Repeating "file does not exist" error after Mojave/High Sierra security patch?

I’m not sure if this is a Scrivener bug or an Apple bug, or what I need to do to track down the problem.

I installed the Mojave security patch (2020-005) on the 27th. I had a Time Machine backup which I made just before that, and I’m grateful I did. Ever since then, every time I close my Scrivener project, when I try to re-open it I get an error message that says, “The document “work in progress” could not be opened. The file doesn’t exist.” In order to get my file back I have to go back to the Time Machine backup from before the security patch, restore it [edit: and move and/or rename it, I’m not sure which but I’ve been doing both], and then copy the .rtf exports of every modified index card which I fortunately had the good sense to start making after the first time this happened.

Obviously, the longer this goes on, the less helpful a solution it is–it’s not a big deal for two or three index cards, but with more than that, especially as I move them around and lose that in the .rtf exports, I’ll have a serious problem before too long.

Is this happening to anyone else, or is it a coincidence that it started after I installed the security patch? I’m running Mojave 10.14.6 with an Intel processor. Scrivener is version 3.1.5, which as far as I can tell is current. I am happy to provide any additional information you need, if you let me know what that information is. I don’t have a crash log, because it doesn’t crash–it’s just the error message.

When Scrivener opens it normally tries to open the file that was open last. If that file was deleted or moved you may get that message, and you may get if you are trying to open a project from the Recent Projects list.

Is the file where you would expect it to be on the Finder? Can you go File>Open in Scrivener and open it once you have located it?

When I get the error, the file is exactly where it was when I closed it and named exactly what it was when I closed it. (I’ve only tried moving and renaming after getting the error, and it was what I needed to get the Time Machine backup to be recognized by Scrivener.)

Your File>Open suggestion did work when no attempts to get to it through Finder did, so thank you so much for that! I’d done some organizational work that I was very much unhappy with the idea of having to recreate and added some notes that I was going to have to remember instead of being able to just look at, which weren’t in the .rtf backups, and that work is restored now.

However, I still don’t know what is happening–when trying to access the file through Recent Projects did not work, the first thing I did was go to Finder and verify that it still existed (it did) with the same name (yep) and was about the size it should be (it was, which suggested all the data inside hadn’t been lost). Then I double-clicked on it in Finder and got the same error that I did when trying to get to it via Recent Projects. Then I right-clicked and tried Open With>Scrivener 3, and still got the same error.

Are you trying to open the project from your Time Machine volume, or are you moving it to a “normal” location like your Documents folder first?

Are you able to create and open new projects successfully?


The Mojave patch was pulled and then replaced / updated yesterday. Perhaps the cause and solution to the current issue you are facing? … ty-update/

Retrieving projects from TimeMachine can sometimes be problematic. A Scrivener project may look like one file but it is actually a package of dozens if not hundreds of files. So an error backing up or restoring that complex format might be what is causing the error message. It can be better to retrieve a zipped backup of a project from TimeMachine rather than the actual project file.