Project file won't open

I have had this problem a couple of times now. My project file will somehow get renamed with the name of the project itself (ie it will become “MyBook.scrivx” instead of “project.Scrivx”) and won’t open. It doesn’t complain or anything, it just doesn’t open.
Changing the name back seems to ‘fix’ it, but why does this happen?

Sounds like you’re working cross-platform; the Mac version will rename the “project.scrivx” file to match the name of the .scriv folder. This isn’t a problem as the Windows version can normally open that without issue. If however you get multiple copies of a .scrivx file in the project .scriv folder or other conflicted files, which can happen through a sync error if you’re sharing your projects via Dropbox or the like, that will prevent Windows from opening the project.

Make a backup of your project folder (right-click the entire .scriv folder/file and choose “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder” on Windows or “Compress [filename]” on the Mac). Then take a look in your project’s folder for multiple .scrivx files and any other “conflicted” files/duplicates you may have and clean those out by removing the extras to another location outside the project folder (better to just move them for now rather than deleting them). Turn on the “Date modified” column in Windows Explorer/Finder so you can be sure you’re keeping the most recent copy of the .scrivx project file. Once you’ve got that sorted, try opening the project again in Windows–it should work fine.

Depending what conflicted copies you found within the project and their modified dates, you may want to look through them in case they contain text from your project that got overwritten in the sync glitch.

If you’re using a sync service to keep your projects updated between machines, it’s important to always ensure the sync finishes completely after closing your project on Machine A before you disable the internet connection there and again that Machine B syncs completely before you open the project. I recommend checking out the Scrivener Everywhere chapter in the user manual for guidelines on the best way to do this, or see our knowledge base article here.

Ah… that may be it. Mac plus Dropbox. I don’t use the Mac myself, but we do sync via dropbox, and my son has the trial-mac version. Dunno what he does with it… probably just looks at the books.

I wouldn’t give access to anyone who isn’t cognizant of the pitfalls of Scrivener + Drobox, as outlined in the manual under “Scrivener Everywhere”. He could accidentally cause Dropbox to delete passages you’ve worked on by causing sync errors.