear to you/ that your stuff vanished.

  1. Here is the simplest way I can think of to make it /appear/ that your document text vanishes while your are typing:
You start typing, thinking that you are typing into your document text, BUT the editor pane is not the active pane, RATHER, the Binder is the active pane, so your keystrokes are "heard" instead by the Binder . The result is: the Binder selection jumps to some doc matching the first few characters you typed and selects that document. The Editor pane automatically switches to showing you /that/ document. If that newly selected binder item is a folder or an empty document, you would likely be left looking at an empty Editor -- thus giving the appearance of vanished text. The effect just described could also leave you with the impression that your document "disappeared" from the Binder, since when the Binder selection jumps to the new doc, it is likely to scroll the Binder away from where it was.

If that is what happened, the easiest way back would have been to use the Back button in the Editor pane.

So, that is one possibility. But this does mean your doc is still sitting in the Binder and has not really moved.

  1. Here is a second, more partial idea (though it does not account for everything you said):
You have somehow changed the name of the document, and so when you look for it, you do not see that it is there

Searching for some unique word or phrase in the document should help you find your chapter no matter if the name of the doc has been changed.

It is possible that you typed your entire chapter into a space other than the document you thought you were typing in. Folders can have their own document text. It is not hard to imagine typing some text into to text area of a folder, when you think you are typing into a document within that folder.

So your chapter might be living somewhere you are not looking. Again, using the search function might help.

It might be that you hit some accidental key command. But what?

I have certainly had it happen that I accidentally hit some key-command when I was trying to type a capital letter (I seem to lock the Editor pane a lot this way!). I just haven’t been able to imagine what key command might explain the appearances you are reporting! Except this one very remote possibility: you hit cmd-Delete (maybe you think you are hitting ‘delete-forward’ command (i.e. fn-Delete), but the focus is on the Binder, not the Editor, and so you “delete” your document accidentally. Fortunately, Scrivener is watching out for you and that document would only have been moved to Scrivener’s Trash folder at the bottom of the Binder. Solution here is just to look for your document in the Binder’s Trash folder and pull it out of there.


Thank you to all.
I finally took the following decision: I redo everything from A to Z, using the copy and paste to what is valid.
I think it will be the simplest.
Thank you again.

Can you take a picture of the Scrivener project window (a “screen shot”)? Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words, and may help us understand something that you don’t know how to describe.

Yes !

The image : … tecran.png

To exit full screen, move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen. The toolbar and menu should appear. Then click on the green button in the upper left corner. Apple now uses that button to put applications into full screen mode or to take them out of full screen mode.

Thank you,
I had found, that is why I withdrew my question.