Backup Projects

I’ve read through backup topics herein, but need to clarify 1) do I zip projects? 2) do I keep only the latest version in the Projects Backup folder in Dropbox?
Here’s the Project title as it is in Dropbox : Buchholz-Ryna’s Line 4 2.scriv. sometimes the numbers show as 4 1. or other
But there are also a whole bunch with dates attached.
How do I set up my backups for projects in Dropbox?
Thanks, Bonnie

You might find reading over the project organization Knowledge Base article helpful in considering how you want to manage your live projects and their backup copies. It gives some insights into why you may want more than one backup copy of your project.

It may also help to know that Scrivener’s defaults have it creating ZIP files for your backups, and that it stores 5 backups for each project. If you go to the Scrivener menu on the Mac version and then select “Preferences,” you can then select “Backup,” the tab on the far right of the Preferences pane.

There, you can see how many backup copies Scrivener is making, where they are stored, and whether or not they are zipped. You also have the option to have Scrivener add a date stamp to each backup.

If you want to point your backup folder to Dropbox rather than Scrivener’s default location, you can make that change from the Backup preference pane. To do so, you’ll select the “Choose” button next to the Backup Location file path box. From there, you can navigate to the new location where you want your backups stored.

If any of that is unclear, please let me know.

Thank you, Ruth. Most helpful. I have a mess as I had put Scrivener Projects and Scrivener Backups both on Dropbox. I have now separated the Backups to suggested location (Library/Support Application…) and left Projects on Dropbox.
As I understand it, there should be only one Project for each subject, not a long list of the various versions? I had to go through all to find the right one. Still not sure I’ve done it effectively? Bonnie

I’m glad those suggestions helped.

As for how many working copies of a project someone has, that’s based on personal preference again.

In the Scrivener Manual, Chapter 5 covers a lot of material about how projects might be structured as well as managing backups, merging projects, and a host of other options and information. The Manual can be accessed via Scrivener’s Help menu.

Since you have multiple versions of your project, reviewing that material might help you sort through those versions and determine how and where to store them. (It might also help you decide if retaining those copies is even necessary.)

Thanks again, Ruth…will read Chap. 5.

I read through Chap 5 as suggested, but did not see specifically about whether to sync Live Projects in Dropbox or simply save, which I’ve apparently been doing so reason I have many?!
Thanks, Bonnie

In preferences in the backup tab i recommend strongly that you configure automatic backups. i keep 25 that are generated on open and close. i put in ~/backups/scrivener folder. that folder and whole machine backed up with a rigorous backup regime.

risky to rely on just saving your projects without backup unless you are not concerned about losing some or everything on your computer.

You can save your working copy to Dropbox if you’d like. You can also save it to your computer’s hard drive via a folder like Documents if you prefer. Whichever choice you make, Scrivener will autosave to that location periodically while you are writing.

And, if you use the File → Save command at the end of your writing session, Scrivener will save the last of your changes to your designated save location. Then, you can close the project (which will trigger its backup process, assuming your Scrivener settings only create backups on close).

Some users prefer to save a second copy of the working project to a cloud drive, external hard drive, or USB drive to make sure they have a second copy outside of Scrivener’s processes and their computer’s hard drive. And that’s not a bad plan.

However, it sounds like you have multiple copies that you weren’t necessarily intending to create. If that’s the case, then it’s possible you have used the File → Save As… command instead of File → Save. That Save As… command tells Scrivener to create a second copy of your project, and it asks you to give this new copy a name.

Once you name the new copy, Scrivener closes the old copy, and any changes you make will only be saved in the new copy.

That File → Save As… command is one of the reasons why some users fear they have lost days of work. It’s easy to click “Save As” in a moment of distraction, which creates a new project. Days later, the person opens the version with the old name, but it doesn’t have the most recent writing.

Does that help explain the multiple copies you’ve encountered?


Absolutely, Ruth ! Your explanation is very thorough indeed. Now I know the safest options and how to set up as well.
Thank once again for your help.

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