Scriviner File Won't Open

Hi All-

I’ve been using this amazing software for a few years now, but this morning when I opened Scriviner to type my morning’s work, the it said “No File Found.” I went to the folder and clicked on the file for my project, and nothing happened. So I clicked on the backup and nothing happened. No error messages, nothing.



PS… The main file says {Conflict} at the end of the file name. I do have a backup but it is very, very old and I’d be crushed to lose so many months of work.

Have you been using Dropbox to keep your project in sync across multiple computers? What can happen when doing so is that you get these “conflicted” files if there is a sync error and you end up with separately updated files from each machine. Other sync services work similarly. To fix this, first make a backup of your current project as it stands by right-clicking the entire project’s .scriv folder and choosing “Send to \ Compressed (zipped) folder”. Then open the project folder and look for all the duplicate files that have the “conflict” at the end of the name and remove the older of the pair to another location–I wouldn’t delete it yet, since it may contain edits that you want to preserve; just move it out of the project into some other temporary holding zone. Rename the files you keep in the project to get rid of the “conflict” and anything else appended to the original file name, so that Scrivener will be able to recognise it. Then once you’ve done that through the full folder of files, try opening it in Scrivener again. Finally, you can open any text files you had to remove from the project, either by importing them into the project or just opening them in another program, and compare them to the copies in the project to see if there is anything you need to copy back.

If you are using Dropbox or such, I also recommend reading through this knowledge base article on best practices to help avoid conflicts in the future.


Worked like a charm. I had to copy a few text files, but all in all it worked perfectly.

Thank you so much!!!

I’ve been experiencing a similar problem that occurs whenever I try to load one of my projects. I receive no error message, and Scrivener simply crashes. I have tried restarting my computer, reinstalling scrivener, and opening the project directly from the Windows File Explorer to no avail. None of the files inside the project folders have the {conflict} label in the file name. Additionally, I am unable to create any new projects.

I have yet to find a writing software superior to Scrivener and would rather not change due to a small bug such as this, any advice as to how to fix it?

There may be a corrupt file in the project that is preventing Scrivener loading it to the point of crashing the program. When you say that you’re not able to create any new projects, do you mean that you cannot successfully open Scrivener without it crashing, thus you never have the opportunity to create a new project, or is this a separate problem that occurs when you click “Save” to create a project from the New Project window? If the former, then the problem project may just be trying to auto-load and crashing out, so the solution for that at least would be to prevent the auto-load. To do that, try just renaming the project folder of the problem project, e.g. from “My Novel.scriv” to “My Novel Crashing.scriv”. With the changed file path, Scrivener will skip over it in the auto-load process, so you may be able then to successfully launch the program and carry on with other work while diagnosing the problem of this one. It would also help determine if the crashing is isolated to the one project.

Sorry for not clarifying; I meant that Scrivener crashes when I click save to create the project. I’ve tried opening each of my current projects (One Novel, One Short Story, Two Essays) and Scrivener crashes every time and doesn’t load them. As I have said I have reinstalled Scrivener three times now tonight alone.

Ah, ok. When you reinstalled, did you install from a fresh download (clearing the browser cache first) and after completely uninstalling the previous attempt? If it was a bad download, reinstalling the same copy won’t fix it, and if there are corrupt files within the installation folder, you’ll want to be sure to wipe them entirely rather than just overwriting it.

Is there anything you recall changing in your Windows environment at the time Scrivener suddenly started crashing? (I assume it was previously working just fine until the point where you can no longer load or create projects.) I’m wondering if some update or the like is causing a conflict now. Or was there a change you made within Scrivener specifically, after which you got the crashing?

Once you’ve verified the clean installation, I’d try booting Windows into Safe Mode and seeing if you’re able to get the program running then. That will cut down the number of other programs that launch at start up, so you’ll have a bit cleaner testing environment. If it’s working there, we can try to isolate what’s breaking in your normal setup.

After trying everything you’ve suggested, Scrivener still won’t open. It only started doing this when Windows installed automatic updates, so I’m assuming that this is where the issue has come from.