Auto-save did not work for me

auto-save did not work for me and i only found out the hard way - by losing an entire day’s work (twice now)

Before I move to Word, I’d like to know whether it’s something I’m doing wrong. It’s set to auto-save every 10 minutes. I’m not allowed to upload a picture even though i’ve been a member for years, granted I never used it.

The autosave time is per how long you haven’t done anything…
It counts time since last activity.

This should be set to 5 seconds or the likes.
10 minutes is 600 seconds. You can’t even set it like that. (Not under Windows, the least.)


Plus, it should save on exit.

Perhaps it is something else you are doing wrong, and all is not lost.

If you haven’t already, try opening your project through the recent projects list.
If you have a few of the same name, chances are one is the right one.

The Mac version lets you set it to 600 seconds without hesitation. (Not that I would suggest doing so.)

How about “save on exit” ?
Any way this could have been bypassed too ?

With a program crash.

Otherwise: If there’s a setting to turn saving on exit off… what would Scrivener even load at the next launch? :thinking: (And in case of a crash, there’s also no auto-backup on exit.)

ten minutes is more than enough time for my saves for inactivity. The thing is it just didn’t do it.

It didn’t save on exit because my MacBook pro battery went out, but that was after hours of inactivity, way more than 10 minutes.

I’ve checked recent projects and my entire drive, I only have the last manual save early in the morning. So it’s not a project issue but the work I did today, and alas, the same thing happened yesterday. Of course I’m moving the project to another machine.

It didn’t backup on exit, because, it didn’t quit based on my inactivity setting of 90 minutes, and even if it did, I’m not sure it triggers the “on closing” the application which may only apply to manual closing.

My time machine backup, and dropbox, didn’t help because it just references the last save.

The snapshots didn’t help because they are married to the save status.

Close Scrivener occasionally. That’s all you need to do.

There is an auto backup on project close. And you’re right that it doesn’t apply to a crash. I’m referring to the settings that are within the normal operation which hours before the crash.

For that matter I can just hit save backup now, which I’ll have to do, and kind of a drag. I’m working on transferring the project to Microsoft Word since most writers that I know personally use that. It auto saves even files from a crash (called recovered) let alone different versions.

I’m not about to babysit a software that’s supposed to help me.

It’s up to you how you handle this, but I’d set the “inactivity saving” back to the reasonable default of 2 seconds. And then there’s also the good old S for the peace of mind (never needed it, but some people do it out of habit.)

(As for why the autosave didn’t work after 10 minutes of inactivity when the machine crashed way later… No idea. Maybe it did and the power off killed some file system changes, too?)

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No, it’s checked, I wish I could post a screen shot.

I’ve boosted your trust level to allow screenshots.

This is definitely not normal behavior.

What version of Scrivener, and what version of Mac OS?

Is your MacBook set to sleep automatically? If it sleeps before Scrivener saves, Scrivener won’t be able to save (or backup) until the MacBook wakes up.

The “backup on close” setting applies regardless of whether Scrivener auto-quit or was closed manually.

That’s an interesting analysis. There’s no sleep setting on battery, which must mean a built in function. Typically when I come back and press any key I’m in, even when the screen is off. BTW, there is a screen timeout option under battery.

Attached pictures of both battery and plugged in energy saving setting.

But… why not simply set auto-save to 2 seconds like it should be and have your issue fixed right away.
Setting it to ten minutes is like inviting guys from the tavern to a yoga session and expect all to go well.

The idea is to have a project file that stays up to date in case of a crash.
If you are unsure of edits you do (and are afraid Scrivener would save something you’ll regret), use snapshots and/or Backup-now.

In your case, if you write for 6 hours straight, you leave yourself exposed for 6 hours.
You completely defeat the purpose.


It’s a good idea and I will do that. but keep in mind that it did not autosave way after the 10 minutes. Snapshots are contained within the file so they won’t solve this kind of issue. The manual save will, and keep the latest snapshots, for rolling back if needed.

Your comment about the six hours implies that auto save only works after inactivity. A 2 second setting should work unless I’m pecking the keys non-stop without as much as a 2 second pause. That makes sense.

That sounds like the way to go. Seems like it should be a standard unless it was and I changed it.

Like others, I suspect your computer’s power options rendered Scrivener dormant.

Which specific power options? I’m assuming you are referring to the battery setting for screen timeout?

With the same settings this is what I got last night (NY)
Relaunched Scrivener, did a manual quit.
7:54 pm 5/22

Relaunched and left Scrivener running all night - NOT on battery.
Auto saves:
8:16 pm 5/22
9:15 pm 5/22
9:31 pm 5/22
7:11 am 5/23 auto save and backup (I found the program had quit on its own, I imagine it triggered the backup at 7:11am.)

You should have got only one.

2-sec of inactivity to do a save is the default setting.

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I am a Windows user, so I am venturing a little, but to take a guess I’d say this one:

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