Lost work-need clarification on saving to iCloud

Lost what was literally my single best day of writing ever because, I think, I misunderstood how Scrivener updates projects saved to iCloud.

This is how I think Scrivener saves projects. Am I right?

  • You open your Scrivener project file
  • You change different parts of your project
  • If you have your Scrivener project open on other machines, changes made there do not propagate to your project file even if it’s in an iCloud folder
  • Only when you close the project does it save those changes back to iCloud
  • If you had that project open on another machine and made edits to it, then saved the project, changes made in the previous machine get lost

Here’s how I expected it to work, based on my years-long use of Google Docs.

  • You open your Scrivener project file
  • You change different parts of your project
  • As you make those changes, they are saved back to your project immediately, which means that if it’s a shared folder, other machines will update immediately even while you’re writing
  • Closing the project has no particular effect on the project because they were propagated live as you wrote
  • If you had that project open on another machine, the changes you make on this one will propagate to the other, so everything is always (within a couple seconds) in synx

I think the conditions under my gigantic data loss were that I had an iCloud-pbased project open on machine A, made many changes to it, and logged off while Scrivener was open. Then I opened up the same project on machine B. It did not have changes made on machine A because machine A’s project was open. When I saved the project on machine B, all the changes for machine A were lost. Does that sound like what I did?



Users are advised to never open an individual project on more than one computer at a time.

This article has advice on trying to recover work from a cloud-stored Scrivener project.

scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … c-services

If you are running Time Machine on your Macs, you might also be able to recover some work that way.

All might not be lost.

This post, written by one of the mods, offers additional insight to iCloud usage.



Briar Kit

Wow, Briar Kit, those references are enormously helpful. I did have auto save on, but it didn’t help. I see I made several mistakes–including using iCloud. (Not to mention several reasons to blame myself, such as not exiting the computer without waiting for it to sync.) Thanks a ton for those links. Very very much appreciated!

Google has spent an enormous amount of time and resources making sure that Google Docs synchronizes as well as it does. Note, however, that even Google Docs works with single documents, not the complex multi-document projects that Scrivener uses. To make a long story short, no, Scrivener does not work like Google Docs.

To recover your work, you might also consider looking at Scrivener’s automatic backups, on both systems. They can be found by going to Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups, and clicking the button to open the backup folder in Finder.

To avoid similar issues in the future, always shut Scrivener down before walking away from your computer, and always make sure that the synchronization service you use has finished uploading your changes before shutting the computer down. (If the service doesn’t tell you when it’s done, don’t use it. For Scrivener projects, at least, keeping the user informed is Data Security 101.)