How to recover deleted text

I deleted text when listening to my write-up on my phone. Can I recover the text?

Here is what happened, I highlighted a large section of text to have the section spoken out loud on my phone. I was interrupted, When I put the phone in my pocket I touched the keyboard, When I hit the keyboard I replaced the highlighted text with the gibberish letter I struck. Bang, 2,000 words are gone. Not knowing I made such a bonehead move, I closed the program without looking at my mistake and trying to recover the words.

After that the cloud took over, and the latest version of Scrivener on my Apple phone updated to all my computers erasing the text in my story.

Can I now recover the lost text? If so how? Any help is welcome,

I found a out of sync version from 5 days ago, so I recovered some of the write up, but I’d put about 30 hours into the section of writing since then.
I did not have auto snapshot “on,” but I was backing up, but I could not get the last backup to show the past text. The backup showed the change. I stopped messing with the backups not wanting to overwrite anything else. I only do three backups because I have a big file and fear I’ve already burned through them opening the file once on my computer and once on my phone.

ETA: Sorry, I just noticed you are on Mac as well as Windows. My instructions below apply to both Mac and Windows. Look through the backups on both systems.

First thing to do, on Windows, is copy your backup zip files to another folder. Your Desktop is fine. The idea is that, once they are out of the designated Scrivener backup folder, this will preserve them from Scrivener’s backup auto-delete. And they won’t sync to DropBox.

Here’s what I would then do.

  1. Unzip one of the copied backups on the desktop. (But don’t trash the copied zip files yet)

  2. Rename the unzipped folder and the project file inside. So if the original folder/project name is “MyGreatThoughts”, I’d rename it to “MyGreatThoughts-backup1”. This is to differentiate between the backups you are opening, vs. your live project. And opening the renamed backup project won’t cause any of your live project backups to disappear.

  3. Open project MyGreatThoughts-backup1

  4. If you find your deleted words, do a happy dance, then copy them into your live project.

  5. If you don’t find your deleted words, got back to #1 and try again. Assign the next backup a different name, say MyGreatThoughts-backup2.

If you don’t find your deleted words in any of the backups, then I don’t have any further suggestions for you. Perhaps someone else here will think of something.

Although, doesn’t DropBox keep versions of individual files? So maybe you can find an earlier version of the doc that contained the 2,000 words that way. I thought I read that somewhere. If so, it’s possible they are lurking somewhere in the cloud. You might want to research that.

The other thing is, after you’ve worked through this issue, you may want to rethink only keeping 3x backups.


Thank you!

Happy dance time! :smiley:

Turns out on the Mac I had 6 set for backups and not the 3 I had for the Windows. On backup 6 the file was still whole, mostly. Thank you. I found the idea of coping and renaming clear, but not intuitive, so thank you so much. If I had fumbled with it anymore I’d have over written the last backup.

My exact steps are below in the event they help someone else.

Find Backup files
Tools Options (F12) [left screen] Backup [Backup location:] C:\Users\mharrell\Ash Grove Cement Company\OneDrive - Ash Grove Cement Company\Documents-OneDrive\ScrivBackups

Copied the backup folders to a thumb drive
I had three backups I copied all three zip folders to a thumb drive.

I renamed the zip folders “thing recovered 1” “thing recovered 2” thing recovered 3”
I unzipped “thing recovered 1” and renamed the program file “thing recovered 1.scriv

I then repeated, going to the oldest date and working forward to locate the best file to use. When this did not work on the Windows I did the same for the Mac, finding what I was after on the last file on the MAC.

Great news, glad you were able to recover most of your words! :smiley: