Scriv3 Hang on Exit/Backup Save

Hello there. I’m using 3.2.3 on Mac OS Ventura 13.1.
When I exit the program, it will create the backup as usual, but it’ll sit there for several minutes. I’ll switch to another program like my browser or whatever, click the Apple icon, then Force Quit, and Scrivener will show (not responding). I also see the Dropbox sync icon on the top-right when it’s saving and syncing something, so, I’m a little alarmed that something terrible is going to happen to my files. Fortunately that hasn’t happened yet, but I’m a bit concerned.

Should I remove some backup files or is there another few steps or settings that I need to tweak? I’m writing a novel for my thesis and other projects so to lose all that would be devastating. I’ll make backups from Dropbox on a physical disk just in case, though.

Any help would be hot! Thanks! :slight_smile:

Do you see the same behavior if you change the backup location to somewhere other than the Dropbox folder? Or if the project being backed up is located somewhere other than the Dropbox folder?

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Nah, the backup is going:

/Users/{userName}/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups
Figured I should include a screenie of the Backups settings. See, I don’t know if it’s the back up mobile devices option? Or the compress option? I haven’t used Scrivener on my iPad in YEARS heh. But yeah, I dunno what to do here :face_with_spiral_eyes:

You addressed only one of the questions @kewms asked. Tons of people are having problems caused by Dropbox keeping files off the hard drive (online only) by default. Try moving the project outside the Dropbox folder, if you haven’t already.

I realize now that the Dropbox update offloads data to ensure folks keep as much disk space as possible, I guess. I made my project folders—not backup files/folders—“available offline.” I’ll see if that helps address the problem. If that’s that, then I suppose we can say it’s not the program’s fault :slight_smile:

As a starter, I recommend you make your backup folder outside of Dropbox. I use ~/backups/scrivener/ for scrivener backups. Then rely on your system backup (TimeMachine) to backup the backups. Also, “burying” the backup folder in a deep subfolder of ~/library seems complex to me.

Unwise to have both projects and backups on the same cloud service.

And, doing this way will help isolate the cause of issue you see.

The cause of the problem is very unlikely to be Scriverner itself, but how configured (backups and projects, and Dropbox setup).

I don’t have both on a cloud service. I mentioned the backup is on disk, the project itself is on Dropbox. I’m going to do some writing later today and I did make the project files available offline, so that should correct the problem. :slight_smile:

The specific hypothesis I have is that part of the project is stored online only. In order to make the backup, Scrivener needs to access the entire project, which means it needs to download the online only portions.

It’s not about having both on a cloud service. It’s about the online-only default for projects in Dropbox. There’s a separate issue (warning) when you put projects and backups in the same folder

I think you’re right. I right-clicked on the file folders and made them “available off-line.” It’s been a few days and it’s running much better now. I’m thinking about just moving the whole project on the disk elsewhere and just backup the files to an external disk and/or cloud service, too. But yeah. seems all is well. :slight_smile:

That has been the solution dozens of times in the past few weeks. It wasn’t speculation.

Noted! Thanks for the warm welcome :slight_smile:

Having the same problem: slow, slow, slow on Save. I’m on a Mac, my Scrivener project is on the computer hard drive, my auto backups are in iCloud, I save to an external drive every night, use Backblaze, and do Time Machine occasionally. You can tell I prefer redundancy – I’ve had some major loses in the past and learned my lesson. I type fast, so like to Save occasionally to avoid losing too much, but recently waiting became a matter of watching the ball spin. Once it didn’t recover, had to Force Quit, and revert to a previous BackUp. Never had that happen before, and I haven’t changed anything else, so are you sure this isn’t an issue with the latest Scrivener update?
However, after reading this, I checked some other settings, and unchecked, “Back up with each Manual Save,” (risky, not keen on that one), and “Compress automatic backups as Zip files.” Things have improved, but stay tuned.
BTW: I wouldn’t trust Dropbox with a grocery list. YMMV.

How big is the project?

“Normal” saving as you work only saves whatever has changed since the last save, so typically a few thousand words or less and maybe one or two files. A backup creates a complete copy of the entire project. Typically with large projects Backup and Compile operations will be the first to show performance issues.

Useful info, thanks. Which is why I drag the entire file onto my external drive at the end of the day, and hit “Replace”. The redundant backup on iCloud is set for Automatic on Close, which is a simple two keystroke command, so even if I don’t have time for the external copy, I’ve got it covered somewhere other than my computer. Lesson learned: Never have a cup of water nor a cup of coffee near your computer :wink:

The iCloud backups are also on the hard drive, FYI. Creating the backup should be fast unless it’s huge because it’s full of images. I’ve seen slow downs (years ago) when a disk was failing, and syncing the backup can be slow in a coffee shop (slow wifi), but otherwise …

Why do you feel need to “drag” the project “package”? Is not the standard Scrivener backup method sufficient? Once setup, it works automatically and reliably. I can see human error getting involved with manual drag and drops. IMHO. :wink:

My Scrivener project is in Documents. I rely on the “standard Scrivener backup method”, and used the option in Preferences to put the backup in iCloud. It is then both on my computer, and in the cloud, which means it cannot be lost if my computer is stolen or damaged. What I"drag" is a copy of the project from Documents to an external drive as a redundant backup. If something happened to my computer, and I did not have access to iCloud, I would still have an up-to-date copy of my Scrivener project.

A backup on your computer is of no use if your computer is damaged or stolen. Only external backups provide adequate security.

Yes, but I would not backup to a sync service as any flaws on server or your computer replicate immediately. And manual drag and drop risky but if it scratches an itch.

I follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy. read on the internet what that is.


: Scrivener projects reside in ~/Dropbox/Scrivener so as to allow easy sync with iOS devices and one other macOS device. Automatic on open and close, and keep 25 most recent versions.
: Scrivener backups directed to ~/Backups/Scrivener/. Not in the default ~/Library/… location as to far buried into a folder system that I normally pay no attention to. Also by default this folder not backed up by Backblaze (see below)
: Both macOS devices backup with multiple methods. Full system plus Scrivener backups

  • Apple TimeMachine to USB drives (2) and Synology NAS
  • CCC of very important files (which include Scrivener backups) to Synology NAS
  • Synology NAS of very important files and one macOS backup offsite to Backblaze using default settings.

I put no “backups” on any sync service (Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Google gDrive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.) as mentioned above, if the cloud synced backup gets corrupted on either local drive or on service, backup integrity is destroyed. Yes, I know these services talk about providing “backup”, but so far I’ve resisted these marketing initiatives.

How are you making this copy?

I ask because Scrivener’s Save As command is a very common cause of “lost” work. If you duplicate a project with Save As, Scrivener will continue working in the copy. If you then drag the copy to another location, Scrivener’s Recent Projects menu will point to the old location, resulting in an error. Furthermore, if you do more work in the copy, then open the original, any work done in the copy will be “missing.” So be sure to use a naming/location convention that helps you keep track of which project is which.

Personally, I share @rms’s skepticism about manual drag and drop operations. I use Time Machine and Backblaze for continuous backups, with monthly full disk copies to an external drive. All three of those will capture Scrivener’s own automatic backups, as well as the live projects.