Can't open scrivx in Windows

I must be missing something completely obvious but I just can’t get this thing figured out. I ask Scrivener to open a project. I can’t import entire .scrivx folder because it’s a freaking folder and windows explorer just opens the folder. When I try to import just the .scriv Scrivener tells me that is the main structure file but it can’t find other files – all of which are in the scrivx file which is the same directory as the .scriv file.

Hi NoSuchGirl, and welcome to the forum.

Scrivener uses what’s known as a “file package” or “container file” format for its projects.

That is, the entire .scriv folder on your PC needs to be moved as a single unit from its current storage location to any new location. Otherwise, the Scrivener project cannot be loaded on your PC.

That .scrivx file you see inside the .scriv folder is only the internal index file. Your project’s text is stored as a large number of RTF files inside the “Data” subfolder. The index gives each RTF an identifying series of letters and number so it can track their updates and location in the binder.

You should be able to double-click on the .scrivx file to have Scrivener open both that project and the software. Provided that the .scriv folder’s contents are all present and intact.

Just realized there’s no data folder in the scrivx folder.

Ouch. Yes, that will be the issue. Unfortunately.

Do you still have that data elsewhere? Or, can you restore from one of Scrivener’s automatic backups?

In the Scrivener 3 manual, §5.2.3 explains accessing and restoring from the backups. We also have this Knowledge Base article with the recovery steps.

Ok I found what I think is the correct data folder and copied it into the directory with Files and Settings folders but it still says it can’t find the other files. They’re still in the same directory as the scriv file.

So I’m back to the original problem.

Have you tried restoring from the backups using that Knowledge Base link?

Each backup should be a full copy of the project with all of the .scriv data in the correct place. You wouldn’t need to fiddle with copying materials from one folder to another.

Instead, you’ll delete the corrupted copy, restore from the most complete backup, rename it, and move forward with it as the main, working project.

That folder is empty.

Have you recently changed Scrivener’s backup settings in File > Options > Backup?

Or, has this project not been closed before this?

I ask because Scrivener should be creating a full backup of the project in that folder each time the project is closed on your computer. For that folder to have no backups at all, it suggests this is a brand-new project that hasn’t been closed or the backups’ storage location was changed.

(I suppose other options could be that some file-management utility deleted those backups or backups aren’t set to run at all, but both of those seem less likely.)

Is this project stored to your OneDrive or Dropbox storage? Or, is it on the PC’s hard drive in the Documents folder or on the Desktop?

I’m just wondering if you’re using a cloud-storage account that might have a deleted-files recovery option or perhaps be storing the .scriv folder in an “online-only” setting. That might prevent the materials from downloading correctly when you’re trying to restore the .scriv folder’s contents.

On some help tickets I’ve seen recently, OneDrive has defaulted to backing up user’s data even when users didn’t think it was, so that might be something to review as well.