Scrivener wont' back up, received a strange message

Several days ago, this message popped up when I tried to save my project:

For security reasons, Scrivener needs to be code-signed or its updates need to be signed with an EdDSA key. See for more information.

Now I notice that the project has not backed up in the past several days, in spite of my manually clicking “Back Up Now” every day after I finish working.

The page ( this message sends me to says I need the Sparkle app. Is this really necessary? It’s been a month since I purchased Scrivener and I really liked not having to download any additional apps to complete a basic function like backing up. Is this message legit? Do I need Sparkle? Do you have any advice about how I can fix the back-up problem without it?


Where are you trying to save the backups?

The Scrivener installer downloaded from our site is self-contained and should not need any additional software.

So the first thing I would suggest is to reinstall from a fresh download.

If that doesn’t work, check your system to see if some kind of “security” software is attempting to manage access to the backup location.



Is there any chance that reinstalling from a fresh download, as you advise, will result in lost information?

As I mentioned, while my project is up-to-date in the Scrivener program I’m working in, there are no backups since March 24th. Will I be taking a risk with any of my content by reinstalling?


I am trying to back up (I think) to the Scrivener backups folder on my desktop.

The Scrivener application is stored separately from your data, so reinstalling shouldn’t affect anything.

With that said, you shouldn’t be relying on Scrivener’s backups alone to protect your data. IMO, all Mac users should have at least a Time Machine volume as well.


Re-installing Scrivener shouldn’t touch any project file if you are not saving them in Scrivener’s support folder.

And aren’t you backing up your Mac regularly with, say, Time Machine? Then you will always be able to restore both the actual projects and the backup files.

In which format do you save the backups, did you choose to zip them? I’d recommend to do so because you can save these zip files to where ever you want. All cloud services can handle them.

The desktop as a place to regularly save data isn’t the best idea because macOS has an option to move the content of the Desktop and the Documents folder to iCloud Drive. If this option is selected—and it was by default when it was introduced to macOS, if I remember correctly—there might be a chance that files or file packages (like .scriv) are not handled correctly.

Admittedly it’s just wild guessing that this might have to do anything with the security warning you are seeing. But more I can’t offer as I have not ever seen this security warning (and I have seen a lot of warnings since Catalina).

Everything I have is backed up with Google Drive, but I’ve read that Google Drive doesn’t backup Scrivener files. (Or doesn’t do it very well — they become corrupted or something.)

Actually, I just unzipped one of the “old” backup files in my ScrivenerBackup folder and clicked on the file that came out and it was up-to-the-moment new. But it’s labeled as a March 24 backup, not a March 27 backup. That’s why I thought the machine wasn’t backing up. So I’m not sure if there’s a problem or not. None of the zip files are dated today.

Check your settings in Preferences → Backup. Check if your setting is to backup on “close project” or on “open project”. If you keep Scrivener running and seldom close your project there will be very few backups, unless you make manual backups or have ticked “backup on manual save”.

You can configure Scrivener to include the data and time in the backup name.