The best way to make a backup?

The backup system FileHistory works for everything but Scrivener and Scapple. I don’t have access to my files when useing this option. So what smooth backup system do you use, to save files to an an external harddrive? And how often do you do it? I need an option where I don’t have to move things manually every fime minutes. Obviously :smiley:

Proper backup: Use ALL of these

  1. Have scrivener keep backups locally into a backup folder
  2. Every night have a backup program backup your documents including scrivener projects and the backups folder onto an external hard drive. Lots of good programs do this. I prefer Second copy from Centered systems ($30)
  3. Every few hours, have an online backup do the same. I use Spideroak One, but there are plenty of good options. This frequency depends on what you are running, whether you leave your computer on all the time, whether you work with really large files that are slow to upload etc.
  4. Once a month have an imaging program make an entire disk image onto your external drive.

I have a OneDrive folder synced on my laptop with all of my Scrivener projects, I just open them from there so they’re always synced. Can use other services in a similar way.

I hope you are aware of the fact that L&L explicitely advice people NOT to save active projects on OneDrive.

To follow-up on what Lunk said, there’s no syncing police, so use whatever service you want.

But if you use OneDrive, make sure you have a solid backup system in place, because odds are you’re going to need it.


Not a policy perhaps, but there are strong dis-recommendations for Google Drive.

Do read … c-services
and the linked advisories on Google Drive and OneDrive.


I am using Windows 10, so things must have changed or there is some part of using OneDrive I’m missing. I have been using Scrivener with it for about a year now with no issues whatsoever. My project is in a C:\Users\Me\OneDrive\My Story\ location, synced, I run the program, work on my story, it saves and I close it, repeat.

Have people had some issues? I read the link above and the OneDrive info doesn’t seem to pertain to how it works these days, but if I’m wrong I’d appreciate someone clarifying. If there’s a ticking time bomb here I’ll switch up my method!

Glad to hear that you haven’t had any problems. OneDrive caused issues for a number of Scrivener users, hence the advisory.

Are you using OneDrive to sync your Scrivener projects between 2 PCs?


Reading your post again, it seems pretty clear you are not sharing your projects between 2 PCs, so you are correct that the advisory does not apply to how you are using OneDrive.

That said, I am curious what your goal is for syncing your live projects to the OneDrive cloud.

If you are doing this for backup purposes, then IMHO this is not a viable approach. Enough scrivener users have had issues with OneDrive syncing that I would not consider it a trustworthy platform. I know OneDrive tells you that it is done syncing, but how do you really know that all of the many files comprising your Scrivener projects are all actually up-to-date in the OneDrive cloud?

You’d be better off keeping your live projects stored locally, and syncing your zipped project backups to OneDrive. And, if you haven’t already, please change Scrivener’s Number of Backups to Keep from the default of 4 to at least 25. :slight_smile:

Just my $.02.


Correct, I am using the OneDrive built-in to Windows 10, so I logged in to my Microsoft account and have a OneDrive folder within explorer, and I chose which folders to sync here on my laptop. I can see that multiple machines to one account each with Scrivener running would be potential trouble, but I have only my laptop where I open the project file in one instance of Scrivener, save and close.

Well my writing stuff is stored as shown, and it’s the only answer I can give:


If that has been inaccurate for a year or so now, I haven’t noticed any effect on my projects. But I am always weary of being too comfy with something that might bite me later like this, especially with so much work done, perhaps I should move to a local directory and just backup zips to OneDrive instead like you said.

Hi guys. This is just to post a link here to a more comprehensive description on the thread I started as to why it may be unwise to talk of the compatibility of Scrivener with OneDrive without specifying whether you mean the version that comes with Windows (cloud storage), and the app of the same name that comes with an Office 365 for Business/One Drive for Business subscription which is basically a rebranding of the MS Share Point collaborative working application.

They are actually very different. There’s a link to a piece setting out what each is and how they differ in my last post on the thread here:

So long as you are only relying on the files to be correctly UPLOADED to OneDrive, then you’re golden. However, if you some day want to DOWNLOAD to a new computer (maybe your current one dies, maybe you get a second…) that’s where the problems may start.

Do not be lulled into a sense of security that you’ll be able to get a full copy of all the contents of your project if something happens to the local copies… that’s why you should definitely be pointing the automatically generated ZIP-compressed backups to One-Drive; then you only have to contend with getting a single file downloaded to a new computer to recover your work, instead of thousands (potentially).

Indeed, after checking this thread and a few others I didn’t want to be taking the chance. I set up the backup folder to my OneDrive and have had the zip files going there now, no doubt the better way.