help! project disappeared from scrivener...

help! hoping I can get some help… I opened scrivener just now to find my project had disappeared… if I search for recent folders to open and click on it, nothing happens… I have backed up in dropbox but the most recent folder seems to be saved to iCloud Drive for some reason…
tying not to panic at the thought of 80,000 words lost in cyberspace…

…and while I was typing this it’s magically reappeared :stuck_out_tongue: … so could someone advise me as to the best backup? is dropbox generally ok?

There are essentially only two major rules:

  1. Make sure that you have an automatic backup system running, like Apples built-in Time Machine, making backups of everything on your Mac to some kind of external disk.

  2. Don’t have your active project and your Scrivener-generated backups in the same location.

Then there are smaller pieces of advice, so to speak, like make sure that you have activated ’backup on project close’ in Scrivener preferences, close the project when you are not working on it (so you get the automatic backup copy), make Scrivener save the backups as zip-files to save space, if you have your active project in the Documents folder on your Mac, don’t activate ”Documents and Desktop on iCloud", don’t keep the active project on the iCloud Drive, or on Google Drive, having it in your Dropbox folder is fine, but if you do keep your backups somewhere else, activate ’backup on manual Save’, …

Thanks. all this sounds like sound advice which I shall certainly follow, especially as it’s done it to me again…

I wonder if you are experiencing a lag with internet connection or something of the sort. Dropbox is quick, but it isn’t instant. And depending on where you are, a file (or multiple files in the case of Scrivener) might be travelling anything from 1 to 12,000 miles to get to a server.

Multiple backups are always good. The old advice used to be at least three copies each in a separate physical location (i.e. not all in the same building – fire, theft and so forth are all possible). So it might also be worth investigating a service like Backblaze or Crashplan (or whatever the latter is called nowadays).

As for the underlying cause, have a look at your iCloud Drive options. ICloud Drive can be configured to “optimize disk space,” which will cause it to store things exclusively in the cloud until you need them on the local machine.

Not only is this a terrible idea in general because local hard disk space is significantly cheaper and faster than cloud storage, but it wreaks havoc with programs like Scrivener that deliberately use lots of smallish chunks in iindividual files.


The talk of your project “disappearing” and " appearing" again Does not give us enough info. We cannot tell what you are doing and seeing that prompts you to say these things. Are you just opening the Scrivener app and expecting Scriv to open your project for you (and sometimes it doesn’t)? Are you opening Scrivener and using the Open Recents menu item to open your project (and sometimes your project is not on the menu or the menu item does not do what is expected)? Are you using the Finder to navigate to where your .scriv project tile is stored (and mysteriously it is sometimes not there)? Or what? Try to describe what you are actually doing and what is actually happening, so we can better assist you.


P.S. Though Lunk (as always) had given you super excellent advice that will probably sort your problem if you follow it.


I am experiencing the same warning.

It pops up so often that I can’t write.

I have tried to follow the instructions, with no result.

What do I need to do?

I have used Scrivener for almost five years now, and never experienced it before.

Kind regards

Kind regards

@CJSB you seem to have posted in the wrong place.

My apologies.