Unexpected revert lost an hour's work. What happened?

I am a fairly new user of Scrivener.

I was working on my current project when all of a sudden Scrivener reverted the section I was working on to where I had been earlier, and I lost an hour’s work. How did that happen and how can I make sure that it doesn’t happen again? Was it when I clicked on “Draft” to see the section in context? If so, surely this is a design problem? Software should always warn you before it abandons what you have been working on.

I’m also losing data. I’ll periodically get an exception thrown when Scrivener goes to autosave. If I click “ok” and continue, then close and reopen the project, I find that I’ve lost everything I’ve done since clicking “ok”. I’m going to have to go back to the older version of Scrivener for Windows until this version receives a service pack update. I just can’t trust it.

In case you’re running some anti-virus software, could you disable it for a test and check if the problem persists? This fixed some really weird and unexpected problems for other users. Might be worth a try.


I agree with the advice to check your security software.

Generally speaking, if the system won’t allow Scrivener to save for any reason, there’s not much Scrivener can do to protect your data.


Not sure if this is related, but I have had problems in the past with Scrivener refusing to save something, but if it wasn’t my Anti-Virus (and it quickly wasn’t that, as I white-listed Scrivener), it was that I was saving my project to a folder under my Dropbox.

I still have my projects under my Dropbox, but now I either do not have the Dropbox app running while I write in Scrivener, or I pause syncing until I’m done for the day.


Stupid question – did you have the Dropbox app also whitelisted?

Not stupid.

I do not.

But I’ve never had a problem with Dropbox itself, just with Scrivener doing saves every 2 seconds just happening to coincide with Dropbox syncing my rather large project.

Dropbox syncs changed files only, so an autosave every 2 seconds involves (for Dropbox) only the file(s) you changed in 2 seconds. That’s usually one RTF and sometimes the Binder xml (.scrivx) file.

2 seconds of inactivity. And then it saves everything changed since the last 2 seconds “break”. Which might be a lot of text.

Good point, and even if it were “two seconds”, period, you could modify every document in the project with a project replace in that time.

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If you are worried about what Scrivener does to help you automatically, simply save often, and consider closing the project every so often so that everything saves.

Further, make sure you have Scrivener’s automatic backup turned on. I keep 25 copies and backup is set to be made on open and on close.

Dropbox works independently and syncs what’s on your local drive up to their server when it detects change.

I’ve often worried that a pause of 2 seconds is too short, so I increased the autosave pause to 10 seconds.

I believe that prevents too-frequent syncs while I’m working, without risking more than a handful of words should a crash occur. Even with that long of a pause, it often engages the autosave multiple times while I compose any given sentence, but maybe I’m on the slow end of the spectrum.

That’s probably a great idea. I’ll do that.

10 seconds is quite a long time if you have to sit and wait for it. Also, it requires 10 seconds of complete inactivity, so you can’t click on anything else in the Binder, or Inspector, or a menu, etc. Changing from 2 seconds to 10 seconds is quite a lot. It also means that you have to wait 10 seconds before closing a laptop while using Scrivener, to make sure everything got saved.

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Not if you close Scrivener … as you should.

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Ah, but then it might take 15 seconds, which as we know is an eternity for some :rofl:

Saving and syncing the zip file could take 15 seconds, but saving the project will not.

I was being facetious :slight_smile:

Yes, but sometimes you might just have to take a break, to fix something else, planning to continue writing as soon as that other thing has been taken care of. So you close the lap top, fix that other thing, and something else comes up, and time flies and suddenly it’s the next day before you get a chance to open the lap top. Unfortunately it has decided to update the OS, or Scrivener froze, or something else happened which caused Scrivener to stop, resulting in the last few hours writing the previous day, when you where in a flow, is lost.

I think L&L made some deep thinking when they decided to set the default to only a few seconds. Ten seconds is a loooong time for some…

Things happen, but I’d wager I haven’t closed my laptop with Scrivener open even once in 8 years. Good habits are pretty reliable.

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