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Wow! I bought scrivener a while ago … set it aside due to my 8 AM- 9PM day job. When I get a chunk of time off (like now) I want to learn about use of scrivener and hopefully write. Reading about folks losing their work is scary. Reading the responses and trying to determine what it means is too. I do not want to be a victim of lost time/words/work since my time on scrivener is inconsistent. How does one know when a sync is finalized? How can one “save” when working with windows and know it is saved? What does it take? Is it true that going Mac is really the only way to prevent loss of time/writing? Is there a trick to ensuring the whole project gets saved and not just parts of the project? Now I’m just nervous about writing on scrivener and losing it all.

No, Mac computers have the same issues as the Windows one. If you search this forum you’ll notice there are an equal number of people on both platforms, that have the same problems.

The only strategy that can save your a** is to back up your work every day, on and off-site. That mean to have local and cloud copies of your backup files.

How to know when a sync is finalized? That depends on the synchronization service you’re using. Dropbox has a little icon on the menu bar that changes. Other services may have other indicators.

How to “save” and know that your work is saved? Scrivener does it automatically, whenever you’ve been idle for a (configurable) number of seconds.

Is going to a Mac the only way? No. Nor is switching to the Mac a guarantee.

How to ensure the whole project is saved? Scrivener does that for you. You only get in trouble if you move parts of the project independent from the rest of it. Easiest way to avoid doing that? Use ZIP backups if you need to permanently move a project between systems. Use the Save As command if you want to create a copy of the project in a synchronized folder, such as a Dropbox folder.

Also, as Krastev said, backup your work. Automatically. Every day. But that’s true with any work you don’t want to lose, whether created with Scrivener or another program. FWIW, I’ve been using Scrivener since the first commercial release, and I’ve never lost a syllable. Remember that people don’t generally bother to post “I’ve written 100,000 words in Scrivener and nothing bad happened,” so there’s a very significant selection bias in the forum posts.