Recovering from a crash

I please need technical support. I was almost finished with my novel and I had a crash because My computer lost power when I thought it was plugged in but it was not. :blush: I do all my work on a laptop. When I plugged it back in I lost a very large chapter I was going to break down into about five chapters. It comes out to 18000 words I lost. What I do not understand is why if I save it regularly how to go to a prior saved point. When I go to backup it shows nothing for some reason. Please help as this is very disheartening to lose so much work just because of a crash. I am now even too scared to turn my laptop off at this point. If possible I would like to speak to some technical support over the phone on this issue as I am not that computer savvy. Please email me at


Hi Robert,

I’m so sorry you’ve lost work! There are a few things to check to try recovering your lost text. First, you mentioned that your backup shows nothing. Where are you looking to determine this? By default, Scrivener makes full backups of your project every time you close, saving the five most recent. Assuming that you had closed your project at some point since creating at least some of those 18K words and never changed the default settings, you should have a full project backup that we can use to recover all or part of your chapter.

In Scrivener, go to Tools > Options and click Backup in the left sidebar, then click “Open backup folder…”. This will bring up the Windows file browser showing the folder where your automatic backups are currently stored. They’ll use the project name, so e.g. if your project is called “My Novel” your backups here would be called “My Novel.bak1”, “My Novel.bak2” and so on. Do you see these?

Please copy all the backup files you find here for this project and paste the copies into a new folder on your desktop; call it something like “My Novel Backups”. Since the backups are automatically created every time you close the project, if you keep opening and closing the project, older backups will eventually be replaced by newer ones, and this can be sped up by opening backups of the project which use the same name. Copying the existing backups to another location will ensure they remain available while you go through them.

Backups are stored as zipped archives, so to open the backup project in Scrivener you will first need to extract it from the zip archive. To do this, either right-click the zipped folder and choose “Extract All” or double-click the folder and then drag out the .scriv folder to another location. You can then open the project in Scrivener as normal and check to see if your chapter text is there.

If you don’t see any files for your project in the backup folder when you open it, we can try for some more extreme methods. Restoring a full backup is definitely best if you have the option , though, so give it a try and let us know if you’re running into any hiccups with the steps. If you are, or if there aren’t any backups at all and we need to try something different, please say what version of Windows you are running (XP, 7, 8). You can check this by right-clicking on My Computer and choosing Properties, then looking at the system information in the General tab.

Okay, I recovered by reverting the scrivener software using the windows 7 restoration system which also allows you to do this if you right click on any software. But i was only able to recover about 15,000 words which is okay and livable for me is I lost only a couple days work. Now I am having another problem and the software does not seem to save. This is two days in a row it has done this. i keep saving and did not do the backup save because I never had to do this before. This is the 3rd time in a row that i saved everything, closed the software and opened it and it did not save. So I am scared now to work because it is not saving my work. If I do not get some help from the software manufacturer on this to resolve this issue I will abandon ship on scrivener because I do not have the time to keep writing and have nothing in return. This is completely exhausting me and I want some expert help that can tell me what is going on. I feel like taking all my stuff and putting it back into word because this is getting very frustrating with no 1-800 number to call. The strange thing is I saved it a couple times and reopened and it was fine and then I reopened again and it all disappeared again. This is just exhausting losing my writing on a daily basis with this software.

It seems to me that there is something seriously wrong with this software and I am starting to regret that I have been recommending this to everyone i know.

Please contact me at


Something is seriously wrong with this software as it is not saving the work I enter and I would appreciate some attention from the designers of this software instead of being ignored. :cry: I have been repeatedly saving my work and it is not saving and same files keep disappearing, one very large 18000 word file just keeps disappearing. :angry: if you cannot help me fix this I would like my money back as this program is completely useless as it is right now to me. :frowning: And I would appreciate a real person contacting me because it seems this way is not working. By the way if your customer service keeps ignoring me I will post this nonsense on all my blogs. :open_mouth: If this is the best you can do you need to get out of the software business because you program does not save the material properly. :confused:


Hi Robert,

I’m very sorry you’re still having trouble. I did not see any messages from your address in our email support queue, so I started a new ticket just based on the information you’ve provided in the forum; please check your spam folder if you do not see it in your inbox. We are a small team without a centralised office, and so unable to provide phone support, but we do our best to reply to tech support emails quickly, as indicated on our support page.

All the best,


Hi Jennifer,

You may close all the tickets as this issue now seems solved for me, thank you for your assistance. The only problem that i now seem to be having was on the updating of the software which if you read that issue that is the only thing now which I have already spoke of and gave you the details. saving it under a different name seemed to work and solve the saving issue I was having. :slight_smile: I am very happy as I can now get back to what I do…, write.

Your information greatly helped me and here is an update to mt situation. After your recommendation I finally figured out that I had two files by the same same. This had happened somehow when I had recovered after I used the right click method on my Windows 7 laptop on the scrivener software it allowed me to restore the software to an earlier date which was last Friday. If you remember I told you this allowed me to restore the scrivener software to Fridays date and instead of losing 18000 I only lost about 15,000 words. well it turned out after I did that somehow I had two files by the same name. I am not really sure how this happened or if it even happened on that date. But after using your recommendation to try to re-save the chapter i was having trouble to isolate it I thought to just re save the entire novel under a new name. So I did a lot of writing again and correcting on this new file again. Everything was there today and I am now confident this file is working the way as it is supposed to. I am also confident that the wrong problem was two files were in there with the same name and was making the software confused somehow.

I am really glad as I like this software a lot as it allows me to skip around in the novel making structural changes to the novel easily. I did not wish to go to word perfect to transfer which seed like it would be a huge headache.

This seems to be some kind of bug and you might wish to fix this with future repairs of the software.

So I have solved this issue and you may now destroy the copy of my novel I sent you as I have now restored my confidence in this high quality software.