I'm new to Scrivener and closed an untitled new project accidentally and wasn't asked if I wanted to save

I lost the new piece I’ve been working on for three days. I hadn’t titled it and accidentally closed it and was never asked if I wanted to save. Now it appears to be gone forever as Scrivener only seems to be backing up titled projects. How do I get it to ask me if I want to save in the future? I’m a mac user to so I just assumed this would happen. (Is there way to find it?)

Scrivener should have asked where to save it when you created the project. Look there first.

Otherwise, use Finder to search for .scriv files. It’s probably named something like Untitled.scriv.

I’ve looked in Scrivener, icloud and time machine. It’s nowhere. Any advice on how to prevent this in the future? It didn’t ask me to save, or ask where to save, it just closed and disappeared.

Did you use Finder to search for .scriv files? Or for some of the text in the missing document?


You could just open Scrivener and use the Recents menu to reopen the project. But it would be smart to figure out where your project is on your hardrive, because relying on the Recents menu as a general thing has its own pitfalls.

Useful things to understand about how Scrivener works:

  1. There is no such thing as a project which has never been saved. Projects are saved when created.

  2. Scrivener automatically saves your work all the time (during any idle moments), so there is no “Save?” dialog when you close.

  3. Scrivener backs up projects when you close them (I believe this is the default setting) to a standard location on your harddrive.

So, the long and the short of it is: You not only have a saved project, you also have a backup of it. Your problem is that you don’t know where on your harddrive these things are!

And welcome to the Scrivener forum. Scrivener is a great piece of software! (I am not affiliated with Lit & Lat.)


I did all the searches recommended here and nothing. I was devastated.

But eventually I found it by going through all my projects. Apparently I’d created a new project and each time I was hitting ‘blank’ and assumed it would be a new project it was creating new chapters/documents/whatever they’re called in Scrivener under one heading and it was buried at the bottom.

I was about ready to quit Scrivener. Now I’m just afraid of it.

Thank you all for the help.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. Understanding cures fear!