Rebuilding search indexes. Please wait - Stuck at 36%

I’ve been using the Windows 3 beta for various small projects for a while now without any issue, however this week I have felt confident enough to open my main PhD thesis project file with it. This is a big file - 407Mb in Dropbox with around 3000 files. The first time I opened it it was admittedly slow but it did get there and was later successfully (as far as I can tell) closed. The project includes a lot of pdf files in the Research binder and my aim today was to delete those that I no longer need and so reduce the file size considerably.

So today, it seems to take even longer to open, but eventually does and allows me to send about 50 pdfs to the trash folder. However when I went to delete them from there it gave me the usual " this is permanent" message, let me click to proceed and then promptly closed.

I have tried to to reopen the project, but for the last half hour it has been stuck 36% of the way through rebuilding the search indexes… Any ideas?

I was gonna say, yeah, but… after looking, I’m not sure where the trash folder is in the .scrivx folder. However…

Get an XML editor (I use Notepad++), and simply remove the entries for those PDFs from the .scrivx file. Be sure to back up the .scrivx file first (copy it to Project.scrivx.backup or some such), and then edit the scrivx file, raw.

The advantage to using something like Notepad++ is you can collapse entries to one line, and then delete that line. Inside the Trashfolder is a line, “”. It contains the pointers (somehow) to the stuff in the Trashfolder.

<BinderItem UUID="4C97B448-CA50-4214-BB18-B873019507A8" Type="TrashFolder" Created="2010-04-22 03:23:40 -0800" Modified="2010-04-22 03:23:40 -0800"> <Title>Trash</Title> <MetaData/> <Children> <BinderItem UUID="2259FAB7-2D9D-4487-80E4-D3255921B355" Type="Text" Created="2016-07-09 17:49:33 -0800" Modified="2016-07-09 17:49:33 -0800"> <Title>Notes</Title> <MetaData> <IncludeInCompile>Yes</IncludeInCompile> <FileExtension>rtf</FileExtension> </MetaData> <TextSettings> <TextSelection>0,0</TextSelection> </TextSettings> </BinderItem> <BinderItem UUID="C11F7829-290E-45FD-A9B8-CFEF9B3577C9" Type="Folder" Created="2016-07-09 17:49:35 -0800" Modified="2016-07-09 17:49:35 -0800"> <Title>Diversity</Title> <MetaData> <LabelID>232</LabelID> <StatusID>0</StatusID> <IncludeInCompile>Yes</IncludeInCompile> </MetaData> <TextSettings> <TextSelection>0,0</TextSelection> </TextSettings> <Children> <BinderItem UUID="ABC43B15-A68C-4A11-A621-B7E070BE6E26" Type="Folder" Created="2016-07-09 17:49:35 -0800" Modified="2016-07-09 17:49:35 -0800"> <Title>Point 01</Title> <MetaData> <LabelID>233</LabelID> <StatusID>0</StatusID> <IncludeInCompile>Yes</IncludeInCompile> </MetaData> <TextSettings> <TextSelection>0,0</TextSelection> </TextSettings> </BinderItem> </Children> </BinderItem> ... </BinderItem>

I click a little blue icon next to the first “children” entry in the trashfolder, and it collapses to

<BinderItem UUID="4C97B448-CA50-4214-BB18-B873019507A8" Type="TrashFolder" Created="2010-04-22 03:23:40 -0800" Modified="2010-04-22 03:23:40 -0800"> <Title>Trash</Title> <MetaData/> <Children> </BinderItem>

And I can simply select , delete it, save the file, and when Scriv next opens it, the trash is empty. The files haven’t moved, wherever they are, but the .scrivx file doesn’t mention them anymore, so Scrivener doesn’t know about them anymore.

Just be sure Scrivener is not open when you do this.

You can see why backing up this file would be a good idea, though; one false move, and the project gets it.

Thank you! I’m going to give this a go and save your message in case I ever need it again.

If you go down the road of manually editing the scrivx file backup is crucial. You might also want to delete the folders with the deleted UUIDs: BinderItem UUID=“4C97B448-CA50-4214-BB18-B873019507A8” from the Files/Data subfolders, or Scrivener will try to recover them and add them to your project upon restart. Have in mind that these UUIDs, might be also used in Bookmarks, References etc. Because of this editing the scrivx file should be your last option, guys.

I prefer not to edit that file by hand. It does make doing some things a lot easier, though.


  • adding massive numbers of keywords to a project (paste from a text file created by a spreadsheet instead of click, type, click; click, type, click). If I have them in another project, I can copy them Project to Project, but what if I’m entering a list of them from some website? I can get a spreadsheet to make the xml entries pretty quick, from a list. In fact, I’ve got one saved that does that.
  • doing the same thing with other metadata items (though metadata and keywords copy from one project to another pretty easily, entering new items is clicky)
  • certain mass copies (labels, status, e.g.)
  • and some other things (this case)

I haven’t bollixed a project yet by editing that file, but I’m sure it’ll happen sometime.