I need help (big time); changed Scrivener files location, nearly lost everything! How can I fix this?

Hello :blush:
I am known to move my files around and do regular clean-up in my folder, reorganizing things as my projects go.
I’ll move old stuff into “Archives” , I’ll create new folders, folders-into-folders…

Scrivener didn’t like it :open_mouth:
Learned the hard way not to do this…

So, I have a file, say “Project_D” created, worked (a lot) with, into the folder “Project D”
I have done a “save as” and named it “Archive_Project_D_V1” (supposed to serve as a back-up as things change a lot)
I have renamed “Project_D” as “2019-08_Project_D” and kept going.
The file got so massive, it takes time to close it.
I realized that Scrivener does NOT behave like any other file…
It didn’t matter that I had two different files. When I was opening it, it was THE SAME FILE…

Moving forward, for a new version, I wanted to start a whole new file (avoid the super-heavy one).
Understanding that there was something about the folder in which we create the files,
I have moved both “Archive_Project_D_V1” and “2019-08_Project_D” (along with the “files / settings / snapshots” folders that come along) into an “Archive” new folder
(D: / [my wrinting stuff] / Fantasy / Project_D / Archives)
Then, created a new “active” one (D: / [my wrinting stuff] / Fantasy / Project_D / Project_D_V4 )

The first day I did this, I didn’t have time to do more than a copy paste of one page.
Today, I worked a lot more on it.
I went back into the “2019-08_Project_D”… it was the "new empty one “Project_D_V4” from yesterday.
Try the “Archive_Project_D_V1”… it was the "new empty one “Project_D_V4” from yesterday.
And all my year-round full body of work super-heavy-taking-too-long-to-close was GONE! :open_mouth:
Now I feel stupid :blush:

I still have a back-up file in a external-drive, but with all that moving around… I’m really not sure how I can retrieve it without breaking “Project_D_V4” :open_mouth:

Is there a way to debug my mess??? :sob: :cry:
Thank you :blush:

I think step one for you is to start using the correct names for things. You have a project called Project_D for which Scrivener creates a folder called Project_D.scriv, not a file. As long as you don’t mess around with what is inside a .scriv folder everything is okay. “Not messing around” includes - always moving the whole .scriv folder if you decide to move the project, never saving or moving another project (or even other files) into a .scriv project folder.

Make sure you turn on file endings so you see what you are looking for - a folder created and named by you, and a project folder created by Scrivener, which always ends with .scriv

It sounds as if you have moved things around and forgot what is what, and to keep the whole .scriv folders intact.

What lunk said.

It sounds like you inadvertently saved a copy of Project D inside itself. I’d recommend dropping the support team a line. It’s not that hard to fix the mess, but it’s a bit tedious and not easily handled through the forum.


I did mix things up pretty bad.
I understand now that I should have handled those files more like a “3D scene” in advance 3D software, rather than a simple “Word-like” kind of software…
I understand now that it’s not “files” but should be treated as “project-folders” that can’t be played with…

Shame on me; I should have known better… :blush:

Thank you both; I’ll cry for help at the help-desk :wink: