Ultimate Back Up Screw Up

I think i have committed the ultimate back up error ever… which has screwed up the entire system and swallowed the file.
Before signing off I physically copied my last Scrivener project files on top of the other into Drive. I was asking me to replace somehting and i blindly said yes.
While I did have back ups now in the back ups when i go to the place which should have the back up I get this message.
.‘C:/Users/Admin/AppData/Local/Temp/4fdb1c67-3139-4399-bd6b-ed138fa32668_Bhaj chapters-bak5.zip.668/Bhaj chapters.scriv/Bhaj chapters.scrivx’
Can i look for it anywhere in Windows?
yes I am a luddite & dont copy into cloud.
What i normally after a day’s work is export the last file im working into doc. Yesterday was so pleased it my work I didnt do so.
In case anyone has any hacks where I can find the file in windows I’d me MOST GRATEFUL.

Assuming Drive is a cloud service and you copy and pasted—your original project should still be in place and accessible.
Setup backups under File > Options > Backups. Organising backups has easy to understand options.
Remember to keep backups in a separate folder to your where your SCRIV project is stored and never mess around inside that folder as one mistake could corrupt your project.

These are generally hidden folders in Windows. The error is referencing a temporary folder Temp, where a live project would typically be kept in memory while you work on it. Was your project still open when you moved it?

This post has so many signals of misunderstanding Scrivener, it’s nearly impossible to answer all. :wink:

For one, when copying to Drive, a cloud service is being used, so yes, you do copy into cloud.

The elaborate file path is the path to a file in Windows so use the file explorer to look for that file a the end of that path.

The *bak5.zip file is the backup. Unzip it with 7zip to restore your project from that backup.

When you’re pleased with your work is the best reason to make a backup.

Backing up should not be done by copying project files, but by File > Backup to… This creates a zipfile in the location you select after initiating that command.

A Scrivener Project is not one file, but a folder with a large set of interconnected files. The .scrvx file is only the index to the Project.

Export and Compile are two different functions in Scrivener. Compile creates an output document that may be a Word document. Export just copies selected documents in a file format to a different folder.


thanks much for your responses… as far as I remember the folder was not open when i was doing my oversmart copying…

but i’ll look in temp …

thanks again hugely

yes yes I know I am now suitably chastened. this is the first large scale scrivener project and it was going very well until…

That path from AppData is hidden by default in Windows File Explorer.
It can be unhidden in File Explorer. (View > Show > Hidden Items. Menu structure looks different in Win 10 and Win 11, but the option is the same.)
NB! Playing around in that environment (AppData\Local) could corrupt more than Scrivener and potentially destroy all applications in a worst case scenario, especially if you don’t have a system restore option in place.
In Windows, all documents (including Scrivener Projects) should be managed under the Documents folder and sub-folders of Documents. Cloud services find what they need to sync there too.
My recommendation is create a folder Scrivener in Documents and another Scrivener Backups in Documents and save the respective folder (for Scrivener projects) file (for Scrivener backups) types there.
But since the advent of computers, users have written letters in spreadsheets and stored their work in emails.


Let this example of utter stupidity become the Cascading Error Scrivener Backup (Air)Crash

Have you found your project?
Don’t be self-deprecating, we all make errors—it’s part of our human nature.


Do this:

  1. Open File Explorer (Win+E–hold down the Windows key and press E)
  2. Click on the Documents folder.
  3. Select File > New > Folder (if on Windows 10) or New > Folder (if on Windows 11).
  4. Rename the new folder Scrivener. (You’ll get back to it later.)
  5. Create a folder Scrivener Backups in the Documents folder in the same way.
  6. Still in File Explorer, select View > Show > tick Hidden Items.
  7. Copy this string (for your scenario–would be different for others): C:/Users/Admin/AppData/Local/Temp/4fdb1c67-3139-4399-bd6b-ed138fa32668_Bhaj chapters-bak5.zip.668/ (Ctrl+C to copy).
  8. Paste it (Ctrl+V) in the Address Bar (the one that changes when you select different items in File Explorer, found at the top of File Explorer.)
  9. Hit enter.
  10. File Explorer now displays the destination path.
  11. You’ll see a folder chapters.scriv (which is your project).
  12. Select the folder and copy it. (Ctrl+C).
  13. Select your Documents folder in File Explorer.
  14. Open the Scrivener folder.
  15. Inside the Scrivener folder paste your project that’s still in memory. (Ctrl+V)
  16. chapters.scriv is now a folder in the Scrivener folder.
  17. Open the chapters.scriv folder and inside you should see a file called chapters.scrivx (note the X).
  18. Double click on it and your project should open.
  19. From now on your project is in Documents\Scrivener whenever you start Scrivener from the icon.
  20. In Scrivener, select File > Options > Backup and set your backup location to:
    C:/Users/Admin/Documents/Scrivener Backups (Note: This path is based on your Username ‘Admin’ and would be different for others using this method who’d typically have different usernames. Your backups will save to this path going forward.)
  21. Close Scrivener.
  22. Back in File Explorer, select Show > View > and untick Hidden Items (for protection of your overall software from accidental user errors).
  23. For your own comfort, in File Explorer, click on Documents and then Scrivener. Your SCRIV folder should still be in place.
  24. For your own comfort again, in File Explorer, click on Documents and then Scrivener Backups. A backup of your project should be saved.
  25. The backup is a backup of your latest saved project, really the same project with either BAK extension or a ZIP extension, depending on what you chose in Scrivener (where you can also tick a box to add the date and timestamp to your backup file name). Going forward, copy the latest backup from this folder and put it on your Drive cloud service.

Let us know how it all works out.

One thing puzzles me, why is your path forward slashes? / In Windows it’s normally back slashes.
If something goes wrong, consider changing that as an option when pasting the long string in File Explorer, it should be: C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Temp\4fdb1c67-3139-4399-bd6b-ed138fa32668_Bhaj chapters-bak5.zip.668\ as an alternative.
I have noted that even in Scrivener for Windows, many paths are displayed the Mac way, specifically when linking. And while it may be fine in the App, it might not be in Windows outside of Scrivener.


Thanks many heaps for taking all the trouble - i havent located the vanished file yet, but this was most most useful.

Inshallah, no more craziness as regards backups from now.

You will locate your work when you paste that long string into File Explorer.
Try the alternative one I suggested first with the backslashes.

Also Scrivener can show you where your backups are directly. File> Options > Backups see pic

Also when backup consider an external backup such as a USB key as well. A 32 gig key is under 10 bucks.
File> Back up to and place on USB/external drive as additional security.


Thanks much for replying and giving these options…much clarity !

Yes I did try as instructed with the slashes but instead it I got … “can’t find the file” - the forward slashes are mystery

Yes. Use back slashes as at the end of my feedback.