Cannot Open Previous Scrivener File(s)

Greetings Friends. My issue is that after returning to a months-old Scrivener project, it will not open. I get the message:

“TBD.scrivx” is the main structure file for a project, but other required files for this project could not be found: the \Files\Data and \Settings folders are missing.

I created a new project and put the .scrivx in the folder, then it opens, but all of my content is missing?

Any help is desperately appreciated to recover my content. Thank You.

1 - One scenario is that the project’s .scrivx file was moved out of the .scriv project folder.

If your .scrivx file is named TBD.scrivx, then somewhere on your PC there should be a corresponding folder called TBD.scriv.

Use Windows search to locate folder TBD.scriv on your PC. Then move file TBD.scrivx back into folder TBD.scrivx.

After you’ve done that, double-click on file TBD.scrivx–your project should open correctly.

Once you’ve got the project working again, see if you can figure out how file TBD.scriv got moved out of project folder TBD.scrivx. You really want to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and that it hasn’t happened to any of your other projects.

2 - Another scenario is that you’re using a sync service set to save space by only downloading files when you use them. This will result in incomplete downloads. Change the setting to download everything and let your system fully sync before trying to open Scrivener.

3 - A third scenario is that you’ve transferred your project to a new PC recently, but instead of moving the .scriv project folder in its entirety, you only moved the .scrivx file. To correct this, find the .scriv project folder on your old PC and move it the new PC, making sure that the .scrivx file ends up inside the .scriv project folder.

There may be other scenarios, but hopefully you’ll find the above info helpful. If you have more info about what may have transpired, please share.


A .scrivx never contains content. It sounds like you’ve separated the XML index file (.scrivx) from all the rest of the project.

When you back up the project back up as a zip folder then all the project files and the .scrivx will always be together. Could look at File>options>backup and look at bottom of panel for backup folder and start looking there for original scriv folder with all project files.