Restoring from onedrive

Re: Scrivener 3 for Windows. I need to restore everything that I had in Scrivener from Onedrive. My hard drive self-destructed and Onedrive has all of my work, years of it. I have looked online, and the information seemed to say that it was not possible to restore from Onedrive. I get the error message that says that it was not saved properly, but I can read the files on Onedrive. The entire set of files are there. I hope that you can help.

If you install one-drive on the new system and point to the original account and folders it should sync everything.

Alternative, copy the entire folder from one-drive to your local drive before you try to open anything. What format are the saves? Actual project folders synced, or ZIP backups? If the latter, you will need to expand them before opening.

1 Like

I have a lot of work on Scrivener and I am continue to download work from OneDrive. Today, I find that a .scriv file cannot be opened in Scrivener 3. Scrivener automatically sets it to a .scrivx file. Help. I need to work on this project ASAP. Thanks.

If you are working on Windows you should be opening the .Scrivx file inside the .scriv folder. The .scriv is the folder everything is stored in.

When downloading anything from One-Drive, or other, download the entire .scriv folder and all contents.

Mac OS is a little smarter, you open the .scriv item other by double clicking or File > Open and it does the rest.

A problem that crops up from time to time is people not copying the .scriv folder and entire contents and ending up with missing content.

1 Like

Look inside the folder with the .scriv extension. One of the few things in there will be the project’s .scrivx file. That should open it for you. (Note the difference between the folder and the file extensions, .scriv vs. .scrivx.)

If one is going to be opening projects from Explorer (rather than from inside one of Scrivener’s menus), then I would suggest creating shortcuts to the .scrivx files of the projects you want to open, keeping those shortcuts in a convenient location away from the projects’ folders, and then not bothering with those folders at all, as there’s nothing in them you should ever need to access – once you’ve got a shortcut to the scrivx.

I keep my Scrivener projects (the .scriv folders) all together in a folder designated as the repository for live projects, however unrelated they may be. They all go there. Then I’ve got shortcuts to each project’s .scrivx file as needed in appropriate folders for each project.

Backups are likewise kept all together somewhere else, as yet another category of stuff I need to easily access and keep track of, along with sync folders.

About the only time I actually used those shortcuts was for opening projects that had fallen off the recents list. That was before I discovered the Favorites feature. :slight_smile:

I would love it if Scrivener’s project templates/start screen had a Favorites button as well as a Recents. Better yet, to be able to have user project icons in the window that displays templates and the manual. I would add my .scriv “repository” folder to the sidebar, so my projects showed.

1 Like

The project is a folder on Windows, not a file. That folder has the .scriv extension. Inside it is a .scrivx file. It’s an XML index file for the Binder and a bunch of settings . It is not the project and yet, on Windows, you open the project by opening the .scrivx. It’s too bad Windows users have to deal with that confusion, but that’s the way it is.

1 Like

What’s really “too bad” for Windows users is that support for Scrivener for Windows get filtered through an Apple chauvinism mixed with what feels like weary resentment that a “Scrivener for Windows” and specialized support is necessary only because those benighted Windows users refuse to get a real computer.

As a Windows user with great admiration for the Scrivener vision and product, my long term concern is being abandoned by L&L when circumstances align to make Scrivener for Windows no more.

1 Like

It’s true that Scrivener came to the Mac platform first, and that these forums tend to be populated by Mac users.

As far as actual members of the L&L team go, however, our Windows experts are just as focused and knowledgeable about their platform as the Mac folks are. The most recent additions to the team were chosen in part specifically for Windows knowledge. If you find a Windows question isn’t answered adequately here, please don’t hesitate to open a support ticket:

Regardless of any Apple chauvinism or support inequities … skipping over whether those exist or not … it’s a fact that I have frequently seen Windows users separating the .scrivx from the .scriv, moving files in or out of the project folder, compiling into it, saving zip backups inside it, et cetera, all of which are impossible to do on the Mac without a level of sophistication that makes it unlikely a user would ever do it.

Mac users do not make those mistakes. Period.

