Lost everything

I kept getting a notification from Windows One Drive that 69 files from Scrivner were going to be tossed out. I restored those items(I was given a choice). Anyway, I thought that was the end of it. It was not, I kept getting the same message. Finally, I tried to move the Scrivner file out of One Drive and into the C drive by dragging it. I kept my document, but lost all the Scrivner features that I live. Picture import, notes, etc. Anyway, I tried to restore those items by doing a full system restore and I lost everything. Other than losing all my work, I really do like this software. I mean I lost EVERYTHING. I will just use Microsoft Word going forward. I can’t even get the backups opened.

So, let me do a quick recap just to be sure if I got it right.

You messed up your Scrivener folder while trying to understand what was causing your files to be deleted, then you performed a full system restore (why? It wasn’t a software/driver fault) and… it’s all Scrivener fault, right?

I mean, I’m not an advocate, nor affiliate of Scrivener, but… please.

If you want some help, give us a way to help. Ranting is a waste of precious time.


1 Like

Do you mean that you installed Scrivener into a location on your OneDrive folder and also saved your Scrivener project there?

Be aware that a Scrivener project is not a single file. You have the top-level folder projectname.scriv folder, which contains a number of sub-folders and the projectname.scrivx file. All of these folders and files must stay together in order to have the project stay whole.

I didn’t install it there. I had no idea. I just kept receiving a pop-up message from One Drive saying that 69 files would be deleted. So, yes I acted rashly because there seemed to be a countdown to the extinction of those 69 files. I’m going to reinstall the Scrivner software and see what it looks like. I actually was able to recover what I lost. I am delighted about that outcome. I just have no idea where the message was coming from. I love the feature that allows for photos and files to be at your fingertips. Perhaps, just maybe I MAY have taken the picture files from One Drive. I just don’t know. Thanks for your help.

The other thing to remember is to make sure that whatever directory you are using, if you are using OneDrive, you need to make sure that it is configured to always keep all of your project files there. Otherwise, OneDrive may try to clean up files for you and delete your local copy of them, and that can cause problems for Scrivener.

1 Like

OneDrive on Windows 10 do not clean up files, ever, unless you explicitly tell him so by right clicking on a folder and choosing the appropriate option.

I’m pretty sure the “misterious deletion” of files he is experiencing is due to some other stuff.

Even if you force file cleanup (no deletion, just cleanup), Scrivener will continue to work, because the next time he tries to access a file, it will be downloaded again, without Scrivener ever noticing.

1 Like

This would be an excellent time to review the section in the Scrivener manual on backups, and to make sure you understand where both your data and your backups are stored.

It would also be a good time to review the One Drive documentation to make sure you understand how to handle that message if it reappears in the future. If a program other than Scrivener deletes your Scrivener data, I’m not sure what you expect us to be able to do.

1 Like

This has not been proven to be reliable, depending on the amount of time it takes to retrieve the file. If it’s a larger file (such as images, PDFs, or other research files) Scrivener’s file call can time out before it’s successfully retrieved, and then you can start having problems with the project.

The best practice is to ensure with any cloud sync service that you have always set that sync engine to ensure local copies of all files are made in the directories where you are keeping Scrivener projects. Simple precaution up front can save your projects and sanity down the road.

It can’t timeout, it’s not a network call. And if you are offline, you won’t be able to get a fresh copy anyway,.

Proven by whom?

It may not worked well sometimes in the past, but now it works. Reminds me of people still bashing Windows for BSOD, but “nearly nobody” (yeah, yeah, not everybody) has seen one in the last 10 years.

In conclusion, that’s not what was causing the OP’s file deletions.

1 Like

Do what you want with your own data. But Scrivener expects immediate access to all components of the project at all times. Any configuration that does not guarantee such access is unsupported and entirely at your own risk.

OK, I got it eventually. I give up.

Looks like it’s impossible to explain how the sync process works in the real world.
Everybody is just immediately triggered on this topic. I accept that.


In the real world, internet connections can fail.

Yes, that’s exactly the point, and exactly why we do not recommend this option.

