Back up copies

Hi, is there anyway I can set my system to hold a back up copy from each day? For example I seem to have 5 back up copies for today already (which is the max I have set it to) but it has removed all the back ups from previous days. I’d actually like to go back to a version I was using last week to check something but that appears to have been removed.

The Scrivener → Settings → Backups tab has all the backup options. You can increase the number of backups that Scrivener retains, but you can’t set a “daily” option.

There are two alternatives. One, which we would recommend doing anyway, is to configure a Time Machine volume for your Mac. It will hold versions for as long as its disk space allows.

The other is to create manual backups (File → Backup → Backup To) at regular intervals, saved to some location other than Scrivener’s automatic backup folder.


Also, if you change your backup to 25 copies, they wouldn:t “roll off” the list quite so soon. :blush:

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I would say from previous posts and just backup experience having the number of backups set to 5 (or even 10) is a recipe for disaster.

It is too easy for an error to go unnoticed until after the 5 automatic backups and you have no way to recover back to prior to the error.

I always have Scrivener set to 25 backups and in the event of an error, think carefully about where/when it may have been introduced before I go randomly poking around my backups.

@kewms backup comments should be standard practice for anyone, regardless of the app involved.

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Also consider setting an automatic program close interval. If pair this with automatic backup on project close, you will get by default a daily backup.


Well, it’s more fair to say it is a compromise. Given how most people do not visit settings, and how some might create very large projects, we figured it would be best to not create a terabyte of backups without realising that is what you are doing. That, combined with the default of only creating a backup when the project is closed, is fairly safe.

But it’s not for everyone. There is no single set of settings that is probably best for every scenario. Some rarely close their project, leaving it open for weeks at a time, only putting the computer to sleep, and never getting any backups. Others, like the OP, open and close the project frequently. What defaults are best?

Overall I would say they work well enough, statistically. Most people we encounter that need them find what they need, when we point out they even exist (which goes back to the problem of not realising you could be creating terabytes of data).


I strongly disagree with the default setting of 5 and this rationale behind it. Even 15 would be a better default. I’ve seen many posters who’ve lost data due to seeing an issue, closing and reopening the project multiple times trying to figure out what’s wrong, and overlaying their 5 good valuable backups with 5 worthless ones. 5 just isn’t enough when someone’s in a crisis.

Seems to me the few “some” who have very large projects and might wind up with “terabytes” of backups is a problem that would likely raise it’s head long before data loss occurs. While the users on the other side of the compromise experience actual data loss.

I can see the sense in most all of L&L’s design decisions, even those I disagree with. But, I’m sorry to say, this one has never made sense to me.



I would say that relying only on Scrivener’s automatic backups, with no Time Machine or other secondary backup, is a recipe for disaster, regardless of this setting.


The advantage of 25 backups cover if errors go undetected for multiple project saves. You can for large projects periodically slim backups. When I do this I will every or every third day delete/ thin backups. Also with usb keys so cheap, easy to have plenty of room for another backup. With a zip backup putting those backups on a cloud drive with a local backup provides an additional protective layer.


That goes without saying, despite how many times it HAS to be said. :grinning: