Lost Work!

I’ve just finished writing a new chapter on my Laptop (windows 7) using the latest Beta of Scrivener.
I backed up the work to my Laptop desktop and then copied the folder into Dropbox.

When I opened it on my Desktop PC (via Dropbox), all of my chapters are blank.

When I returned to my Laptop, Scrivener is not showing any of the work I’ve spent the last couple of hours writing.
Is there any way I can recover this text?
Any help will be appreciated, praying that this chapter isn’t lost.


I’m very sorry you’re having trouble! Happily, it sounds a lot like a Dropbox fluke, in which case chances are good that all your work is there, just not showing up. This could’ve been because it didn’t finish syncing before you closed up on one computer or before you opened on the other, or possibly just from a network glitch or the like.

First thing, you should just check your backup that you made on the laptop–check the version that’s not in Dropbox. By far the easiest fix is just to remove the corrupt version from Dropbox and then start fresh from the backup by making another copy of that and putting it in Dropbox and being sure that the sync completes before you close the computer, and then on the other computer be sure that the sync completes there before you open the project in Scrivener.

Hi MM,

Thanks for responding.
I don’t think the problem is with Dropbox sadly. It seems to be with Scrivener.
I just ran a search on my laptop for .scriv files and it shows on the recent ones. None of them have the chapter I’ve just written.
It seems that Scrivener didn’t save to my desktop properly.
Do you know if there is any other way of finding this text? Does Scrivener auto-save and would you know where it saves to?


Hi Derrick,

Try doing a Windows search for some unique text that was in the missing chapter and see if it calls anything up. Ideally you’ll find one or more .rtf files (titled with a number) and you should be able to see the file path then to see where they’re stored. It could be that they are in the .scriv folder as they should be but that the .scrivx file that organizes everything in your binder has gotten corrupted and so isn’t displaying them for you.

If that doesn’t work, could you please confirm that you’re using beta 024 (and whether you had beta 022 installed and have performed an uninstall since then or just updated from within the program) and provide any more details about what you were doing and what’s gone missing–is it just the text, or has meta-data been lost or is the chapter (is it just one document?) not showing up at all in the binder, etc. There was a bug in beta 022 where text occasionally didn’t get saved, but a clean install of 023 should have fixed that, likewise 024. If it’s actually the case that your work isn’t saving, then obviously this is a serious bug we want to track down and any information you can offer would be extremely helpful.

Hi Jennifer,

I found it!

The weird thing is that it was in my bin (I’ve been scouring everywhere).
The folder on the desktop seemed to be corrupted as all the files are blank while the one in the bin was fine.
I genuinely don’t remember deleting the folder while saving another on the desktop :confused:

So I’ve backed up the chapter in Word in case.
I’ve been using Scrivener for Windows from day one and have never experienced this, so putting it down to some weird thing I must have done but ff it happens again I’ll let you know.

Thank you for your time and help, its deeply appreciated. :smiley:


Glad you found it! Please do post if you have the same problem again, but I certainly hope you won’t!

(Any chance you dragged the copy out of Dropbox to your desktop and thus overwrote the desktop version while moving the original one to the Recycling Bin?)

I may well have dragged a copy out of the Dropbox and somehow replaced the Desktop.
A while ago I had a similar problem, perhaps I’m not giving Scrivener enough time to save files.
Thank you once again, I really appreciate your time and help :smiley:

Mister Derrick,
How many times over the years, have I read the words, “…found it in the bin.” or, "…check the bin, Scriv never loses anything :wink:. "

His Lordship, Vic-k, has devised a little routine, that you may find useful.
First thing in the morning, after making a cup of tea and taking his seven behaviour modification tablets, he boots up his wife’s Wintel device, and checks his spam for: ‘2for1’ offers of second hand Viagra, after which he checks Scriv’s bin, to see what it has rescued from his cack-handed abusing of the program, the previous day. He usually finds anything up to a half gigabyte of stuff in there.

Feel free to adopt/adapt his little routine to suit your own requirements.
Take care.

To be fair, there was an issue with 022, and in the early days, if you imported text, it would turn invisible, but come back, if you selected view hidden characters. But even then, I couldn’t make text disappear with 022. :frowning: I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to try to fix an issue like that.