Project structure modifications not in sync


I’m using the latest Scrivener 3 beta on windows 10.

My laptop crashed while scrivener was open, and I haven’t been able to open the file I was working on ever since. When I try to open it, I get this message, even though the project is not stored in dropbox or any other type of cloud service:

Is there any way I can recover it, or should I go back to my most recent backup?

Thank you!

Topic moved to beta forum. – Katherine

I would still love some feedback on this :slight_smile:

As far as I know, when Scrivener opens a file it adds a flag that states that the file is in use. This is to prevent two copies from being open at once as when Dropbox keeps a copy on multiple computers. Scrivener removes the flag when the file is closed, but if a crash prevents Scrivener from closing the file then it won’t remove the flag.

My recommendation is to make a copy of the file in Windows explorer just in case, then open one of them and disregard any warnings. It should open to the last saved state. Normally Scrivener saves after every 2 seconds of inactivity. There’s a small chance of corruption, I think, if the crash occurred exactly as the file was being saved, but that should only affect the one document, not the entire Scrivener file.

As for binder state, I don’t think any choice you make will result in data loss but might affect the location of documents in your binder.

And having the copy will lessen the risk of problems caused by me :slight_smile:

Thank you for your answer! I’ve tried disregarding the warning, but it will tell me that it was not possible to open the file because the conflict has not been resolved. I’ve also tried uninstalling and installing again.

Would manually deleting the lock files help?

I’m just a long time user of Scrivener with some knowledge of app development. I’m not sure specifically what’s going on within Scrivener to cause this error. Possibly one of the Devs could chime in :smiley:

I suspect manually deleting the lock file wouldn’t help, but couldn’t hurt if you’re using a copy.

If there’s writing that I didn’t want to lose since my last backup, I’d go into MyProject.scriv>Files>Data and sort the folders there by Modified Date. Inside each folder is a content RTF file that corresponds to a document within your project. Hopefully all your recent documents will be intact and easily findable. At that point you can open each content file individually and copy/paste into your backup project.

Hope that helps. Fingers crossed!

Unfortunately what I’ve been doing since my last backup was spending a good amount of time organising my documents in my chaotic binder, otherwise I would do just what you said!

Thank you so much for taking the time to help anyway, everyone :slight_smile:


I come late to this, but:

  1. If there is a user.lock file there—I think it’s in project.scriv > Files—Scrivener won’t open the project because that tells it that it’s already open. If you have a crash, it can be left behind. Copy the project for safety and delete it.
  2. On the Mac, if you hold down the Alt/Opt key—you’ll have to experiment to find the equivalent key under Windows—and click the File menu, you should see two options:

[]"Save and Rebuild Search Indexes;
] Close Project and Clear Interface settings

It seems no-one has suggested either of those. I’d start with the first one on a version from which you’ve removed the user.lock, and if it’s still no go, try the second, as I presume you’ll need to do more restoration of settings afterwards.

I’m a Mac user—I’ve been using Scrivener from just before the launch of v 1.0 for the Mac, and have only had to remove user.lock files and sort out conflicted files about 3 times when my collaborator in China has been too quick to shut down her computer before the project has fully sync’ed to the cloud; I’ve never had a crash—so I can’t really help beyond that, except to suggest getting in touch with the support team by email if you’re still really stuck.

But I wish you all the best in recovering your project.


That’s where it is, yes.

The first one is always present in the Windows File menu. And it is the Alt key with File menu that shows the other one, in the “Close Project” group of menu items.