Corrupted Project Won't Open Warning

The following dialog box showed up when I tried to launch one of my scrivener projects. It says I should instead open the package contents and look for a file called “binder.scrivproj”. I have viewed the contents of several of my projects (scrivener packages, the ones that do open correctly) and none of them contain a file by this title???

Randall Lee Reetz
Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 7.59.32 PM.png

This is a project, one that does open in scrivener correctly, when its package is opened revealing the files and folders within. No such “binder.scrivproj” file exists???

Like the text says: files of an older format should have a binder.scrivproj file, not your new project.

The structure in your screenshot is fine.

I notice that the project is stored in iCloud Drive, though. As a first step, please go to Apple -> System Preferences -> Internet Accounts, and look at your iCloud Drive Options. Under Documents and Desktop, make sure the “Optimize Mac Storage” option is not checked. (Note that Catalina has moved these options around in a fairly confusing way. Go here if you aren’t seeing the checkbox described above:

When that option is enabled, iCloud will store older files – which in this case would be most of the project – on its server, downloading them to the local machine only as needed. Since Scrivener expects all files to be immediately available, this option is almost guaranteed to cause problems.


Really? Why? Certainly scrivener was written to only open or allow edits to a project that it has full access to… No???

That is not what the text in the dialog says. Not at all. It makes no claim that “binder.scrivproj” is a document that is only present in older versions of scrivener projects.

Randall Lee Reetz

If it is true that the document “binder.scrivproj” is only present in older formats of scrivener project packages… what has replaced that document in more recent formats of scrivener project packages?

Randall Lee Reetz

If you read it again, you’ll hopefully realize that’s what it says.
Was the project created by an older version of Scrivener?

Scrivener expects all files to be available locally on your HD, not to hypothetically be downloaded from a server in case Scrivener needs them.

Do you always question why things you use are designed the way they are and request that the designer changes them to suit your way of using them, instead of using them the way they are meant to be used? :slight_smile:

For performance reasons, Scrivener only loads individual documents as needed. It has no way of knowing whether it has access to a specific document within a project until it actually tries to load it.


The project.scrivx file.

To see what Scrivener’s project structure looks like, locate a working project in Finder, right-click, and choose the option to Show Package Contents. Feel free to browse to your heart’s content, but don’t change anything.