My documents "do not exist" ?!

Please Community! I’ve had my Scrivener open on my laptop for weeks. One file is open, but now when I tried to open the others, with ALL of them (!) there comes an alarm: “your file does not exist.” What is happening? Where are the files, because they do exist and include tons of work.

Please help. I have the Scrivener 3.3.1. an old Macbook Pro 10.15.7.
Kindly asking, Miira

Keeping Scrivener “open for weeks” sound a bit risky. Hardly any computer system is good enough to do that. Best Practice might be to close the project when done, and at least end of day so that at minimum, you automated backup (hopefully you have that setup) can run.

Meantime, where do you think the files should be? For the above where did you look? Have you put them in the folders serving a third party sync service like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google or other? If so, are the files in these folders sent to be “offline”? If “online” would explain the symptom you see.

Have you searched your file system since for folders with the extension “scriv” to locate the “missing” projects? Do you have a recent full system backup, e.g. TimeMachine you can fall back on to restore from if necessary?


How are you trying to open your other projects? I bet you are using the Recents menu – and that is what is messing you up.

Go in the Finder to where your projects are stored on your Mac and open them from the Finder.


Thank you very much for putting your mind here! I solved it! By searching with .scriv - which I did due Of your hint. Then The files open,
If I try to open From The Scriverer- program on File / Recent Projects, The message is ”not exist”.
It sounds mysterious but Im relieved .
Thank you!

Yes - I solved it. Very strange though that you cant open them From The Recent Projects.

Glad you got it sorted.

The Recents menu can play you falsely for a number of reasons.

If you ever move or rename a project file in the Finder, the Recents Menu will lose track of it. If you rename the folder containing a project file (or any folder containing that folder), the Recents menu will lose track of it. You probably did one of these things somewhere along the line.


P.S. Horror story: One of the dangers of the Recents Menu (as opposed to the lovely Favorites menu) is that one comes to think of it as tracking your important, frequently used projects. But in fact it tracks anything you open for any reason at all. Sometimes people open their backup projects for one reason or another and /those/ get into the recents list, and then they end up reopening and editing their backup project instead of the real thing – until that backup project file gets overwritten by a fresh back up. Crunch.

Great. Not being in the “recent list” probably related to your keeping Scrivener (and a project?) open for weeks. It never had a chance to keep the “recent list” up to date or something.