Scrivener Backup files moving in Dropbox


I’m having a consistent problem with backups & I’m hoping someone here can help. Each time I save and close a project it backs up to the last location used rather than the folder in dropbox I originally designated the project to go to.
This is incredibly frustrating because I often have a few projects open and each time I close them Scrivener moves the backups to the last project folder used, rather than the separate folders I’ve created for each project.
Does anyone know how to solve this?

Many thanks!

Scrivener’s automatic backups should go to the folder designated in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups pane, and that location will be the same for every project unless you explicitly change it. Note that each machine will have its own setting: if you are sharing a project between Machine A and Machine B, it would not be unusual for each machine’s backups to go to a different location.

The live Scrivener project will be saved to the folder you specify when you create it.

If you create a copy of a project using the Save As command, Scrivener will offer the “current” folder as the default location, but of course you can change it to whatever you want.

From your description, it’s hard to understand what exactly might be happening. Are these Scrivener’s automatic backups? Your own Save As or Backup To manual backups? Something else?


Thanks Katherine,

I think the confusion was caused from my trying to get each writing project to backup to its own folder in dropbox.
I’m going to switch each one to the default backup location for Scrivener so they’re all in one place and are therefore easier to manage.
The only problem is that backup location is on my local drive, which is not in the cloud. This is slightly concerning. But am I right in thinking that if I keep my .scriv files in dropbox, these will also serve as backups?

I think my confusion is stemming from the difference between backup files and scriv files.

All the best!

I would actually recommend not having Scrivener’s automatic backups in Dropbox. That way, the local backups will protect you if there’s a problem with Dropbox, and Dropbox will protect you if there’s a problem with the local disk.

For even more security, I would recommend having a Time Machine volume or other external backup of your whole disk, and a CrashPlan or other offsite backup of critical files.

Because Dropbox is designed for file sharing, it’s a little too easy to obliterate files accidentally. That makes it untrustworthy as your primary backup solution.


I don’t know if my solution is any help?

I keep my main .scriv projects in Dropbox, so they are simultaneously on my computer and in the Dropbox cloud. However, the .zip Scrivener backup files (which I didn’t even know about until I stumbled across them one day) are in Scrivener’s folder in user/Library/Application Support.

I also have Time Machine so hopefully I’ve got all bases covered.

I’ve switched to the regular default location for the backups & only keep the original Scriv files in Dropbox. I also backup each week with Time Machine and will look into CrashPlan.
Thank you so much for your help!

I’m glad to hear that works, thank you. That’s the option I’m going with now.
All the best!

It’s very much worth your while going through the Interactive Tutorial (under the Scrivener Help menu), which does mention the back-ups, albeit briefly (just in case you haven’t done so). For those who don’t know, the place to set them up is Scrivener > Preferences > Backup.

I did indeed do the Interactive Tutorial! However, as I keep my .scriv projects in Dropbox AND use Time Machine, the Scrivener backup references kind of went over my head. As I say, I stumbled over the .zip files accidentally, but have (so far) never needed them.