Missing files on PC after saving Scrivener project

Hello, I downloaded and started using Scrivener on my Windows 7 computer today at my university office. I created a new project, imported a document, and recently organized photos in the research folder in the binder. When I saved the project Scrivener gave me some errors messages (I don’t remember exactly what they were) because eventually I was able to save it. And I’m a nut about saving things fresh every 20 minutes. BUT Then I went to look in the folder on my desktop in which the project was saved and nearly all of the other files, photos, Word Documents, etc that were in that folder were missing. The Scrivener file I recently saved was there, but not the other files in that folder. I don’t know if there’s a connection or not, but the last thing I did was save the project in Scrivener and then the other files in the same folder, some related to and some not, went missing. When I search the PC, the computer can find the shortcuts for the missing files but not the original files. Did Scrivener move them somehow? Thanks for any help on this. IT support at my university seems baffled. I have a back up of the Scrivener file on Google Drive (which I’m now reading might be another problem or related problem?!!) but it was backed up before I organized all the images and it doesn’t of course include all the other documents and files in that larger folder. I do not have a back up of those missing files. I will also note that there is not a recent back up or restoration point available for this folder unfortunately. But I’m just wondering if there’s a way to locate the original files which seemed to have been moved or changed by my saving of the Scrivener project-- as that is the only thing I did differently/ did previously before the files went missing.

Thank you.

No doubt some forumites will be able to help you, but your best bet is to email support for direct assistance: windows.support@literatureandlatte.com

Thank you! Yes, I contacted support directly, too.


Scrivener won’t mess with files that are outside of the project folder. You didn’t move your other documents INTO the .scriv folder, did you? Because then it’s up to Scrivener what it does with those rogue files that it didn’t create, and that could cause an issue or two.

Also, you talk about saving fresh copies every 20 minutes. If you did move your documents into the .scriv folder, and then used the File->Save As function, that would have copied the project to the new name, but it may not have copied the other non-Scrivener files along with it.

If you want a file to be part of a project, you drag it into the binder area of the Scrivener window, and Scrivener imports it, fyi.

As far as I know I didn’t move anything myself into any other folders, .scriv or anything, manually. But who knows perhaps somehow those files ended up in a .scriv folder and then when I ‘saved as’ and created a new .scriv folder, those other files got ‘moved’ or deleted? That could be possible, I just don’t know how the other files would have gotten in there from the parent folder in the first place…

I had been dragging and dropping some image files from my desktop folder (the one that got gutted) into the binder/ research section in Scrivener before the final save and maybe Scrivener wanted to then keep or copy or move those files into a .scriv folder or something so then something weird happened with that? But then there are those other files that weren’t related that got moved too…? I don’t know.


  1. Dragging a file into the binder creates a copy of the file within the Scrivener project structure and it gets a new internal name within the project folder structure. The original file remains where it is, unless you decide to move or delete it. It’s also possible to drag in a way that only creates a link to the original file (opt-drag?), which then require that you don’t move or delete the original afterwards. If you do the link doesn’t point to anything any more.

  2. You need to pay attention to error messages, always, as they inform you about something.