Lost my disk during work

I was working on a couple of projects when the external disk on which I store all my Scrivener projects lost contact with the computer (the USB adapter appears to have crashed). When I came to close the projects, Scrivener let me know about the problem, and said it would save a copy of the two projects, but I didn’t make a note of where.

Now they are missing from my Scrivener folder on the external disk, including not just the .scrivx file but a number of extra folders which I have in my project template. However the computer can open the scrivener file, but, as I say, the whole project directory is missing. Any idea where I can find these files, or at least find the scrivener files and move them to new project files in my Scrivener folder.

I have found some files with likely -looking names in my Library/Application Support/Scrivener3/Backups folder. They are zip files. Can I unzip and move them back to appropriate folders on my external disk?

The files in Backups are just zipped projects. They are meant to be unzipped and the project opened in the normal way, so you shouldn’t need to (you’re advised NOT to) got delving into the project page itself.

If I were you, I’d unzip one of them in the Backups folder, then rename it immediately for safety, but in principle, you will get the project in exactly the same state as it was when it was backed up and you can carry on working — obviously minus any work you did after the backup was made. Obviously you’ll have to move the unzipped project back to a working directory.

If that doesn’t work, then you may have to start looking for individual files within the Project folder, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

As for the message you had when the USB crashed, then I imagine (I’m not sure) it was offering to save a copy in the same folder as the original, so you probably won’t be able to recover that.

Based on your report, Scrivener saved copies of your two projects somewhere – and your only problem is that you did not take note of where (or direct it to save them somewhere of your choosing). Seems to me all you really need to do is locate those saved project copies (not to be confused with backup copies).

Use the search function of your Mac to search for one of your projects (in Finder, you can specifically search by title of the file). That will no doubt show you your backup copies, but should also reveal the saved copy that Scriv made for you.

I mean, backup copies are great in a pinch, but it sounds like you are in a situation where you may actually have a current copy of your project which you can recover – just by locating it on your computer.


I’ve found that the Finder doesn’t always find all Scrivener files. I would recommend instead EasyFind, it’s free and drills deeper. If you’re comfortable at the command line, FD is a great little open source program for finding files:

Query: why are USB drives so horribly unreliable? Even 3.5 floppies were more reliable.