Image Deletion

My apologies if this has been covered but after a quick search I couldn’t find any posts.

My question is, can you delete images from your HDD after it has been imported into Scrivener without obviously losing it within your project.

Thanks all in advance.

Short answer… Yes, for imported images. No for linked or tag specified images.

See all of the 15.5 Inline Images section in the Scrivener Manual.
The manual should be available within Scrivener via Help > User Manual. It is also available for download at

Long answer…

I believe there are basically three approaches to images in Scrivener:

  • Inline image - Is a copy, stored within the project, of the original external source image. Is created by importing, inserting from file, dragging in, copy/pasting in, etc. from an external source image.
  • Linked image - Is a link to an external image outside the project, represented by a thumbnail image.
  • Placeholder tag specified image - Is a textual link to an external image outside the project OR to an image within the project binder.

Once you have created an inline image, yes, it is alright to delete (or move or rename) the original external source image. The copy of the image that was created in the project remains in existence inside the project.

On the other hand, if the external image referenced by a linked image or the external or internal image referenced by a placeholder tag is deleted/moved/renamed, the linked image will no longer appear in the project the next time Scrivener starts (reopens the project) and the linked or placeholder tag specified image will no longer appear in compile output.

You can test this, without actually deleting the original source image, by renaming or moving the original external source image out of the way, exiting/restarting Scrivener and verifying whether the image is still present in the project and the compile output.

Hope I got that right and hope that helps…