Cannot find projects after upgrading to version 3

Today I upgraded from scrivener 2 to 3 and lost ALL recent work! I mean all of it. Why does that happen? I don’t want to repeat this mistake. It automatically saves every 2 seconds of pause, and I deliberately save it, too. But it’s not in Scrivener or iCloud or TimeMachine. What do you think could have gone wrong with all these saves? Was the new version NOT supposed to replace the old version?

Have you searched for .scriv projects in Finder?

It is normal for Scrivener 3’s Recent Projects menu to be empty when it first launches. That doesn’t mean your work is “lost,” it just means Scrivener 3 hasn’t opened the projects yet.


Can you please tell me how I access my file after I’ve updated to S3?


When you start a new project in Scrivener you give it a name and specify where you want it saved.

Your projects remain in exactly the same place where they were before you upgraded. Simply locate them in Finder and then either double-click on the one you want to work with or open it from within Scrivener with File -> Open and navigate to the correct folder.

Ok, that worked. Thank you!! Most appreciated.

Another question: I got a message saying I shouldn’t back up to this folder as it’s not the default and may override previous zip file (or something along those lines.)

Despite this message, the folder I’ve been backing up to is the default (I’m too clueless about this stuff to do anything different to what I was directed to do way back when I installed the previous version of Scrivener). Anyway, what I want to know is, where’s the best place to back up the ongoing file, as the Library isn’t saved in iCloud? Is it best to just direct it to my Documents folder for example?

Any tips welcome! And if so, where do I change the location? Is this from Scrivener>File>Back Up>Back Up To???

Thanks again.

This sounds like you’re editing a project in the backup folder to me. You want your “live” project to be elsewhere, and indeed, if you do a search across your entire mac for the project’s name, you may find that you’ve converted and edited a backup copy, rather than the one your were last working on.

Ok, that is entirely probable!

I haven’t actually made any edits on the copy I’m currently looking at in the new version of Scrivener. Any tips for how to find the ‘live’ version and whether it has the same name? I can’t find it.

Can anyone please help with instructions?

I really can’t do this stuff. Desperate to keep working on my book.


You can locate all projects on your Mac by searching for .scriv files in Finder.

When Scrivener 3 upgraded the project, it would have made a copy in the same location with the name [My Project] backup.scriv.


Thanks Katherine.

I can’t find anything other than the backup folder with previous backups Scrivener has made.

This is what I’ve done: I accessed the Backup folder in the Library and selected the most recent backup. It opened in Scrivener 3.

The message i get is ‘Project not in a recommended save location’ (see attachment of message screenshot)

So, where is this illusive ‘current’ project file?! The only options in the Library>Application Support>Scrivener folder are Backups, CompileSettings, Logs, Templates and Themes.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 2.51.04 pm.png

The reason that you got that warning is that you opened the bavkup in its current location, turning it from backup to live project. What you should have done was to copy the backup to somewhere else and then open the copy.

§where did you use to save your projects? You were asked to give a name and a save location every time you created a project.

Hi lunk,


I’ve only ever created one project, and I would’ve saved it in the location that Scrivener suggested at the time. This would’ve been 4 years ago (i.e. no idea!)…

Is the live project the doc that is selected when I click Show Project in Finder (as per screenshot above)? If so, this doc is in the same folder as the backups. Is this what it’s saying - that I should move it outside of the backups folder and place it somewhere else?

Thank you.