Project/Backup Recovery


Trying to mitigate a panic attack hoping that I didn’t accidentally delete a few months of work. I was trying to reset my points target box because the numbers were in the negative after refreshing. This has happened before and I just usually close the project to refresh. On this occasion, I noticed the program do a backup bar, which was something I had not seen before. Normally, I just close out and then open again using the icon on my bottom toolbar.

This time, it opened a second project that I had, rather than my main. And when I went looking in my save folders for the main project, it opened an old version rather than what I had just been working on. I located a backup file but when using a zip compressed file opener, it opens the project with all my framework, but no actual material in it. I’m really starting to freak out, I hope someone has an idea.

Is there cloud storage involved in any way?

In my opinion best way external disk backup

I found out what happened with some help from a friend. Turns out last October I had organized my folders and made a copy into dropbox. I thought I was working from the new folder but everything kept saving to the original location (which I did not know was still there). When I closed out and opened from my new folder, it was the copy I’d made in October.

Huge relief. I’m also making 2 other backup spots for all my work more regularly just in case. That was the worst feeling ever.

Glad you got it sorted. To keep unpleasant surprises like this from happening again, consider displaying the full project path in the Scrivener title bar. This will ensure you always know exactly which copy of the project you’re working in.

To enable this on Windows Scrivener 1.9.xx: Tools > Options > General > Enable Show full project path in the title bar

For the Windows Scrivener 2.9.x.xx beta: File > Options > Appearance > General Interface > Enable Show full project path in the title bar


To add to JimRac’s excellent advice, I’d also suggest paying attention to how you name things.

Modern file systems allow pretty long names, and MyNovelVer2 is a lot less informative than MyNovelReOrg1Mar21.

Good names are especially important when you are making copies and moving things around. The kind of error you experienced happens quite often.

Also, one more tip. After you’ve done a reorganization, clear Scrivener’s Recent Projects menu. (File → Recent Projects → Clear Menu.) Close all of your open projects before closing Scrivener, too. That will force you to open things manually – presumably from the correct location – rather than automatically opening what may be an out of date version.

(That’s the Mac Recent Projects menu. Presumably the Windows version is similar.)


Thanks for the input!