Computer crashed - project opens empty


I had a project with a lot of work in it. Computer locked up and I had to do a hard shutdown. Rebooted and opened up Scrivener to a blank project. Not only did I lose everything since the last save, but the entire project. It looks like there are some backup files but I think the last one was from yesterday. I’m sure the last 6 hours of work is gone. (My fault, I though I had it set to auto-save periodically instead of only at close.)

I can’t figure out how to restore a backup even after reading the instructions several times. The backups are in zip files and when I try to extract the .scriv folder from inside the zip, it copies the top level folder and nothing else.

Searched here and elsewhere for detailed instructions but didn’t find what I needed.


You have to extract all the zip contents, not just the top .scriv folder.

Try clicking on the zip file with the right mouse button and select an option that extracts the zipped file. It’s likely your system already includes one.

Once you’ve done that, go to the extracted .scriv folder and double click on the project.scrivx file.

Does that help?

Tried that but the files error instead of unzipping.

Try using Windows Explorer to do the extraction instead of 7zip, I recall there being problems with our zips with that utility.

Thanks! That worked. But they are all empty.

I see why I thought I has set it for backup on manual save - I set it this time and unchecked backup on close. But when I opened it the settings had returned. Backup on close was checked and backup on manual save wasn’t. Since the changes settings didn’t stick I"m sure I overwrote the backups with the new empty file by opening it multiple times.

I need to do a re-install of Windows anyway. Hopefully that will fix the setting changes not being kept problem.

Before you do the reinstall, if you’re on Vista or higher and used the Windows backups/restore points, you might want to check on restoring previous versions of files–you may be able to retrieve earlier backups that you’ve since overwritten or even retrieve a more recent pre-crash copy of the working project.

There were some available, but none from yesterday after I had started the new project. :frowning:

I’m sorry you lost your work. The default backup settings is to keep the last 5 auto backups only. I have changed it to keep some more. This may be useful for you too in the future.