I used the trial version for 30 days and when I purchased the license and upgraded my project was gone. I’ve searched my entire Mac and iCloud drive for any files ending that end in .scriv and there is nothing… Any ideas on what could’ve happened?

If you open Scrivener and go to File > Find All Projects in Spotlight does nothing appear in the search results?

Scrivener did not do this. Scrivener doesn’t have the ability to do this.

Scrivener’s automatic backups can be found by going to Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups, and clicking the button to open the backup folder in Finder.

As for the underlying cause, I would suspect some sort of rogue cleanup software, “helpfully” removing files that it thinks are duplicates or unused. The Documents and Desktop feature of iCloud can also move things around in unpredictable ways, particularly if you enable then disable the feature. Another potential source of damage would be another user, if anyone else has access to either this system or one synchronized with a cloud account containing your files.

But it wasn’t Scrivener.


ugh nothing…oh no

thanks for your response

Where was it saved to when you created it? If you just bypassed the dialogue where you choose the location, check your Documents folder, since that is the default.

Is the entire project stored in a .scriv file, ie MYBOOK.SCRIV? Is that what I should search for? I used CleanMyMac in the past, but I can’t believe it would delete an active file without prompting…although that seems to be the case…something is really screwy. not giving up yet :slight_smile:

On the Mac, the entire project is in the .scriv file, yes (well, it can include links to other documents, but you have to choose to do that, so you’d know…)

So, yes, the thing to search for is .scriv.

Clean My Mac wouldn’t delete such files, AFAIK, unless you asked it to find and delete large and old files to save space (and your project was big enough perhaps?) Not saying that’s what it is as even then you’d have to choose to do it.

The other thing (obvious, sorry) is have you looked in the Trash?

Search for .scriv files, yes, but it also wouldn’t hurt to search for text that you expect to find in one of your projects, just in case the project structure has gotten disrupted in some way.


Thanks for all the help. I can’t find it anywhere. And I have no clue what happened. Wow. I am so sad right now… :neutral_face:

any previous backup in some cloud company like Backblaze? Time Machine? Carbon Copy Cloner? When was your last backup?

A no cost to you search tool provided by DEVONtechnologies would be worthwhile trying. I wouldn’t get your hopes up but it has found stuff for some people that macOS tools couldn’t.


It was on my iCloud drive…and when I created a test file in Scrivener that where it defaulted to…

Miracle of miracles scshrugged…EasyFind helped me to find it! Even though it found it in the /Scrivener/Backups directory when I looked there from within Scrivener the folder was empty. inexplicable…thanks everybody…i need a drink…it’s 5 o’clock somewhere

EasyFind is indeed a gem. So next time head to Finder first. Scrivener does not fail producing backups

For future reference, it is completely explicable that the backup files were not visible from within Scrivener: they are ZIP files, and Scrivener can only open .scriv files. To open a backup, you need to uncompress it in Finder, then open it.

Happy to hear you’ve recovered your work.


CleanMyMac does appear to clear the active file and recent files from Scrivener as of 9/16/2019. The action in CleanMyMac at issue was the clearing the cache of the applications (cache deletion for each app can be selected individually).

CleanMyMac lets one select and deselect individual applications for the cache deletion. I am sure that I at least attempted to uncheck Scrivener and only check a couple of apps that would not matter if an active file were lost. But, disaster struck and CleanMyMac did delete my work of a few days from Scrivener. I don’t understand yet why the backups of my Scrivener files were deleted.

Fortunately, Time Machine came to the rescue. I pulled the backup of the important file from a few moments before the use of CleanMyMac.

Now to uninstall CleanMyMac.