So I write a scene. I’m happy.

I save. I close the project.

Later, I want to write some more. I open the project and my fucking work is gone. JUST LIKE THAT.


It’s as if Scrivener just decided it didn’t feel like saving my last writing session.

It’s such a brilliant program to use and then ALL OF A FUCKING SUDDEN, I CAN’T TRUST IT ANY MORE.

What do I do here? Go back to using word?


There are a few possible culprits for the missing work. Since Scrivener automatically saves when you pause for a few seconds, there’s never a need to trigger a manual “save”, so unless it was popping errors about not being able to save, then your work is somewhere out there…

First, did you use “Save As” to create a backup? Is it possible that the work you did is in that copy? Or maybe you went back to the original to do your work, but Scrivener opened the wrong version when you started it up? Search your hard drive for folders ending in “.scriv” and investigate those for your missing words.

Second, are you using a sync service like dropbox, google drive, or one of the other many ways to upload files from a folder on your computer to the cloud? It’s possible that there’s something wrong with the sync, and it renamed the last file you were working on, so that Scrivener can’t find it according to its internal naming scheme. Browse through the .scriv folder and into the Files\Docs sub-folder there; sort by date modified and look at the most recent few files; is one of them named oddly compared to all the other .rtf files?

Good luck!

Honestly, I can’t remember what I did.

When I back up my work onto a flash drive, I delete the pre-existing version and save the latest. I can’t see any way that this could account for it.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE THOUGH - The lost work wasn’t a huge slab and I was able to just rewrite that part of the scene within about twenty minutes. It’s just so annoying though and because I don’t know what I did wrong, I’m paranoid about it happening again.

I don’t trust the cloud.

I’ve worked out how to find and retrieve backups from my hard drive so that’s what I’ll do in the future.

Thanks and thanks for taking the trouble to read and reply.

Pro tip: When you go to back up on your flash drive, use File->Back Up->Back Up To… instead of Save As…

Let it add the date to the filename, and keep at least a couple of older copies before you delete any of them. That way, you have an easily sortable list of external (to your computer) backups that can be examined but remain distinct (in the title of the window) from one another.

If it doesn’t add the date automatically, check that option in the Tools->Options->backup settings window.

Now THAT is a cunning plan!

Again thank you.

If I’m ever in the US of A and visit Missouri, I’ll buy you a beer.