Project corrupted by format update?

I recently opened an old project in Scrivener 1.3 and agreed to the request to update the file format.

I worked on it for a while, then saved and quit.

Now when I try to open the project (3.6MB), it wants to update the file format again. I let it, and ended up with an empty project (12K).

After quitting and trying to open the now empty project, it tells me I have to upgrade the format yet again…


(I still have the backups it made before updating).

There is a horrible bug in all versions of Scrivener up to the latest 1.1 betas whereby Scrivener could not tell a newer file format from an older one. Thus, confronted with a newer project format, it would ask you to update, but if you did, it would corrupt the file so that it couldn’t be opened in any version of Scrivener.

Fortunately, as you note, Scrivener makes a backup of the project before updating, so nothing ever gets lost - it is just very annoying.

I strongly recommend that you download the latest beta (1.07) from the Beta Testing forum, trash all other copies of Scrivener, and then open the backed-up version of the project (named [filename]Old_Backup or whatever) in the new Scrivener beta. Yes, it will ask you to update again, but this time it will work. And from 1.1 onwards, if it encounters a newer file format, it will just refuse to open it.

Sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

All the best,

Many thanks - that was really helpful to know. In fact it opened the first copy I had saved with 1.3 that contained the updates I had made without feeling the need to update the file format. I must say I was greatly relieved that it didn’t even try. :wink:

Best wishes

Maybe I spoke a little too soon. I noted I still had two copies of Scrivener lurking: the project was opening with an older version. Having sorted that out, the new beta did have to update the project file and all seems well…

…except now if I double click the project file to launch it, I get an ‘unexpected error’: -10660.

However, launching the app opens the project automatically, and I can open it from the File menu.

What gives?


That error occurs on OS X when it is trying to launch an application from the Trash. It sounds as though you have trashed your old version of Scrivener but not emptied the trash, so when you double-click on the project it tries to open in the version of Scrivener that is in the Trash. Empty your trash, make sure the new version is in the Applications folder and there are no other versions of Scrivener anywhere, and all should be good.