Delete the Research Folder

I would like to delete the research folder, but that is disabled from within Scrivener. Can I safely delete it by editing the contents of the .scriv-file manually?

I found a “BinderItem” in the .scrivx-file and the binder.autosave-file. Is it sufficient to delete those items from there?

I wouldn’t – Scrivener expects three top-level folders in order for all of its functions to work properly; Draft, Research, and Trash. However, you can re-name the Research folder in Scrivener.

Or you can simply delete all the files within it so there’s nothing taking up disk space.



@xiamenese That’s not the problem. I want to reduce visual clutter.

I wouldn’t, even if it’s possible, delete it from the “.scriv file”. As said earlier, it’s a fundamental element to Scrivener. In example, if research material is imported to a nonspecific target location, Scrivener’s coding sends it to the Research folder.

Excerpt from Scrivener manual section 6.2:

6.2 The Three Root Folders
The binder has three default root folders which cannot be deleted or moved from the top level. They can be renamed and moved around among each other, but not within each other or other folders. To use Scrivener effectively, it is very important to understand the significance of these folders.

Read beyond that for a more complete understanding.

Editing the .scrivx file manually is unsupported and entirely at your own risk.

Deleting any of the three “original” project folders – Draft, Research, and Trash – by any means is unsupported and entirely at your own risk.

For a less radical solution, you might try the View → Outline → Hoist Binder command, which will limit the Binder display to only the currently selected folder and its subfolders.

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No, you cannot safely delete it. It is part of the necessary minimum content in your project. You don’t have to use it, and you can (IIRC) rename it so it is less annoying, but deleting it is disabled in the UI because Scrivener expects it to be in your project.

Thank you all. I see.

@kewms I think it might be a useful feature to be able to hide binder items without deleting them. There are projects where I don’t do research (e.g. discovery writing) or where everything except the writing is outside of Scrivener (e.g. on paper). It would be nice if I were able to limit what I see in the binder to what I actually need. Clarity is an important factor in creativity.

@kewms Also, there’s a typo at the very beginning of section 6.3 of the Mac manual, where it says “EEffectively…”.

As others mentioned, you can rename the “Research” folder to anything you like and use it for other non-draft material, if you have any, including front matter. But if you want to just make it as invisible as possible, you can change the icon via Documents ▸ Change Icon ▸ Icon from Text... and use a space character, then also rename the folder to a space character. (Leaving the title blank will cause placeholder text to appear, but a space will end up with no visible text.) You’ll still have the expansion triangle to the left, but otherwise it’s invisible. You can move it to the bottom of the binder so there’s not just a blank line in the middle of your other items.

Thanks! It looks like I already cleaned up that typo, it will be in the next revision (and may already be fixed in the online version).