Manual Backup Completion Time

It used to be that when I pressed command+s, for a manual backup, the process took just a couple of seconds, but at some point, I guess after I downloaded one of the scivener updates, doing the command+s key thing started taking about 25 seconds, during which time I am locked out from typing. So since then I’ve tried to resist absently doing manual backups (and just rely on the automatic backup function), though now and then I absently forget, then have to wait 25 seconds again for the process to complete. Has anyone else noticed this long delay?

How big is the project?

The backup time is almost entirely a function of project size and disk speed.

If a small project is taking longer than you think it should, use Finder to check to make sure that it’s really small. There’ve been cases where people imported enormous media files without realizing it, for example.

If the project is large, you can save some time by not compressing the backup. The setting is in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups pane. Of course, this means that you’ll need more disk space. You might also consider moving large research files out of the project and linking them back in as aliases. Be aware that Scrivener will no longer maintain backups for them in that case.

If you’re backing up to removable media, particularly a USB stick, you might try backing up to the main hard drive first, then using Finder to copy to the removable drive. Removable drives are limited by the transfer speed across the connection, which can be much lower than the speed of the drive itself.


Thanks. The project is about 250,000 words (1200 pages), though it was nearly that long before when the backups were happening much faster. Backups are not to external drives, but I’m wondering now if they’re set to go to the cloud and that’s what’s taking them so long.

Do you have large files in your Scrivener project – PDFs, images, etc. that are in your Research folder, etc.? Lots of snapshots? Lots of items in Trash that haven’t been deleted?

When you do the backup, it’s copying all of the files in the project – so the time it takes is dependent on how much data is in your project overall, not just in your Manuscript folder.

What devinganger said. Check the file size in Finder, not just the word count.