I lost my book. How do I recapture it?

I started a book over a month ago,. Started out on the free version to make sure it would work for me, and then upgraded. Two nights ago the software wanted to upgrade, so I said ‘yes’. When I opened Scrivener up the next time my book was gone! Instead I get a template of instructions on non-fiction. I have looked all over my computer and cannot find it.

I thought Scrivener saved my file. I have worked on it for 6 weeks without any issue until this update. How can I find my book? Any ideas? Thank you in advance.

Signed, Desperate in Seattle!

It looks like the update selected the About this Template file from the Non-Fiction Template you started your book with.

By default, Scrivener saves your files after two seconds of idling. So there should be a recent version. Are you sure there’s not a folder in your Binder inside Scrivener with an icon containing a blue vertical bar on the left a two horizontal gray lines? That would be your Manuscript of Draft folder, containing your book.

The Latest Scrivener for Windows update has had a hiccup at first. Maybe install the very latest version ( over the one you’ve installed lately?

Furthermore, a series of backups is saved at the path you’ll find in Project > Project Settings > Backup. Select Use custom… to be able to copy the path and paste it in the Windows Explorer location bar. Sort the list on Date and copy the most recent one to a new location. Unzip the backup and start the .scrvx file from there.


Scrivener projects consist of many files and subfolders, all stored within a master .scriv project folder.

For instance, MyBookProject.scriv.

So if you search your PC for *.scriv, Windows will find your book’s project folder.

Once you find it, inside that folder you’ll find a number of subfolders, as well as a .scrivx file, which would be called something like MyBookProject.scrivx. Double-click on the .scrivx file. That should launch Scrivener and open your project, and you should be back in business.

(If you don’t see the file extensions mentioned above, launch Windows File Explorer and enable View > File name extensions by clicking the checkbox.)


Thank you for your assistance. I found a version that was only a week old. What a relief!! Your guidance and moral support helped me to dig deeper to find a backup version. Thank you very much.


Do make sure you locate all of the .scriv folders on your hard drive. They don’t just disappear, unless some outside application or OS feature removes them (or if you had it on an external device that disconnected). Knowing where all of your projects are is helpful in the event that a future update of Scrivener makes it forget the list of recent projects.