Backups - Just To Be Clear

Being a new user to Scrivener, I want to be clear about backups.

Am I correct in assuming that:

  1. If I compile my entire draft folder, and export it as an .rtf file, I have a complete copy of my draft document? Which I can then backup to a separate hard drive or Dropbox location?

  2. That if I backup my project’s .scriv file/folder in the Finder to another hard drive, I have an exact duplicate of my project?

  3. That the files within the .scriv project file/folder located at .scriv > Files > Docs (and named things like “9.rtf”) are the individual documents which form the Scrivener project? And that, in a worse case scenario, I could use these docs to reassemble my manuscript without Scrivener.

  1. Yes. Although some caution is required because the Compile function, by design, can be told to assemble anything from a single sub-document all the way up to the entire draft, and can also be told to include just titles, just synopses, and so forth.

  2. Yes. If you do this outside of Scrivener, it’s a good idea to make sure that Scrivener is closed at the time so that there aren’t any unsaved changes to the file.

  3. Yes. Appendix E of the Scrivener manual documents the project format in detail.

Scrivener also makes automatic backups, the settings for which are defined in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups tab. It’s a good idea to check those settings to be sure the backup files are being saved in the appropriate location at the appropriate interval for the way you work.


Thanks Katherine, this is helpful information, including the cautions. I’ll checkout the setting you mentioned.