External backup

Hi there,

I have a basic question about backing up my folder on Scrivener. I’ve recently converted to Mac and bought a new version today, I previously used a Windows version

I’ve watched the video about backing up, but I would like someone to have a look at this. I’ve backed it up in iCloud Drive, Is this the best way, or is it advisable to save it elsewhere too like Dropbox? If so, how do I go about doing this?

Many thanks!
Screenshot 2019-04-26 at 18.14.09.png

Split to more appropriate forum.

iCloud is fine.

Neither iCloud nor Dropbox is adequate as your only backup strategy. I’d recommend also configuring a Time Machine backup, and potentially also an offsite backup service like BackBlaze.


Cheers for the advice!


So sorry to bombard you again with messages. But I seemed to have across another problem, hopefully this will be the last post.

I clicked on a project in the backup folder because I wanted to see if it was all there. But I got an error message, see below. I have read the instructions, and its says basically this happens because I have saved my project in the same folder as my backup folder. But I have changed my backup folder to be saved on iCloud Drive (the main project is I believe saved in Documents). So I don’t understand the problem.Is this because you shouldn’t open a backup folder whilst you have access to the current project?

Now what has happened, when I open my project there is a duplicate project called Behind the Counter 3. What’s your best advice on dealing with this? I’d like to delete this version, and just have the original one there. I will follow you advice and buy a hard drive then so my backup folder is linked to this instead.

Screenshot 3.png

Thanks very much,

Screenshot 2019-04-26 at 18.14.09.png

This happens because you decompressed the backup while it’s in your backup folder and then opened the decompressed project there. This confuses Scrivener no end. Best practice is to copy the backup to your desktop, then decompress it and open the result. This way your automatic backup folder stays neat, and Scrivener doesn’t get confused.

Hope this helps!

Okay thanks for the quick response! Got it!

But I want to delete the project Behind the Counter 3. Can I do this without deleting the original?

Thanks very much

Should be OK, but let me get back to you this evening. I’m away from my Mac just now… :smiley:

Back at my Mac now! I’ve re-examined your screenshots carefully, and I can make some suggestions:

  1. I suggest that you increase your number of backups kept (in your Scrivener Backup preferences) to at least 25. The reason is that if something (Heaven forfend) happens to your project and it goes wonky, you may open and close your project several times to try different things to get it working. By the time you decide that you need to restore from backup, 5 of them can easily have been overwritten. (This happened to me once. I had to go back 11 backups to find one that was good.)
  2. NONE of the files ending in “.scriv” in your iCloud drive should be kept. I strongly suggest you delete them all. They are only copies of your original project which is (presumably) stored somewhere else on your internal hard drive. If you store an unzipped Scrivener project on iCloud and try to work on it, it can be corrupted. Where did you ORIGINALLY store your Scrivener project? That should be the only copy of that .scriv project on your internal hard drive, and it should NOT be in iCloud. I strongly suggest you keep only zipped backups (ending in .zip) on iCloud.
  3. Finally, please follow the steps in the screenshots below to prevent any of your working projects from being copied to iCloud without your knowledge, and then deleted from your internal hard drive. This is known to have corrupted projects.


Thank you so much for your response. I followed your instructions, indeed that extra folder was removed. Yes I think by doing that it had corrupted the file. I’m going to have watch some videos to figure out how to find out where I saved it originally etc. It looks like it is saved on my desktop. It also looks like my backups are now saved in the backup folder. I think the issue was that I saved my backups in iCloud because I thought this would double backup it in and would be safer.

Either way cheers for the help!


If you tick the box in Preferences → Backups to save the backups as .zip files you can have them in an iCloud folder. I don’t have mine in iCloud but in another cloud service, and with backups to Time Machine to be extra safe.