My week without internet and scrivener errors.

I’ll try to explain as well as possible with babbling like the ticked off woman I am at the moment. :smiley: Last thursday, we got up and had lost our internet and cable, yes it was paid. LOL (I had to check to make sure, tho.) called company, they said it would be almost 2 weeks before they could get anyone to my address to find out what the problem was. Have had other life things keeping me busy but managed to find a few evenings to keep writing for July Camp. The first night with no internet, at the point of saving, I usually save everything in my OneDrive folder so I can access it no matter where I’m at. since I had no internet I saved it to my hard drive, just the regular documents folder. As Scrivener tried to save that first night, with no internet, it took forever, even locked up the program mulitiple times and had to abort backup. Eventually, I just let it take it’s own sweet time and it did eventually save. The next time I got on, couldn’t find the story - it had somehow been saved under the word "Documents’ instead of the story name I’ve always saved it under. Again when I saved it, it took forever to save to the regular Documents folder. Up to today, we now have internet again and I’ve been online in my cabin and writing some sprints with a few of my cabin mates. When I was done, I went thru all the steps to make sure it would save in the OneDrive folder, just like it used to do. Clicked save, program locked up, stopped responding, but eventually did save. Except it saved the story as “Current Works” the name of the folder I tried to save it under. It also, somehow, copied and saved every single document saved in my regular hard drive folder - saved it all to One drive - it still hasn’t caught up. When I reopened my current WIP, to make sure it all saved, it opened, but it was quite different than before. The entire binder was different, none of them had the assigned colors I marked them with, tho they did still have the logos. I tried to recolor everything but it won’t let me. Other stories are fine, just this one that I’ve had all the trouble with since my internet went down last week. Now, the story is all there, which is fantastic, but part of what makes Scrivener so interesting is all the different options there are, to make it like I want it. and it does help find things much easier when everything is colored how I want it. Okay, I’ve babbled away, anyway. Any thoughts?

Short version:

You might want to directly contact technical support, as discussed here

See the three knowledge base articles under Cloud Syncing at the following.

Long version:

There’s not enough specifics in your note for me to offer specific suggestions, and paragraph breaks would help, but the following comes to mind…

Where is the live project normally stored? I.E. where do you open/launch it from, where does a File > Save save to? If that location is a Internet/cloud location and you don’t have Internet, that’s going to be a problem. Some folks to keep their live projects stored on Internet/cloud, but in the event of an outage they are either going to be unable to work or have to switch to copying a local backup and working on that till the outage is resolved and then replace the Internet/cloud version with that version. The behaviour you describe leads me to wonder if Scrivener thought you were still asking it to try to save or back up to the unavailable-at-that-time Internet service. That could possibly lead to long timeouts and other strangeness.

Where does File > Back Up > Back Up To point to? This gets set within that dialog.

Where does File > Back Up Now back up to? This gets set in Tools > Options > Backup.

DropBox is the only Internet/cloud backup/sync service that is recommended for Scrivener, due to technical considerations (in the file system, a Scrivener project is a folder containing a collection of subfolders and files, not a single physical file like a Word doc file, and thus requires more demanding syncing than some services provide). OneDrive and some other Internet/cloud backup sync services have proven to not be reliable for Scrivener live projects (only safe way to use them is for backing up compressed (zipped) versions of Scrivener projects). See the three knowledge base articles under Cloud Syncing at the following.

Until recently, I operated this way…

  • Live project (File > Save) in my local (on the PC’s internal C: drive) Documents folder.
  • Local backups (File > Back Up > Back Up Now) in the default Scrivener backup location (which can be changed in Tools > Options > Backup)
  • Compressed (zipped) backup (File > Back Up > Back Up To (with compress/zip option)) in my DropBox folder. Such compression/zipping packs and stores the folders/files making up a Scrivener project as a single physical .zip file, which any Internet/cloud backup/sync service should be able to handle reliably, provided one allows sufficient time after creation for the sync process to finish copying the .zip file to the Internet/cloud site. Such compressed/zip versions of projects have to subsequently be decompressed/unzipped before they can be used again in Scrivener.

More recently, in order to experiment with accessing my current Scrivener project from two different computers, I’ve now moved the live project .scriv folder to my DropBox folder, while leaving local backups and compressed backups as discussed above. And I’m fanatical about assuring that I only have Scrivener and the project open on one of the computers at a time and that I assure that syncing has completed both before I start working in Scrivener and after I finish working in Scrivener before I turn the computers off.

Hope that is of some assistance.

@SpringfieldMH Thank you for your reply and offer to try and help. And I am quite sorry about the long babble. I believe that was around 3-4 am, after it had all messed up, with me tired and frustrated when I typed that.

Anytime I set up a new project, they are always saved in my OneDrive folder that I have for any current WIP’s. (More about OneDrive/Dropbox in a moment.) Since I knew there was no internet, I’d been saving it in a folder on the hard drive under documents. The backups all go to their normal backup folder, have never changed it from wherever Scrivener sets it on the hard drive.

I’m still not sure what happened that night when I tried to save it, but I’ve been without internet this entire last week and have only now been able to check the forums and reply to you. I left the original file that messed up alone and made up a new file, saving under the actual story’s name instead of just the random name I saved it under to begin with. If I’ve learned anything with all of this, it’s that the way I have everything working is NOT set up to be worked on without internet, and that is all my doing. I can say that my internet provider is usually very reliable and hopefully, this doesn’t happen very often. I would still like to find out what actually happened, why it messed up and how to fix it, in case it ever happens again. Everything in the file is still there, but under the binder, I’ve lost all ability to color code each file/folder, which makes it much quicker to find what I’m looking for.

