Progress lost due to power outage

Hi, the power went out in our house for some reason, so my computer shut down. I’d been working on Scrivener 3 for Windows ( (1274136) 64-bit)) for about an hour. When I rebooted, all my progress from that session had been lost.

I actually didn’t lose much, but now I’m concerned that if this happens again, the loss could be more significant. In this case, I’m simply confused, because the autosave feature is running, so isn’t Scrivener saving my work as I go? Why did I lose everything when it’s “saving” every 2 seconds of inactivity?

More important: Is there anything I can do to prevent this type of loss and/or recover lost work if I again lose power unexpectedly?

Thank you!!

Others can comment on the software side of this, what you report is indeed a mystery … but a while back I “bit the bullet” and invested in a small UPS for my setup (iMac, NAS, and network switch). I’ve ridden safely through two power outages since then. Our electrical power supply here is getting more unreliable (and more expensive…oh well). The UPS setup just works. :grinning:

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Did you create a new document in that hour? If so, it may be that the Binder wasn’t saved, hence the new document is there in the project but isn’t linked in the Binder. In that scenario, you can search inside the project (in the Windows files app), find the document, and drag it into the Binder. That’s the go-to solution if a zip backup doesn’t restore things (as in your situation, since a backup didn’t happen).

If you didn’t create a document in that hour, or you did but the lost work was in a document that already existed, autosave should have prevented losing that work. If it didn’t, that’s a bug.

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The good news here (for expected cases anyway) is that the binder auto-saves along with any changed text as well. And in fact every time auto-save runs, the binder is not only saved, but also backed up internally, which can be useful if something really unusual happens to the main binder file between auto-saves (the only time I’ve seen that happen was a literal lighting strike).

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So one thing to be aware of here is that the auto-save interval is how long you were idle, rather than every two seconds on the dot. So it is entirely plausible, if you are a fast typist that was in the zone for an hour, that this never triggered in that period of time.

You can keep an eye on the status of this by checking the title bar on the project window now and then. After the name of the project you will see an asterisk if your most recent work is unsaved. After two seconds, that asterisk should go away and if everything is working correctly, all you’ve done recently is on the disk. If you are a fast writer and find this asterisk is nearly always up there, you could try setting it a 1 second idle time. That may cause periodic lag, as auto-save will trigger more often while you’re typing, but it may also be worth that minor annoyance.

You can also manually save, if you’re feeling an understandable lack of trust in the system at the moment. While normally there is no need to do so, Ctrl+S is there if you want it. Do note however that if you have optional settings like in General: Saving, to take snapshots, or in the Backup settings pane to backup on manual save, you may be creating a lot of redundant backups by doing that too often. But on the other hand, those features are also a secondary safety net if you want them!

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Good news indeed. This is the 1st time in 8+ years that I’ve seen the Binder autosave specifically addressed from your end.

Thanks! I did create new documents so I’ll search inside the project. This will be helpful if it happens again!

Thanks! It was definitely giving me the asterisk every time I paused. I’ll try manually saving, too, just to play it safe.

Fortunately for us, this is very rare. It happened, it turns out, because a truck rammed into a pole and knocked out a power line very briefly. Not an everyday occurrence! But I’ll keep this in mind. Thank you!

For the future, a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is inexpensive insurance. Power failures are bad for your data, but also your hardware.

I had a situation a few years ago where a windstorm blew down a bunch of trees in my area. As each individual transformer went, the power went out, then came back again as the system redundancy kicked in. That happened several times before it went out for good. Flickers are even worse than just pulling the plug, and UPSes are cheap.


Someone else suggested one of these. I’ll keep it in mind. Thank you!!

I got to thinking about this, and looked on Amazon…seems most of the lower priced UPS if not all are poor in various ways – intensive 1-star reviews explain – and there is a big jump to anything looking better, where also the software for shutting down your computer when the UPS is about to run out of batteries apparently doesn’t work on many, either.

Soon in this I thought again: I use a laptop. The battery, even if not in peak condition (whose is?) is its own UPS. And best of all, you can depend on the laptop shutting down properly when the battery runs out, if power is off for long.

Ergo, seems running full Scrivener in a laptop is the way to go…no?


I have been using APC UPSs for years without problem. Just make sure you buy a model that has a user-replaceable battery (most do) so you don’t have to send the unit to a repair shop just to get a new battery. Battery longevity varies according to usage, but I typically get 3-4 years out of a battery and a replacement battery costs about $35 for a BackUPS-600 model.

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APC do make good product, though some models require a special power cable with the female plug at the UPS end. Tend to be higher pricing.

Any number of larger brand Chinese UPSs work just fine and do have replaceable batteries. I typically have one in the Fibre Modem/Router room and a couple in the study.

Last house and one we’re building had/will have Solar/Tesla Powerwall as well. Gives us a full day power for when it’s storm season. Also have a 2.2Kw Honda generator in the motorhome that has been called into use in the past.

Can never be too protective of power and data :slight_smile:

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In my country they have Amazon “Basics” brand UPS which I understand is just re-badged from another manufacturer called CyberPower. Over the last year and a half, it has served me well so far with no sign of battery deterioration and when the power did fail (twice) it did its job.

This is an issue with any software. My plan for avoiding this for about 30 years now is save often.