I’m just about to get started with Scrivener for the first time but I’d like to know how best to handle backups. I know this is a bit backwards, but that’s how my brain works. And I know there’s a lot bee written on the subject but it seems to have become one of those about which so much has been written that it’s become confusing.

I’m working in Windows 8 on a desktop. I oly use this computer, although can see the advantage of having cloud based files should I go away and want to work.

Reading around here I understand that Google Drive has characteristics that render it inappropriate for use as a backup facility for Scrivener. Is this still right? And also that most people seem to use Dropbox. I have an awful lot of research material and would instantly exceed the 2Gb limit for DB and, being skint, would prefer a free option if one is available.

Could someone please point out the most popular method for backing up Scrivener files now, from Windows 8, such that corruption risk is minimised, and also I don’t get odd errors if working in Scrivener whilst an automated backup to such a cloud based facility is taking place?

My primary requirement is simply security of data, and to avoid losing work. My secondary requirement is to be able to work on the files on another computer.

Thanks for your help.


You can set up your preferences for your backups to zip compress the backups, then point them at any folder you like. I believe that Google Drive would be fine for that, assuming that it monitors a folder on your computer and uploads any changes there to it’s servers. The issue with GD is that it is not suitable for keeping a “live” project. By sending zip-compressed backups to GD, you avoid it’s limitations. I’d experiment with it for a while, by sending backups to it, then re-downloading those backups on to another computer or another user account on your computer, unzipping them, and seeing if Scrivener has any issues with it’s files.

Also, check for information on the maximum size of individual files on GD; the zipped backup might exceed that.

The other option is to go with a full-fledged backup solution like CrashPlan, and just back up all of your computer’s files to an external backup drive, which at least give you redundancy (data on more than one physical device). If you have a friend with enough expertise and a router that can share a drive CrashPlan apparently can let you send your backups to that drive in his house, eliminating the issues related to burglary, fire/flood/other disaster.

Thanks for that. Just looked at the Crashplan website and it looks excellent. Good value too. Not quite sure why it’s better than Google Drive, or MS Skydrive which is free with Windows, but there must be a reason…

Understand the GD issue now. Cheers.

The reason it’s better: it encrypts the data at your computer before sending it out into the internet; no one along the way to it’s destination can see the original files (nor anyone at the destination either). Also, it’s a full-fledged backup solution. It backs up not just your documents, but all of your files & settings & programs and everything that’s on your computer… if you choose to make it do that.