Moving Project Folder

I know this has been covered before in previous posts I’ve been reading but need clarification. I’m a new user and not sure if I understand how Scrivener works. I’m working on a large researc- based project and just started learning Scrivener last week. I’m importing documents and making an outline to see if this will work for me. I’m fairly computer savvy but old fashioned when it comes to filem management. I thnik the .scriv folder is hidden somewhere on my Mac on purpose. However, I would like to move it to an external drive, where I also have my backup folder, before it gets too large. I don’t use Cloud or any Cloud apps and I prefer to do everything manually. I will do manual backups to other hard drives. I have a lot of research, including images and videos, and if I import everything to my computer’s hard drive I’m afraid it would take up too much space. The option would be to import aliases of the research but would rather not.

Thank you for any guidance,


The .scriv file is not “hidden.” It’s wherever you told Scrivener to put it when it was created. You can locate all projects on your Mac by searching for .scriv files using Finder.

You can move it to any location you like by simply dragging and dropping in Finder. Just make sure Scrivener is closed at the time. After a move, the location in Scrivener’s Recent Projects menu will be incorrect, so reopen the project from Finder or from Scrivener’s Open menu instead.

If the project is so big that you don’t want it on your main hard drive, keep in mind that Scrivener’s automatic backups will also be that large. Reducing backup size is another reason why some people choose to store research files as aliases: they are likely to change less frequently than the main text, so they don’t need to be backed up as frequently.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our Interactive Tutorial, available from the Help menu. It’s a good overview of fundamental operations.


Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your reply. I found it! After reading other posts, I thought I needed to look for a folder, not a single file. I assume the project file includes all the imported files associated with it. Yes, I have been viewing the tutorials, some a couple of times since it’s a lot of info.


A Scrivener project is actually a whole collection of files put together in a specific folder structure.

On MacOS, there is a feature known as a “package” where the operating system shows you only the top-level folder of the package (by default) and treats it as a single file, hiding the complexity from you. Mac Scrivener users are accustomed to seeing this package and thinking of a Scrivener project as a single file.

On Windows, there is no equivalent feature. We Windows Scrivener users have to not only be conscious of the folder and contents, we actually have to dip into the top-level folder to find the .scrivx file that hides inside as the file that is actually associated with Scrivener.

That may be why you see a mix of references to Scrivener projects as if they were both a single file and a folder full of files – both are correct, depending on your point of view.