Organizing old versions of project files

I recently got confused about which project file i was working on. As I combed my computer, i found dozens of scrivener files of this project. I started a new folder “Project 2” to separate files older but sill have a lot. It is getting confusing to keep track.

Any suggestions on how to organize the old files, which i do not want to delete, so I am clear which is newest and all are in order?

There are a couple of ways to go about this.

If you don’t intend to open each project and review its contents, you could use a tool like 7Zip or WinZip to compress the .scriv folder and all its contents. Then, you can move that ZIP into your “Old Drafts” folder and delete the original .scriv folder.

The compression process will protect these versions if you need to reuse them at some point. It also has them take less of your storage space.

If you want to open these old projects and review them as you work, you can have Scrivener compress them as backups using the File > Back Up > Back Up To... command. Ticking the 'Back up as ZIP file` box on that panel will have Scrivener compress the projects.

It can also include the date and time when the backup was made in the ZIP file’s name, which will help you track when you archived them as ZIPs.

Again, you can then trash the original .scriv project and empty the Recycling Bin to remove the unneeded copies of the projects.

If you have a cloud-storage account or external hard drive, you can have the manual ZIPs Scrivener creates saved to one of those locations as well.


Backup to zipped file + date and timestamp in Scrivener’s options is how you prevent this from happening.

No more confusion.
To later load one of these older versions, you really have to want to (unzip it first), and there is no way you could be unaware of what you are actually doing.


FYI, it is possible to compress files to Zip format with built-in File Explorer feature. No need to get a third party software product, unless wanted.

Zip and unzip files - Microsoft Support.

Finder in macOS does same.

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On my Win 10 machine, the built-in tool is junk. It fails to compress about 1/3 of the time. I got tired of the fight, so threw a better tool on it.

That machine is also seven years old at this point, so I’m likely asking more than it’s capable of delivering.

Those troubles unknown to me while using Windows, nor have I heard of those issues. but I accept that you have troubles. Dunno.