Scrivener Erased My Writing

I’ve had Scrivener on my Mac (10.9.5) for a couple of months now and have enjoyed it, but something went terribly wrong today. I opened a file that I last edited a month ago so that I could work on it some more before presenting it at a conference tomorrow. When I opened the file for the first time in weeks, I saw that my 20+pg paper and the notes that I had with it had been reduced to two blank files. I tried setting the file to an earlier version via Dropbox, but that did nothing. I checked the library and found nothing. I also checked a couple of other Scrivener files and they were fine. I have no idea what could have happened. Fortunately, I have the paper in PDF format, so it’s fine. But this makes me not want to use Scrivener anymore. I’d like to know (a) if anyone else has had this problem and (b) if there there anything I could have done to cause it. Thanks!

Since you mention using Dropbox, it would be a good idea to go through the whole project package and check for sync damage—files coming up empty is one possible symptom of portions of the project being forked or changed by Dropbox in a fashion that the program isn’t expecting. There are some tips in this article, around half-way down, for doing that (and the rest would be good reading if there are conflicts, because you can definitely avoid this happening with a little care paid to sync status).

One other place you can check is Scrivener’s own automatic backup folder. To get there, open the “Backup” preferences pane and click the button to load the backup folder. Under default settings you should have the five most recent versions of your project. Hopefully you can find a partial or complete copy of the missing documents, there.