"Cannot create project backup"

Upgraded to today. Now, when I close my project, I get an error "Cannot create project backup. Temporary copy destination C:[path] " Clicking OK brings up “Project backup failed Scrivener is set to back up on project close but the backup could not be created” Says location inaccessbile or insufficient space.


  1. The location path listed definitely exists and definitely has enough space.
  2. In any case, I’ve changed the backup location both in Options and in Project Settings to a different location, but the error still refers to the old location.
  3. Scrivener on my other computer, with same version and OS, does not experience this error with this same project.
  4. Project size is small.


I was gonna say:
Could be your antivirus.
And check that the location ain’t “read only”.

…But the fact that Scrivener sticks to the old backup location rules them both out. …

Ultimately save your preferences (better safe than sorry), uninstall then reinstall afresh?

Or even before going to that stage, I would save settings (see Appendix B1.1 in the user manual) and then click the Defaults button beside the Manage button where you do that. This will do a simple factory reset. See if backups work as intended in that state (they will go to Scrivener’s application support folder by default), and then change it to your intended directory and see if that works. If so far all is well, import your settings file and test one more time.

1 Like

I have acted per Amber’s instruction, reduced the number of backup files in the default location and still get an error. Still have an issue with backing up. Looking for recommended acion.

Raymond Hopkins at [personal data removed]

Specifically, what is the issue? Error message? Version of Windows, Scrivener, etc.?

Recomendation: No need to post your personal email address. Scammers will eventually get it and do things with it. Recommend you edit that out of your post.

Looking for guidance on creating a different backup location. I have a portable file as a possibility.

My computer system is operating on Windows 10.

Why? what problem are you fixing? where are files backed up now? what is the error message you mention?

Am using Scrivener 3. Project folder is on the portable drive.
Error Message: Can not create backup

Temporary copy destination: “C:\Users\mhopk\AppData\Local\Temp\AA429197-C894-4FC9-8CE9-17CA5B47F5D0\Offshore Workbook.scriv”

Hmm, with a path like that, I don’t think changing the backup folder target will help resolve the problem, because as you can see it is the temp folder that Scrivener uses to assemble a static “closed” copy of your project, to zip from (or to move from, if you have zip compression disabled), that is failing.

My bet would be on Windows Defender or third-party antivirus blocking Scrivener from using the local temp folders, and that might cause other issues (compiling uses temp folders for some outputs for example).


Not sure now, Amber. I can shut Windows Defender and check the outcome. Am searching for files with the heading "Offshore Workbook-bak-2024-04 on both C: and D: drives.

Reference; C:/Users/mhopk/AppData/Local/LiteratureAndLatte/Scrivener/Backups

I copied the last backup file starting with “(Offshore Workbook-bak-2024-04” and searched both C: and D; drives and found no more stache of backup files to reduce. Windows 10 does not recommend shutting down Windows Defender. Am using Webroot software for anti-virus protection. It has not interfered with the Scrivener backup function.

Amber, do you think deleting all backup files on the C: drive with the exception of 4 or 5 will be helpful?

Oh sure, I wouldn’t suggest turning it off entirely either. That would, if anything, be a diagnostic test, and probably best done by switching off the internet connection entirely, testing Scrivener backups with it off, then turning back on before reconnecting to the net.

Overall these problems tend more to be configuration related, than broadly with the entire tool. I doubt we would ever stop answering threads if everyone in the world that has Windows Defender enabled got an error when closing their project. :slight_smile: So the problem, if it even has anything to do with that at all, would more likely be very specific—something like perhaps Scrivener being in a quarantine state.

I’m alas not too terribly adept at navigating these waters, and am not capable of offering more precise suggestions. I primarily use Linux, and my use of Windows is in a virtual machine that is locked down and reboots to a snapshot every time, so I’ve never really bothered with anti-virus as the worst malware can do to me is make me reboot.

Amber, do you think deleting all backup files on the C: drive with the exception of 4 or 5 will be helpful?

I don’t think this has anything to do with your backup folder, no. According to the error message, the software is never even getting to your backup folder because it cannot assemble a temporary copy of the project before putting that copy into the backup folder. It’s possible the error message is misleading, in that maybe Scrivener can write to the temp folder but some other problem it isn’t programmed to detect specifically is making it look like it can’t—but to have an error so completely unrelated being thrown is less likely.

1 Like

Amber, I consulted Microsoft Support yesterday and it did not recommend turning off Windows Defender. Might a co–worker have any insights?

Would installing the program again be advised? I have a 160+ page project I do not wish to lose.

Advice above by @AmberV how to temporarily turn it off (with no Internet so risk is zilch) is for debugging purposes. Reinstalling Scrivener likely to have no impact. Very last resort, IMHO.

FYI, putting the project and backup locations on the local disk might also be in order to at least debug and perhaps keep it there.

RMS, would you recommend simply saving the project, deleting the program and uploading a MS Word copy?

No, but if it makes you feel better to not lose your 160 pages why not.

I’m wondering if the project, all 160 pages, is in one Scrivener file?

I believe so - one file.