backups, crashes and freezes

recently, as my project gets longer (70,000 words, quite a few folders etc.) scrivener is often quitting unexpectedly.
I started exporting manual RTF backups, but usually this cause scrivener to freeze.
So now I ticked the option for “Backup with each manual save” - with this at least nothing crashes.

What I don’t understand is what exactly this backup includes.
Like, when exporting RTF backup, I get the whole folder structure with all the documents.
But the automatic backups, they gust generate a single .scriv file - is this file containing a physical backup of the whole folders tree and the files inside? Or is this .scriv file just holding the general project outline, with pointers to somewhere else where the actual text files are stored?

Naturally, if there’s a way to stop the crashes I would love to hear of it!
But if not - at least if someone could clarify the nature of the .scriv backups I would be grateful.

The .scriv “file” is actually a folder, with subfolders and potentially hundreds of component files. It contains the entire contents of your project, excluding any files that are imported “as aliases.”

What does the crash report say?


Thanks Ketherine, that’s good to know.
I guess the crash report is something included in the popup messages that popo after crashes… haven’t saved any (did send one or two to scrivener team though, there was no reply).
If there’s a way to find historical crash reports please let me know and I’ll share.

Here’s how to find crash reports on your system: … 4be99a/mac

We don’t typically respond to reports from the automated crash reporter. If you need a personal response, open a support ticket here:


Couldn’t find any scrivener crash reports, guess they’re being discarded after a while.
Interesting to note that since I started saving manually before quitting, I haven’t had a single crash. Might have been just luck, I don’t know.
I’ll send crash reports of I’ll have any.

attached is a crash report of a fresh crash.
As before, it happened after few hours of writing.
I close the project, and immediately after it’s closing down, scrivener’s main window also disappears (usually the main window stays open).
I don’t know how to read this crash report, but if anyone can and has any idea what’s wrong with my scrivener I’ll be grateful.
crash_report_20200716.txt (94.1 KB)

The crash report appears to involve problem with a large table. Is there one in the project?

If so, try creating a brand new blank project, dragging the table into it, and deleting it from the original project.

Does the new project crash?

Does the original project still crash?


Nope, there’s no table, nor list or anything alike.
Can you see the location of the problematic section? The project tree is quite hefty so any pointer may help to pinpoint the “corrupted” document.
Possibly there may be some list I copied from google docs into one of the notes sections that may contain a table/list format. It woudn’t be “big” but maybe big enough to cause trouble.
I emptied the trash can just in case there’s something there.
When I opened scrivener there was the crash popup that had a somehwat different crash report - please see attached.
crash_report_20200716_scriv.txt (109 KB)

Please reset the project display settings, as explained here: … y-settings

If that doesn’t help, I’ll need to take a look at the project. Please open a support ticket here:
Include my name in the subject line and reference this forum thread.

You can email a project by using the File -> Backup -> Backup To command, and checking the box to create a ZIP backup.


Ok, I’ll reset as you suggest and get back to you if the issue reappears.

update: had no crashes since the reset. Fingers crossed :slight_smile: