Do All Scrivener Crashes Risk File Corruption?

Hello all—

I am very new to scrivener and just encountered a bug (I believe) that caused it to crash. (I was playing with the Project Bookmark dialog box—from the pink icon—and clicked on the arrow in the lower right corner even though I hadn’t assigned any project bookmarks yet. The moment I clicked on the arrow—poof!—scrivener crashed.)

Being a long-time quicken user, I am sensitive to the prudence of reverting to backups after a crash.

Is this also a best practice when using scrivener? Or is it overkill? What data is susceptible to corruption in a scrivener crash? Is there a file integrity check that I can run to verify that all is well and then simply carry on?

Thanks ever so much in advance,

Hi Penelope,

No, Scrivener has nothing like that.

See this post that I wrote a couple of years ago, as I think it mostly answers your question. At the end of that post, I link to another post with advice for good Scrivener backup practices.

To summarize, in my experience and the experience of posts I’ve read on this forum, true “corruption” of a Scriv doc is relatively rare these days, and when it does occur, it happens to the docs currently open in the editor(s). So if the documents you were working on are fine–and, believe me, you’d know instantly if they weren’t–then you should be fine. No need to dig through backups. That said, it can’t hurt to make a copy of your last pre-crash zipped backup and put it in some folder other than your designated Scrivener backup folder. That way it will be safe from Scrivener’s “backup purge” routine and available if it turns out you need it.



Thanks so much, Jim. It’s very reassuring to know that file corruption is immediately obvious if it’s present. (Very different from quicken!)


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Here is another post with some details on how the way Scrivener works makes widespread damage extremely difficult for the software to do even unintentionally, as per in a crash. By far most error reports we receive are from external software or the system itself causing damage.

That said, always keep several backups at a time, and as many off-site and unplugged as possible.