In a textual support environment like the Facebook groups I moderate, it is quite difficult to eliminate the chance that those errors occurred for a Windows user, and without that, it’s impossible to be sure what the user is dealing with. I can fix almost any problem a user may have if I can get to the real issue, but that is inherently more difficult when the user is on Windows.

iOS Scrivener is likewise protected from these particular issues. The file structure is identical on all three platforms, but only Windows exposes the file structure to the tender mercies of inexperienced users.

In short, to give Windows users the same support as Mac users takes more effort.

On my Mac group, I see questions about how to do things. On the Windows/Mac (mixed) group, most questions are about problems. Broken projects, missing files, etc.

When Mac users have that kind of glitch, it’s virtually always a sync error, which means it isn’t a Scrivener problem at all – it’s a Dropbox or iCloud or Google Drive problem. Those are just as difficult to solve as the Windows issues mentioned above, but at least they’re not compounded by the chance of those other problems getting in the way.


I don’t think there is any Apple Chauvinism. I was referring to the difference in the way Apple and Windows handle the Scrivener project and the way what appears at first glance could be the issue here occurs.

It was more clearly addressed by DrMB as an issue he sees on the Scrivener Facebook groups he moderates. I see similar on the Scrivener V3 Windows group I moderate.

What’s this, an Apple chauvinist moderating a Windows group? And writing a Scrivener Windows V3 book before the Mac one? What was I thinking? :thinking:

Must have felt sorry for ‘those benighted Windows users’ without a ‘real computer’. :joy:

Damn me and my twisted uk/kiwi/aussie sense of humour.

1 Like

I have made no such mistakes. This is a OneDrive saved file. The file was created in a beta version of Scrivener 3. When I try to open it in Scrivener 3, it insists on making it .scrivx instead of converting it. I’ve used Scrivener for years–soon after Scrivener for Windows came out. I’m glad you like you MAC, but you don’t need to dis Windows.

I will reload Scrivener 1 (I know it is not the “real” name) and see how that goes. A really useful manual that can be effectively searched would be nice. A trouble shooting section would be helpful.

No .scrivx file exists. When Scrivener 3 tries to open the file from OneDrive it sets the extension to .scrivx and then gives the error message that it cannot open it. I will reinstall Scrivener 1 (I know that wasn’t its name), and hope for the best. I am disgusted with how Scrivener is handling this set of files. If I can’t open it, I will try to rescue the files individually as I can see them listed. This is a full-blown novel. I am a novelist, so I am duly upset. Thank you for your comments and support.

Hi @mjholt,

I’ve read through your posts to this thread a few times, and there is a key piece of information that you have not explicitly shared. How are you downloading the Scrivener files from OneDrive to your PC - 1) via the web browser or 2) via the OneDrive app installed on your PC? Please explicitly clarify this point, as it makes a difference to how we debug your issue.

The other thing that would be very helpful is for you to download the .scriv Scrivener project folder again from OneDrive. After the .scriv is downloaded, but before trying to open it in Scrivener, take a screenshot of the contents of the .scriv folder and post it here. Please do something like this below, where we can see the folder’s path and contents:



I’m not dissing Windows, merely pointing out a difference between the platforms that can make a significant difference when troubleshooting issues. As pointed out by DrMB, it’s one of the main issues we troubleshoot with Windows Scrivener on FB groups so a logical first question to ask.

1 Like

Can I , in all seriousness, suggest you hang off fiddling with anything until you perhaps upload a screenshot as suggested, or alternatively open a support ticket. Issues such as this can usually be traced and resolved. The issue as described doesn’t sound version related to me.

The Scrivener project structure is robust and the vast majority of novelists, non-fiction, and academic writers experience no issues at all, not that helps the very few that do experience an (usually system/cloud or user related) issue.

If I understand correctly, you are saying there is no .scrivx file. That is the file you need to open, not a .scriv on a Windows system. We need to find what happened to the .scrivx file. Perhaps you could include a screenshot of the folder/s on OneDrive as well as your system. If the project was created on V3 beta, it won’t open on V1.

I second the suggestion that you open a support ticket.

If the Scrivener 1 project behaved correctly but Scrivener 3 is unable to open it, then an error occurred at some point in the transfer from One Drive. But without more information about exactly what you are seeing, it’s nearly impossible to provide specific advice.

1 Like