My projects are gone from Scrivener projects list

All of my Scrivener projects disappeared from my Scrivener program. They are all still in the backup zip files, but I don’t know how to properly move them back into Scrivener and make sure they save “live” properly, and don’t save back to the backup files.

You can locate any projects on your system by searching for .scriv files. It’s more likely that the Recent Projects list was cleared by, for instance, a software upgrade than that your projects simply vanished.

In the event you do need to restore from backup, the manual explains how to do it. Section 6.11.4 for Scrivener 2, or Section 5.2.4 for Scrivener 3.


Scrivener works like any other Mac software in the way that the projects are not stored inside the program. Scrivener is an app, residing in the Applications folder. Your projects are data, residing in some other folder on your Mac. Where? It depends on where you chose to save them when you created each project. Scrivener doesn’t tell you where to save stuff, it only asks you and then you have to decide yourself where to have things.

You should probably spend some time in Finder, looking at what you have and where and how all your files are organized.

Hi Katherine,
Thank you for your response. That is my problem. There are no more .scriv files. They are all zip files. Somehow my backup files are not going where they ares supposed to be going, and my computer isn’t letting me change that.

Thanks for the response. I have had Scrivener since it was just out of Beta – since version 1.0. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. My backup folder was changed last year after I consulted this forum about a year ago when I purchased Scrivener for my iPad and I was advised to move my backups out of dropbox. I did not do an update. The only change was that I got a new iPhone, but that shouldn’t have affected my Scrivener files. Now the zip backup files are where I was saving AND in the backup location.

Scrivener doesn’t keep a projects list where it lists all your projects. it can however locate them if you ask it to. (I don’t remember the command right now)

Did you do a search in Finder for .scriv?