I have lost a week's worth of work...

Hi. Here are the technical details:

MacOS 10.13.2
Scrivener 3.0.3

Yesterday I was working on my dissertation in Scrivener. The file is called “Projects,” and is stored in a folder in my iCloud drive. I have automatic backups enabled, and my backup location is on Google Drive.

This morning I clicked on the Scrivener icon in my dock, like I always do. Instead of opening the Projects file (the ONLY scrivener project I have), it opened a much older version of the file from approximately two months ago. I received a warning dialogue box that said I had a number of “recovered files” which had been placed in a recovered files folder in my scrivener project. In this recovered files folder, there were hundreds of my old scrivener files (scrivenings?), but many of the files I had recently created (including those I created yesterday) were still missing, along with all of the folders I had created.

When I checked my Scrivener Backups folder, my project was not there.

I went into my Mac backups (via Time Machine) and was able to retrieve a more recent version of my project, but it was only as recent as my last system-wide backup (which is my own fault for not backing up more recently).

Okay, so I have done some reading through the forums and I now understand that my previous setup was not ideal. In my own defense, I thought that using cloud storage for both the project file and backup would increase the odds that I’d avoid this kind of problem.

What I would like to know is whether or not there’s any way for me to recover my old file using Scrivener? Also, can I assume that automatic backups did not work because I was saving to a folder that is synced in the cloud (i.e., Google Drive)? If not, then it seems like the automatic backups feature failed me.

Thanks for the help.

Scrivener’s automatic backups can be saved to any location, including “cloud” servers, as long as that location is accessible via Finder.

I would recommend checking the option to ZIP your automatic backups, though, as cloud servers generally and Google Drive in particular can have problems with the complex ‘package’ that makes up a Scrivener project.

The most common reason for automatic backup failure is mismatch between your backup options and the way you actually work. For example, ‘backup on project close’ won’t offer much protection if you tend to leave Scrivener open for days or weeks at a time.

If you’ve already checked both Time Machine and Scrivener’s automatic backups, I would recommend using Finder to search for .scriv files on your system. Your description of the problem could occur if, for instance, incautious use of the Save As command resulted in you creating a second copy of the project without realizing it. If that’s what happened, then there’s a good chance that you’ll find the “new” version hiding somewhere.

Once this is over, I would recommend checking your Time Machine options. The whole point of Time Machine is that it shouldn’t require any direct action on your part to maintain a current backup.