Never autosaved today, work lost

I’ve been using Scrivener for years and have never had this happen before.

I’ve got about four hours of work in when my laptop freezes while doing an internet search in firefox. I restarted the computer, reopened scrivener, and none of the work I had completed today can be found. The entire sheet I created today is missing.

Why did this happen, and can anything be done?

Have you changed the default time set for auto save?
Was Scrivener open when your Mac froze?
Was the lost text all in one single binder document?


I’m not exactly sure what you are asking in your first question but yes I do have auto save on to the default settings.
Yes, it was open when my laptop crashed.
It was all in the same binder document.

I did a search around the forum and found where backups are saved. I was still at the “save the last 5” however nothing had been lost from yesterday just yet. Oddly, though I close the program at least a few times a week, the backups were only for yesterday AFTER my laptop turned back on, one day last week, and on December 31st. I have changed it to save the last 25. That being said, I tried opening these backups files and my Scrivener refuses to open the files, instead giving me an error message that says Scrivener can’t write the files (or something like that, if this is important I can try to hunt them down again)

Sometimes people get disturbed by Scrivener saving the project when they stop to think for a few seconds, and change the default non-active-time that triggers Scrivener auto-save to several minutes. If Scrivener hasn’t had time to auto-save and no manual save was made, then what was written might disappear.

Each binder document is its own file on the HD. Scrivener opens the files that you ask it to display in the Editor, not other files/documents. If your PC crashes when the file is open, it could be corrupted, not possible to be read by Scrivener. This means that if you make very large documents and the PC is prone to crashing, you might lose everything. It’s usually smart to break the documents in several small pieces, possibly only one or a few paragraphs.

Check your backup settings. Are they set to make a backup on project close or project open? And have you ticked ‘backup on manual save’? If you seldom close the project there will be few backups unless you have told Scrivener to make a backup if you make a manual save, and make a manual save every now and then.

If the backups are zip files Scrivener can’t open them. You need to unpack the zip file first (just double click it in Explorer).

During Christmas week I completed several chapters. This work was done at least one week before my OP issue occurred. I went to review that work just now and the sheets are there under the right folder. The sheet titles are there, too. But every single sheet is blank. This is about 30,000 words worth of work and much more devastating to me than the missing work I posted about initially. And this was all because of my computer freezing one day? I don’t know where to look for old versions and I am struggling to understand why or how this can happen. I’m not a techy person by any means but clearly there is a big problem with the program for this to happen. I’ve been a big Scrivener fan for years but this is a major issue and I’m sadly going to have to find a new program to use before I lose any further work.

Update: I FOUND THEM in one of the older backup versions. I was actually crying over this so this is a huge, huge relief. That being said I still don’t understand what happened or why and I’m nervous to continue using this program.

… and no one can help you understand without knowing what you did, how your system is setup, where you save your projects, if you e.g use removable media, how your Scrivener is set up when it comes to autosave intervals, etc.

Only stating “text disappeared” doesn’t help in understanding what happened.

No removable media, I backup to OneDrive but I recovered my sheets from a Scrivener backup
This is a new lenovo and I had it for about two or three weeks before this happened.
It does the default autosave of every two seconds. Everything with my Scrivener is set to default but after this happened initially I changed it to save the last 25 backup files instead of the last 5
The initial issue that caused this post, I was working on a screen that I hadn’t closed and reopened for about a week not knowing that could cause saving/backup issues. However this second time around the work had been completed and saved before the computer crash that led to these issues.
Backups save to C drive Scrivener local folder
I currently save to desktop but it was being saved to my downloads folder from when I had transferred my files to the new laptop.

Save and Backup are not the same thing.
You can Backup to OneDrive, preferably as .zip files.
Don’t Save the live project on OneDrive.
Backups are by default crested when you close the project, so close it at least by the end of each day.

Live project saves are on my desktop, backups are to onedrive but I’ll be sure to do zips from now on. Will be sure to close each day. Any hint as to what might have cleared the content from the sheets? I’ve never ever had an issue with Scrivener before until I got a new laptop and it randomly crashed, and in the instance of these sheets it wouldn’t have been a backup/save thing, I don’t think.

You didn’t by any chance make a Save As… at any point, saving with a new name after having created those documents but before actually filling them with text? And then by mistake later open the old version instead of the new one with the new name?

It’s possible. I don’t actually know when the text disappeared so that makes it harder to figure out what happened. All I remember is finishing that section of the book around New Years Eve, then a few weeks later my laptop crashed, then yesterday I went to review those sheets and they were blank.

If you don’t remember what you did or when or when the text disappeared, how do you expect anyone else to explain what happened?

Because this is a tech support forum and it makes absolutely no sense to me why I would have the sheets, with their correct titles, and yet the sheets are mysteriously completely blank. I’m sorry but I cannot think of a scenario that would make this happen when I worked on the sheets successively over a two week period. I did not create them all at the same time. I created one, wrote the content, then created the next one, rinse and repeat six times. As stated before I have never had an issue with Scrivener until my new laptop crashed the other week. Anyway, I genuinely appreciate the attempt at helping me figure out what happened but not the perhaps unintentional coldness towards my plight, and it may be worth the people that respond on here to remember that there are humans on the other side likely already in tears about lost work. I’ll just chalk this up to being an unsolved mystery and, now that I’m skeptical of the program’s reliability will be looking into alternatives.