Content lost from some of my files - help please!

The content in several of my research files is now blank. That’s months of work, so help appreciated, please.
I’ve read all the answers I can find in the forum and nothing there seems to work.

  • Using Windows 10
  • A fortnight ago, Windows suggested I should back up my files to OneDrive. Seemed a good idea. The missing content started after that. Now I realise this wasn’t such a good idea.
    Suspect this could all be a sync problem, but I don’t know how to/if I can fix it
  • I’ve tried accessing my Scrivener files in OneDrive. I can’t find a zipped file there.
  • I also tried creating a new project and importing my current project into it. The blank pages are still… blank in the new version

I’ve read that I need to set OneDrive to have my project available offline but I haven’t tried that yet for fear of losing anything else. (tbh I’m shuttling between terror and misery)

I don’t even know if I should open Scrivener at all now.

Can you help? And please assume I’m not 100% with technical language. Thanks!

This is happening because of the OneDrive settings, you need to follow the advice you mentioned.

Your Scrivener files aren’t zipped, the back-ups are. You should put those in a different place.

I have Scrivener files in OneDrive (set to save offline) and backups go to a portable hard drive.

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Thanks!
Which part of the advice? Setting OneDrive to offline?
And where would I find the backups?
(This is all new to me)

Yes, setting it to offline. If you have files set to offline, software (whatever it is) brings what it thinks it needs to give you the data. This isn’t a problem with photo or word etc, but Scrivener has a number of files all linked by a “master” document. In your case it’s bringing the binder but not the actual documents, hence they’re blank.

Back ups will be wherever you have set them to go. Look in Options.

As @philwild says, back ups are where you put them. I’d suggest you put them somehwere other than where you keep your Scrivener Projects, e.g. Scrivener on offline OneDrive, and backups on local disk, or visa versa.

And, do you have a reason to put Scrivener on Onedrive? Why not keep local and stop messing with the complexity of Onedrive for such important files?

Thanks, Phil. I’ll give that a go

No reason to put Scrivener on Onedrive except that I had no idea it was a bad idea

It’s not necessarily a “bad” idea, but you do need to beware of the potential issues. I have a folder which has all my work in it. This whole folder is set as offline, so anything I save there will be synced with OneDrive and therefore available on my other laptop.

If no reason, then I recommend you not do it. Put the Scrivener project files local, say as a subfolder in your “home”, e.g. ~/documents/scrivener. Put the backups somewhere else. I use ~/backups/scrivener and use the routine system backup regime to backup Scrivener projects, Scrivener backups, and everything else. You do have a backup regime for your computer? Lots can go wrong so system backups essential, IMHO.

Thank you! This is really helpful

Update: I’ve had some excellent advice on what to do next (thank you @philwild and @rms).

But my backups on the PC are all missing the content, too. Am I right in thinking it’s gone forever?

I have a backup on an external drive, but it hasn’t got the work I’ve done in the past couple of weeks. I may just have to wave it goodbye

This is not an accurate description.

Files in the OneDrive (or whatever) folder will always be uploaded to the OneDrive server, from which point they will be accessible to other devices that have access to your OneDrive account. (Subject to whatever options you have configured on the other device.)

If a file or folder is configured to be “available offline,” then OneDrive (or whatever) will also ensure that the contents are stored locally on the current system. You should always configure this option with respect to Scrivener projects.

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Have you enabled the “available offline” option for both the projects themselves and their backups?

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Thank you, yes, I have