OMG. SOS. All my words are gone.

I was typing away just a few moments ago, and I must have hit something. I was trying to italicize a word, and I think I hit the wrong key, but I don’t know which one. Now all my folders, and all the words in my folders–some 200,000 of them, are ALL WIPED OUT. They’re just gone. Someone, please help me. I don’t know what I did. But the word can’t just all be gone, can they?

Someone, please help. I’m panicking here.

It is extremely unlikely that you lost everything. Mostly likely, you hit CTRL-N for new and opened a new project or something like that. See what happens if you close the program, maybe even reboot, and open it up again. Scrivener saves every few seconds so you’ll probably find it. If you actually found a way to delete everything, and save the empty file over your work (that would be quite an accomplishment), then Page 53 of the manual explains how to restore from a backup which scrivener seems to make on every program close. I think their default is something like keeping 10 copies.

However, you will undoubtedly eventually lose everything. Your drive will fail sometime, or Windows will go crazy or a virus will corrupt everything, or something else will go wrong. If what you are doing is at all important then you should have an external hard drive (about $60 on Amazon) and an automatic backup program to copy everything important to it every day if you work most days. There are many simple backup programs that will run automatically, or you can copy manually, but that would be a mistake if you might for some reason forget or get in a hurry.

In addition, you should have an off-site backup. Again there are lots of low cost options depending on your needs the amount of data, the need for security etc. That way if a burglar steals your computer, and the hard drive backup you have on top of it or next to it, or there is a fire, then you’ll still have your files.

If you don’t have 3 copies of your files, on 3 different media, in at least 2 different locations, then you do not have a good backup system. The backup system should also be automatic. Do not trust yourself to do it manually.

Learn the lesson now, or learn it later.