New User - Exactly How To Transfer Projects Between Machines Using USB, Please?

Hi Everyone,

I’m new to Scrivener, having just finished the tutorial, and am super excited to get started! There’s one thing I can’t seem to find much advice on, so I would be grateful for your support, because I am completely un-tech-savvy and terrified of accidentally corrupting or otherwise ‘breaking’ my future project(s).

Long story short, I need to transfer my project between machines on a regular basis (once or twice a week). The catch is that I cannot use any cloud-type or internet based service, I need to use a USB stick or similar. (I have no control over this situation, so please don’t suggest that I move to a cloud service.)

I’m not worried about forgetting or anything like that, as I have been working like this for years with Word documents, however with Scrivener I’m just not sure how to do it. If someone would have the time to break down for me exactly which file or folder I need to copy from Machine A and which file or folder I need to over-write on Machine B in order to make the transfer, I’d be eternally grateful (if it makes any difference to size, my projects are almost entirely text based and the whole thing, research included, will have an absolute maximum of 150k words. Most projects will be significantly smaller).

The project is the whole folder called projectname.scriv with all its subfolders and files, so you need to transfer the whole folder. That can be done in several ways.

You could copy the folder from the HD to the USB stick, using the file system and Explorer after having closed Scrivener. Or you can choose File -> Backup to from within Scrivener to create a zip-file (provided you have ticked to create zip:ed backups under Tools -> Options) which you then copy to the USB stick.

On the second PC, copy the project folder (or zip file) from the USB stick to the HD and open the project (you need to unzip the zip file first, if you transferred it as zip).

That’s two ways of doing it. The important part is to remember that it’s the whole folder that is your project, not just a file, like in Word.

Hi Lunk,

Many thanks, that’s exactly what I needed! In terms of the project folder, am I right that it can just be dropped in the Documents section of the File Explorer (i.e. it doesn’t need to sit in any specific Scrivener sub folder to be useable)?

Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Projects can be placed anywhere on your hard drive that you can read and write to. Scrivener doesn’t care where you put them. But do always avoid writing any kind of document to the Program Files folder(s) just off the root of the C:\ drive. (Some people have been known to put their projects directly into the installation folder for Scrivener, and then lose all their writing when the software upgrades itself.)

Make sure you don’t put anything else inside the project folder.
It’s probably wise to have a designated Scrivener Projects parent folder under your Documents folder, and then have all the different project folder under that parent folder, just so that you know where they are.

And make sure that you have the backups somewhere else, perhaps in a Scrivener Backups folder in your Documents folder.

Thank you both very much! I am planning to put them in D:/Documents/Work/Scrivener folders (currently I have a similar set-up, but with ordinary sub-folders for projects and Word documents inside them.

One last question (sorry!), am I going to degrade the project folder over time by moving it regularly? I understand that there is always a risk of corruption at the point of moving a folder, but is the overall stability likely to suffer due to the moves (I know this isn’t the correct terminology, hopefully you understand what I mean)?

No, you shouldn’t be at risk of any kind of corruption, subject to the limitations inherent in the USB stick itself.

I’d recommend using some kind of naming convention to make sure you always know which version is which. The biggest risk in this kind of scenario is that you’ll accidentally overwrite a new version of the project with an older one.


Further to Lunks advice:

I ensure that I make a backup of the project everytime I finish writing or editing a chapter, ensuring the file has the date/time stamp affixed. Then every 6-12 months I go through the backup directory and cull the backups down to one a month.

Good luck

Thanks both, great advice and much appreciated! I’ve generally been used to over-writing my Word documents when I change machines, so I’m not worried about accidentally forgetting, I just need to get used to the new system.

Planning to start transferring my current project today, exciting times!