As far as Scrivener knows, it’s a disk I/O call – and disk I/O calls most certainly can time out. Most disk I/O calls have a much shorter timeout window than network calls do. If you’ve never experienced that, be very thankful, it usually means you’re about to have a very crappy day.

Note that I’m not saying that OneDrive doesn’t work with Scrivener. I’m saying that this one particular feature has been identified as causing problems with Scrivener and the easy way to avoid it is to make sure your folders are set to always keep local copies of your Scrivener projects.

One of the nice things about these forums is that there are an awful lot of smart, dedicated people here. A lot of us put in a lot of work behind the scenes to keep testing Scrivener in scenarios just like this and see if older best practices are still relevant when the underlying technology changes. The recommendations used to be “don’t use OneDrive” because in the early days it was bloody unreliable, and that has shifted because many volunteers have worked with the products over the years to see what errors can be reproduced and tracked down.

Given that we don’t know the exact error message the OP was seeing, nobody yet knows what caused that specific error, but we are responding with specific tested advice that we have seen help solve similar claims in the past.


ONE DRIVE current Windows 10 version, works great with Scrivener.

Anytime a large number of files changes, One Drive likes to ASSUME you didn’t mean to delete that many files so tells you, and asks “hey did you mean to do that?.”
I think there is check box for turning that off when it pops up. Do so…
More than likely what happened was Scrivener updated a lot of the files and the old versions or Temps were deleted. The large number of files is because Scrivener for Windows has not yet discovered using Zip files/folders, with custom extensions for its file format. “sigh” [There are a ton of programs that have very complex file folders inside thier files. Try changing some files from .PBX etc to .ZIP and looking. Don’t know why Scrivener does not do this now. It would give them all the power of Folders etc but make a single file for the user.

Also o if you move your Scrivner files between drives, that may also be seen as deleting them.

In car terms, your check engine light came on [It was a loose gas cap [Yes that happens]. So you assumed it was an oil leak and over filled the crank case and blew out some gaskets.
Don’t restore files you don’t know what they are EVER, and if you feel the need, NEVER back to the same location. Put them in a folder to see if you needed them.

It is annoying that One Drive assumes you don’t know what you are doing, Try not to prove it right.

OneDrive Current Version Windows 10 works GREAT
How to USE Scrivener with OneDrive. I have opened files and used files that were cloud only and Scrivener waited just fine for them to download and open. BUT this is not a good way to do it.
Always mark the scrivener file and folders as “Always Keep on this device”
When you do that, you can lose connections, turn off the wifi and all will be good. When you connect again it will sync you updated files locally with the cloud and then down to other machines where you have also set them as “Always Keep on this device” I have done this between Windows machines and even Windows to Mac for while. Just don’t work on the same project on two machines that are disconnected, you will get sync errors when they connect because changes were made in two place. This is true of any could drive software.

The majority of programs that do that unzip the file to a temporary location, then load all of the component files into memory. When you save, all of the files are saved and a new .ZIP is written.

Scrivener does not access its files this way. It only open the files inside that it needs to display, so as to reduce disk access times. Adding the overhead of ZIP/unZIP would dramatically reduce performance, especially for users that have large (GB worth) of files in the Research folder of their projects.

1 Like

And especially for synchronization operations. Having to synchronize a multi-gigabyte file because you added a 5-word note to one document would get old very quickly.


Sorry, this took so long. No, I used the auto-installer and I am certain Scrivner installed into the program files on the C drive.

I imported some pictures a long time ago so I am not certain WHERE I imported them from. Because the warning came from files in One Drive, I suspect(still) they were imported from there. I was getting the message the files were going to be dumped automatically. I have no idea how the program file ended up in one drive. Because I was on a time-clock to do something, I dragged the Scrivner file in One Drive and slid it into C drive in Windows. And once there it blew up. I am not IT savvy when trying to remedy these things. And I do and did not where the backup files were located. Those files were corrupted as well and wouldn’t let me open them. Luckily, I was able to do a system restore that restored the writing I did. However, my pictures and notes I used imported or wrote using some of the Scrivner features(which I love) took a dirt- nap and couldn’t be recovered.

1 Like

Thank you for the information. I appreciate it!

Thank you for the information. No hurts to kee learning!