Subfolder disappeared

I had a large Project Folder that I wanted to sub-divide into 6 sub-folders.

I copied & pasted the content from the main folder into the 6 sub-folders and deleted the content from the main folder after it was pasted into the sub-folders.

Everything looked fine in the sub-folders until after I had deleted the last content from the main folder.

Suddenly, the main folder AND all the sub-folders were empty.

It is as though I have lost all the content from both the main folder & all the sub-folders.

What did I do wrong & how do I recover the lost content that was present in the sub-folders.


wb5yjs - Wally


If the sub-folders were children of the main folder, when you deleted the main folder, you also deleted all of its contents, namely the sub-folder children.

The good news is that Scrivener moves deleted items to its own Trash (usually at the bottom of the Binder). Take a look in there and restore the folders you need by dragging them back into the Draft folder and arranging them as you want.

If you have already deleted the Trash, you will need to recover a backup of the project (hope you’ve made regular backups).

I had already checked the Trash but when…

I clicked on the Trash at the bottom of the Binder, it opened a blank page that said “Not Enough Text Items”.

It shows only the horizontal lines that I was not able to delete when I was doing the 'Copy & Paste" routine. (For future reference, how do I delete those horizontal lines)?

While on the resultant “Trash” page, I clicked the back arrow button at the top-left and it indexes through all my folders… even the empty ones that were lost.

What do I do to make the Trash reveal the Text Content?


wb5yjs - Wally

Next to the trash icon, there should be a “disclosure triangle”. Click on that to show (i.e. ‘disclose’) the sub-folders and files in it. Click any of those to reveal the text content of any file there. You can drag those files individually, or select a parent folder to drag it and its children to another part of your binder.

I looked at the trash icon & do not see a “disclosure triangle”

  1. Every folder should have a disclosure triangle, as in the image below. The Trash is a folder, so it should have the triangle.


  1. Can’t be certain what the lines are without seeing them, but they are probably the separators used when documents are viewed in scrivenings mode. If you are seeing them when clicking on the Trash, it implies that there are files in the Trash. If you were trying to delete the lines in the main Editor, you might inadvertently have deleted your text as well (in which case you need to recover your content from a backup). The lines aren’t real physical lines; just onscreen lines placed between documents as visual signposts. They can be removed if you really want. Scrivener > Preferences > Formatting > Scrivenings > then place a tick in the box next to: Separate scrivenings with single line breaks.

3a. Try pressing ALT CMD S. This will force Scrivener to save the project and rebuild its indexes. Anything now in the Trash?

3b. Close the project, quit Scrivener, restart Scrivener, and reload the project. Joy?

3c. Quit Scrivener, turn the Mac off, reboot the Mac, try Scrivener again with the project. Joy?

3d. Recover a backup of the project and start again.

I have nothing to add, I just like saying “disclosure triangle.”

Although, in my head, it keeps morphing to “compliance triangle,” which brings a historic and ironic “1984”-ish tinge to the scenario.

“Greetings, Apple Citizen. Report to your nearest compliance triangle.”

…clearly, I need to go back to bed.

Another approach: you mention that if you click the back arrow it goes through the documents that you are looking for. A neat trick that could be used here is the View/Reveal in Binder menu command, which will scroll the binder sidebar and expand any folders necessary to highlight and “reveal” whatever you are looking at in the active editor. It works in other places as well (such as search results), but in this case if you can load something into the editor and do not know where that thing is in the project, that’s just the tool to use.

With the help you folks have supplied, I have recovered the lost content.


Wally :stuck_out_tongue:

J. O. Y.

Happy writing.