I understand what you said about Dropbox and I do have Dropbox on my computer, but I have such a large size on OneDrive, that’s just where I save everything of mine, all those files that we’d be a total mess if we ever lost, including a lot of music files. Since that’s what I always save on, that’s what I use with SCrivener. I’ve never had any problem with either program before and from my experience, Scrivener seems to work quite well with OneDrive. Yes, it would be possible for me to save just my scrivener files on Dropbox, but that just isn’t me, having two different places with two different types of files. If I do see that they aren’t working well together though, I’ll remember Dropbox.

Anyway, thank you for trying to help. I appreciate it.

I don’t know how OneDrive works, but the thing about Dropbox (and Cubby) is that your files are saved to the designated folder on your hard drive, and you can continue working on your project with the active project stored in that folder even if your internet is down. What you must be careful of is not to also edit the copy of the project in the Dropbox folder on another computer until your internet is back up and Dropbox has sync’ed.


Does cubby have the invite someone and you both get more storage kinda deal? Being able to just right click a folder on my drive and designate it as a share seems more appealing to me.

Yep, sure does … or rather, it certainly did. I no longer get a code for invites or an “invite a friend” panel from Cubby. I’ve got 10GB, so I can only imagine they’re limiting personal, free accounts to that. I certainly get the impression that their main interest is towards company accounts.

Someone else may be able to give you an invite.


You can share folders with other cubby users, but I believe the “get more storage by inviting friends” thing is over. I think that was only via the beta promotion a few years ago. I can’t find any info about it on the Cubby site.

Just to clarify a bit:

Some cloud services save copies of everything to your local hard drive. Some services only download to the local system when you explicitly tell them to. Some can do either, depending on your configuration. Check your provider’s documentation to see exactly how to configure their service.

HOWEVER. Scrivener ONLY supports configurations where the entire project is resident on your hard drive.

A Scrivener project is a folder, with sub-folders and potentially hundreds of component files. By design, the user can change any of these files at any time, and can also restructure the relationships between files at will. There is no way to do this reliably unless the entire project is accessible at all times.

Now, because of this, there is no need to have internet access in order to use Scrivener. Once the project is accessible locally, Scrivener will happily putter along for as long as you like.

It’s important to be clear, though, that saving to a cloud provider is really a two-step process. First, Scrivener saves to a location in your local file system. Then, your cloud software uploads to its server. Things can go wrong if there is some kind of gap – like lack of internet access – between step one and step two. It sounds like that’s what happened here: the very slow save was probably because OneDrive couldn’t connect to the internet, but it kept trying for whatever its timeout period is. And then, when the internet came back, there was some kind of difficulty in reconciling the local changes with the copy resident in the cloud.

Situations like this are why I encourage people to keep either backups or live projects in the cloud, but not both. That way, there will always be a copy of the project that’s isolated from cloud-related weirdness.


I just signed up and installed Cubby on Windows and iOS, it gave 5GB for a free account. I may upgrade later, see how it goes. Already put my ebooks on it and can now make room on Dropbox, which has 16GB thanks to all their offers for jumping through hoops.

Do beware. I used Scrivener for Windows pretty heavily with OneDrive for quite a while when it first came out, and again when I updated to Windows 10, and I found that I was having to repair projects more than I liked even when only opening and editing them on a single computer. There is something about how OneDrive synchronizes changes that does not play well with a Scrivener project open from the OneDrive sync folder, even when doing everything I could to tell OneDrive and Windows to play nicely with my application. I have not had this same issue with DropBox.

Today, I use DropBox for the active writing folders and OneDrive for my backup folder location. I open the project from the DropBox sync folder on my local hard drive and write. When I close it, Scrivener backs up the project (into a single .ZIP file) in my OneDrive backup folder (which saves 25 older versions of my backups per-project). I wait to lock or sign-off the computer until both sync programs have finished their business. This seems to give me the best of both worlds, I can always access my content from the web or another device via either service, and I don’t have to manually back anything up.

If you decide to move your “live” scrivener projects to Dropbox (or Cubby), but you want to maintain the organization of your files in OneDrive, try moving the .scriv project folder to the new location, and then create a windows shortcut to the .scrivx file inside the .scriv folder. Keep that shortcut in the project’s original OneDrive location. You should then be able to double-click on the shortcut, which will load the scrivener project in Scrivener in its new location.

@rdale I like this idea… I think. :smiley: It’s 10am, a time I’m not usually awake, but am today with a headache and not much sleep. If my tired, throbbing mind understands you correctly, this is a fantastic way to keep me feeling like I’m using only one save space, but also ensuring that all my Scriv projects work and save the best way possible. Not that I’m being stubborn (okay, maybe a bit. This isn’t the first time an online writer friend tried to get me to stop using OneDrive) but I’ve really never had any problems with it or any of my files when using it. I am still learning more about Scrivener every day, it’s not a quick learning process for me, but so far, when I’ve had problems with it, it’s been some thing I’ve done to mess things up, not Scrivener, OneDrive, or a Windows error, just mine. Thanks for the great suggestion, I’ll keep it in mine.

For what it’s worth, I’d been happily using OneDrive for years without problems (other than the occasional case of a Word file suddenly not being able to sync for no damned reason) until I tried to put my live Scrivener projects into it. Scrivener is far more complicated on-disk than just about any other Windows application you would think to try to use with OneDrive. It has a lot of files open at once, and OneDrive is NOT good about respecting a particular sync order – which is, I believe, the heart of the problems I personally had with it.

We feel your pain! Unfortunately, not all sync products are created equal.