Major, critical problem with cut/paste/ snapshots/ save

The computer is a fully updated HP laptop with Windows11.
Suddenly, what looks like an image box appears and it follows wherever I am typing. Since this happened, scenes that have been saved and which were saved in the project are blank or corrupted, with large portions of the text randomly missing. Backup may be corrupted also, with text that I could see saved on the screen gone.
I cannot no cut and paste, move portions of text, of delete text with with the short-cut keys or using the commends in the menu on the selected text. This is happening is established, even printed projects as well as new one. This is a disaster. Please help ASAP. The file will not compile to print or as an RTF file.

What else is running on the system?

I have run it when it was the only active program, and it had the same problems.
Office 2021 installed version. OneDrive personal, zone alarm, adobe acrobat, firefox, Thunderbird email, quickbooks from 2017. There are other usual small programs that come with Windows such as notebook and calculator. I don’t have them all active. This problem started last evening with a new work. Today, I started another new work and I had the same problem. The killer problem is with the short story template. I checked other works, and they all have the problem, although the novel selection it seems to be contained in the note section only. It had worked well earlier in the day, and there had been no change or upgrade of anything. The upgrade came today.

Did you look in task manager to see if you actually have some undesired background process running ?
(Ctrl+Alt+Delete) → Task Manager
Run Scrivener, then have a look in Task Manager at what uses CPU.

CPU usage is 23%. When it is very high, there is slow down, but not a problem like I’ve described.

Not what I meant.
Look to see what other background processes are also running.
One of them being potentially your problem.

How would I know, or recognize a culprit? I will look.

I looked and saw nothing unusual. I will run an antivirus and anti-trojan program in a few minutes. I am adding a screen capture of the problem. There had been a 300+ scene here before this happened. You can see the problem image frame clearly. It does not act like a real image box and cannot be deleted. It shows up when ever a project is opened. This started yesterday evening. I should add that the snapshots are empty, even though this first was done before the text turned into this.

I’m not a Windows guy, but…

You said OneDrive - does OneDrive store everything locally? Or does it store your data in the cloud and download it to the computer when it thinks you need it?

Programs that store your data in the cloud and download it to the computer when they think you need it do not get along well with Scrivener…

If you create a new project saved somewhere outside of your OneDrive folders, does it reproduce the problem? That would be worth checking.

I’d also try resetting Scrivener’s Options to the defaults. Open File ▸ Options... and first save your current settings by selecting Manage ▸ Save Options to File..., and then click Defaults. You’ll need to restart Scrivener afterward; does the problem still appear?

I somehow completely missed the allusion to OneDrive.
For sure (99.99%) that is where the issue originates from.

Was this file created in Scrivener, or imported from another program?

Scrivener doesn’t know how to create a box like that.

Kewms knows better than me.
But here is what I would do:

  • Quit Scrivener for the time being.
  • Download your project from OneDrive so that it is on your HardDrive. (Download that content to a fresh new location/folder. Make sure that it is easily identifiable and that there will be no confusion between this and some other version(s) you might already have.)
  • Open this version of your project in Scrivener to see if it’s ok.
  • If it is: Refrain from using OneDrive for project sync or Scrivener related stuff. (Like: forever)

Another poster is experiencing similar symptoms.

Can the box be selected? Can it be resized or moved? There appears to be a resize “handle” on the lower right. Does it do anything when hovered over or clicked?

What happens when you switch documents? Does the box appear on other docs? If so, is it in the same size and in the same screen position? Can you tell if the box is a layer “on top” of Scrivener, and remains there when other docs are selected?

The box appeared in Scrivener. It was not introduced from anywhere else. I cannot to size, delete, or move the box. It goes to where ever I place the cursor.

I use OneDrive for Backup only and Scrivener seems to no be doing backups either. The file is not in OneDrive, and is not being pulled from there.

Perhaps you could try (as a test, so someone can figure out what is going on) exporting a few of your documents to an RTF file.

Export to RTF


Then, opening these in some other editor (like LibreOffice or WordPad), see if part of your original text is still missing.
Or perhaps, you won’t be able to export, and will rather then get some error message. (I am hoping for that; as the message could potentially contain valuable info.)

Or, finally, if you successfully export the RTF, and are able to open them, and those are missing chunks of your text, ship one to support.
They might be able to look at the code. Trails of, or whatever.

It sucks that this is happening. There is likely something on your PC that is interfering with Scrivener.

I suggest you reboot your PC in Safe Mode and try launching Scrivener.

Starting your PC in Safe Mode

If Scrivener works normally in Safe Mode, then you should go through disabling/enabling processes to determine which one’s the culprit.

How to use Safe Mode to diagnose a problem


I am still on Windows 10, so haven’t seen this problem, but Google may be your friend here. If you haven’t already, try googling “Windows 11 ghost box” (without the quotes). There are a number of potential causes and solutions to this type of problem.