Backups in Dropbox Multiply

In light of an earlier discussion I recently began to save my scrivener backups in my dropbox folder. I like this because it means that even if my computer completely dies I’ve got my work saved.
However, I know that I have numerous versions of the backup in my folder, for example Project, Project … Project A

is this normal? It uses up space. I would think that the single current backup would be adequate, especially since I also use Time Machine.

Thanks for any help,


You can set how many backups to keep in the settings, but let me pose this question to you: What happens if you screw something up, and quit/trigger the replacement of your one and only backup, and you’ve been away from your time machine drive for a day or two? If this isn’t a concern (you use a desktop machine which is always attached to the time machine drive), then you should be okay to keep just one, but redundancy is good. Also, redundancy is good. And third: redundancy is good.

Hi Chuck,

If you’re using Scrivener’s automated backup feature, you can set how many backups it keeps in Preferences:Backup. The bottom check-box option lets you set Scrivener to keep only a certain number of backups and the drop-down menu then lets you choose how many.

In general, it’s a good idea to have more than one, hence the menu starting at 3. It’s easy to accidentally overwrite a backup and it’s better to have a couple others in place just in case that happens. This is still beneficial even with Time Machine as another safety net, since if you’re not careful about when Time Machine’s backups occur they might catch the project while it’s open and end up not working quite right if you try to restore (best to close all your projects in the evening, for instance, and run a final Time Machine backup and then close, so that’s the saved TM back up for the day). And Time Machine’s backups of your automated Scrivener backups will of course just be whatever that backup was…so if you overwrote a good backup with an accidental bad one and TM backs up that second one, it won’t do you much good.

Anyway, I’m stressing the “make lots of backups” because it’s just good practice and while it seems like a lot of extra copies now, if something does go wrong (which I certainly hope it never will!) it’s much worse to regret not having them when it’s too late. :wink: But obviously choose what works for you, and with Dropbox and TM both going as well that helps a lot to get your backups somewhere safe.

Oh, also remember that you can exclude any individual project from the automated backups, so if you have projects that are exceptionally large you can choose File>Back Up>Exclude from Automatic Backup and then just take care of backing up that one yourself. Since it’s not automated, you have to remember to do it, but you can also make sure it’s in exactly the right state when you backup (so less risk of overwriting a copy you wanted to keep with one you didn’t). For smaller projects, especially if you choose to compress the backups, the space taken by each one may be negligible especially countered against the usefulness of lots of backups!

Thanks for all of this excellent advice.