Scrivener took over Google Drive folder and deleted things

I’ve been on the phone for an hour with Google support, and as far as we can tell, Scrivener took over my Google Drive alias folder (which backs up automatically) and deleted a few files from my computer. Here’s what happened. (I am freaking out.)

  1. I updated to new version of Scrivener a couple days ago.
  2. Today was working in a file and got a message that the file was in the trash. Obviously I hadn’t moved it there. I’m attaching screenshot.
  3. Didn’t show up in computer trash. My files automatically back up through the Google Drive alias folder to Google Drive. Went there. No file. Found it in trash, inaccessible. It said that I had deleted it a little while before. I absolutely hadn’t.
  4. Same thing happened with another Scrivener file, same message, showed deleted from Google Drive.
  5. Called Google support. Something to keep in mind is that since I have things automatically back up, if I put something in the trash on my computer, it puts it in Google Drive Trash also. (Obviously need to rethink this). But it’s a total mystery, according to Google support, why it wouldn’t still be in trash on my computer.
  6. Then we noticed that my Google Drive alias folder now has a .scriv extension and is unopenable. This is TOTALLY BIZARRE.
  7. Google support thinks Scrivener took over that folder and started deleting things.
  8. One of my Scrivener was saved (by Scrivener?) in rtf files in its entirety. One saved only two of the documents inside the larger Scrivener file, and I lost a bunch of recent work. I’m a novelist. This is a very bad thing.
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    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 4.52.15 PM.png

To be clear, I’m not with Literature & Latte. I’m just a user.

Sorry to hear that you have run into this.

Use of Google Drive for live Scrivener projects is specifically advised against,
both in Chapter 13 (Cloud Integration and Sharing) of the Scrivener for Mac user manual…
"To date, only one such technology is known to be a risk to use in this fashion, and that is Google’s Drive, which simply is not designed with complex formats in mind. It is not recommended that you use Google Drive for live projects under any circumstances. It is however, quite safe to use it to “transport” zipped backups of your projects from one computer to another. "
and in knowledge base articles under Cloud Syncing on the knowledgebase web page… … e-advisory

You might directly contact tech support via email, as discussed at the following, to see what advice they can offer relative to recovery and migration to a Scrivener capable cloud service such as DropBox.
Hopefully you also have backup copies elsewhere, in either live (.scriv project folder and all its contents) or compressed (single physical .zip file) form.

Hope that is of some assistance.

Just wanted to let the forum know that this user was able to restore her work from one of Scrivener’s automatic backups.

We haven’t nailed down the underlying cause of the problem, but this seems like a good time to remind people that we have found Google Drive to be unreliable for live Scrivener projects and do not recommend it.


I like the title of this post. It starts with Google Drive, but who’s next? I can already imagine the final headline:

“Scrivener took over the Internet and deleted the competition!”