Scrivener App folder renamed to .scrivx?!

Hi there.

(Note this might sound like an iOS issue, but it’s not).

Whilst going through some of my old scriv files, something has happened to my iOS Scrivener App folder (which has all my working files in). It’s now called Scrivener app.scrivx and I can’t open it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 20.49.05.png

I need to convert it from .scrivx to a regular (apple) folder. How can I do that?


Where does the screenshot come from? It doesn’t look loke Finder.

So just to be clear, Scrivener has overwritten a folder to become an executable. If I view the content of that file I see all my work. I don’t know how to convert my scriv executable back to a Folder again. Help!

What happens if you drag one of the projects out to another location? Does it behave like a normal Scrivener project?


Thanks that worked! phew

I’ll set everything back up in Dropbox now and sync it with iOS, then it should be good.

Thank you so much :smiley:

If you look at the screenshot, the Info window, it seems that what was previously a folder called ‘Scrivener app’ has suddenly become a Scrivener project. In Finder Preferences, Advanced, tick the box ‘Show all filename extensions’. It seems as if the folder suddenly got a .scriv extension which makes OS X to show and treat it as a Scrivener project.

  1. An alternative solution would have been just to Get Info on the transmogrified folder, twiddle open the Name & Extension area and removing the .scrivx extension.

  2. I am glad all was resolved, but I am worried about how this happened in the first place. Another user had a similarly heart-stopping episode just the other day:

Urgent: 75,000 word book in jeopardy

That case was easily resolved in the same way, but the fact that we have just seen two cases of this means someone probably needs to figure out what could induce it.

And I would encourage anyone experiencing this kind of problem to contact tech support so that we can work through the issue in more detail.

Unfortunately, any problem description that begins “I hadn’t used Scrivener for XX period, but when I went back to it…” inherently implicates a non-Scrivener issue. Scrivener doesn’t leave anything resident in memory when it isn’t running, and so has no ability to do anything – positive or negative – to files while it is closed.

Dropbox, on the other hand, has vast powers to manipulate your data. Even when your computer is off, the copy of your files on the Dropbox server is still accessible to anyone with access to your account, and any changes they make, however misguided, will automatically propagate to your computer when you power it back up.

At the same time, Dropbox has no inherent knowledge about OS X, the Mac “package” format, or about Scrivener projects. If a user asks to rename a folder to “Scrivener app.scrivx,” “,” or something equally misguided, Dropbox will obediently do so. In my experience, the most disastrous Dropbox-related faults generally involve someone trying to open or edit a Scrivener project via the Dropbox web interface, which exposes the underlying structure of the project but (unlike Windows Explorer, say) is not well-suited to folder/project level file transfers. For example, an incomplete synchronization might lead to Scrivener trying to open an incomplete project. The user might then try to “fix” the resulting error message via the Dropbox web interface. I don’t have enough information to say that’s what happened here, but that’s the direction in which I would look.

This is why Dropbox alone is not a trustworthy backup solution, and why I recommend sending Scrivener’s automatic backups to a non-Dropbox location. (For more extensive thoughts on backup strategy, go here: Got a backup?)


Sorry, Katherine, but this cannot be explained as user error in my case. I have been using Scrivener every day since April and am at 75,000 words on my second book.

Each night, I synch my files on the iPad. It has worked flawlessly ever since the IOS version came out. My recent post was listed above with the same problem:

  1. When I synched for the night, all files and projects disappeared from the iPad.

  2. The Scrivener/Apps folder on Dropbox was empty, no projects were present.

  3. An error message said a binder file was missing from my book file, which techie Amber said has not happened for years.

  4. The only file was the scrivener.scrivx and opening the package showed all of the missing projects and files.

I did not change anything in my settings, fiddled with nothing in Dropbox and certainly did not rename any files. Out of the blue, something gathered up all scrivener files and packaged them into a new, mystery file as a scrivener executable.

Hope these details help. It’s not going to narrow down what I did to explain what happened because I did nothing different than writing on my Mac and synching on the iPad, the same process every day since April.

As you noted in the other thread, you did do something different: you gave another person access to your Dropbox folder.

“Opening the package showed all the missing projects” indicates that someone or something renamed the project folder. It wasn’t Scrivener: Scrivener was closed at the time. It probably wasn’t Dropbox: for it to spontaneously rename a folder in such a specific way seems unlikely.


They were given access to one work file, not my book, scrivener, the folder or anything else.

So two of us have been hacked in three years in exactly the same way? I don’t even know how to package files into an executable.

I think “packaged into an executable” is the wrong way to think of it. It’s more accurate to say that the folder was renamed in a way consistent with the naming convention for executables. Finder and Dropbox both make it possible to do that very easily.


No, the text .scriv appears to have been added to the end of the folder name according to the screenshot, which makes Finder think that the whole folder is a single Scrivener project. Look at the screenshot above showing Info. It says Kind: Scrivener project. Nothing was packed into anything. If the file type is changed, the operating system will treat the file as if it is of the new type. If you rename a .pdf file to .doc your pdf reader won’t recognize it. If you change a folder name by adding .doc or .pdf or .scriv, the operating system will think that the folder is a Word file, an Acrobat file or a Scrivener project and if you try to open it you can’t, because Word/Acrobat/Scrivener won’t recognize the content and can’t handle it.

So the important step to take is to figure out who and how are responsible for the change. A spontaneous change of a folder name done by the computer seems highly unlikely.

Agreed. And I see no reason why you think two users could do this who are simply working on their books, saving the same file for the night and synching on the iPad.

Clearly there is a real issue here of unknown origin. I think Katherine understands that. No doubt Lit & Lat will look into it with due diligence. I think you are right that the emergence of a second case narrows the options for likely answers.


P.S. Changing a file’s type or converting a folder to a “package” really is as simple as changing the file’s file extension – which you can do by simply renaming it. This is useful to know, since another way you could have recovered your project folder was simply to have removed the .scriv extension from it (in Finder on your Mac).

My teacher in statistics used to say that if something has an extremely low probability of happening it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. Instead it means that it will happen, but extremely seldom.

You never supplied a screenshot so we don’t know what file extension was added to the folder name in your case. The OP did and thinks that it was .scrivx, but the Info window suggests .scriv. Unfortunately neither of you seems to have ‘Show file extension’ turned on in Finder so we don’t know for sure. So, the bottom line is that we don’t even know that exactly the same thing happened and even less why these two events occurred. Appearing in close connection in time is not proof that they are connected.