Recovering Old Projects

I’ve been writing a few books off and on for eight years. Recently I’ve tried to open several .scriv projects and I’ve received an error message below:

(The Project) seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.

Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup.

I am at a total loss here. I have dozens of projects that won’t open now so I am assuming the issue is global (something that has happened with my storage of projects or something else.) This represent a LOT of lost work so I’d love to figure this out if possible. Thanks for any suggestions.

I found this older post about the error message.

In any case, what it seems to say is that your project files are incomplete (a Scrivener project is really just a folder full of files, presented as if it were just one file). Where did you keep the backups? If they’re coming from a Cloud service, they may not be fully synchronised. In that case, try downloading them to a different location on you local disk.


The most likely answer is that your project files are in a cloud-synced area of your hard drive and your cloud sync service is set to store them remote-only. Scrivener cannot work with project files that are not wholly present!

You need to tell your sync set up to not remove your scriv projects from your hard drive.

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A more recent article about this issue is here:

This relates to Dropbox specifically, but most services have similar “helpful” features, with similar disappointing results.