Virus Attack! or, Backing Up to the Cloud, Google Version

I finished the first draft of a translation. My Scrivener 3.0 project contains text, and only text (OK, maybe some *.rtf text snuck in).

Pleased with my work and having suffered waaay too many external drive failures (not to mention internal drive failures) I attempted to email a copy of my work to myself, thus protecting my work until that time when Google decides to close my account or go out of business.

The file name for the attachment was “mediocre_translation.scriv”.
Google transmogrified this to “”.

A few minutes later, Google advised me that it would not transmit my message because “it may contain a virus”.

Assuming user error of some unknown kind, I duplicated my original file and changed its name to “”.

But Google was not to be fooled so easily: same warning message and no delivery.

So is there a way to email *.scriv files to myself without angering the Google gods? Maybe a secret extension? *.ace? (just kidding)

There has to be some way to do this. Maybe .001, .002 files, but my file isn’t that large, less than 500 kb.

Any suggested solutions?

Tried creating a disk image file (.dmg). Same result.
Tried creating a Unix compressed file (
.tar). Same result.
There must be some way to do this.

Maybe Google Mail (you are referring to Google Mail, aren’t you?) has a problem with the .scriv package format.

Why don’t you mail an actual .zip file of your project to yourself? You haven’t turned off automatic backup of your projects, have you? By default Scrivener backs up zipped projects to a folder separate from the actual projects folder. So you could even use a cloud service of your choice for the zipped backups (unlike with .scriv files!).

I agree, I don’t really understand the need for emailing the project. I would just zip it and save it in the cloud somewhere. You could even set up a free account somewhere just for the purpose of holding that zipped project. Mega, Box, Sync, and many others have free space available in the cloud.

The project xxx.scriv is a folder, not a file. It just looks like a file in Finder, i.e it is a package, a folder looking like a file.

So do what Suavito suggests - mail a zipped backup.

This worked; thought I’d share it with the group. I don’t know if the *.tar compression is necessary.

  1. Duplicate *.scriv file.
  2. Use a 3rd party program to create a *.tar archive.
  3. Change the extension of the file created from *.scriv.tar to *.wp
  4. Send this file.
  5. If you need to recover your file, download it and reverse the steps.

Google treats the *.wp file as a Wordperfect file and so you bypass the virus filters.

This does not work. You can’t send a *.zip file; it is caught by Google’s anti-virus filters.
I tried, As it turns out, the *.zip extension, along with ab out 20 others, is banned by Google.

Yes, I was referring to Google’s email service.
You cannot mail a *.zip file to yourself. That’s why I made the post.

The reason for emailing the project is to have a back-up.
You cannot mail yourself a zip file on google, unless --perhaps–your destination email is outside of Google. But then you’re relying on that server.
I realize that Google may flake in the long-run. But it is, at least, “good enough for now.”

And here I thought Google hired the finest.

So I guess according to them, if I take a plain text file with “HA HA” typed into it, and .zip it, now becomes a potential virus.

Yes, but there are simpler, less time consuming ways to save a backup to the cloud than going through your list of steps above. If that’s your goal, then emailing it to yourself is unnecessary. This is mbbntu’s point. Just save the zip file to a cloud service, any cloud service. If you’re a already a fan of google, than save your zip backup to google drive. You’re on Apple, so iCloud would be convenient as well.

When it comes to backups, convenience is a good thing. The less friction the better.


Google’s not the only one. I’ve seen other email programs protest at zipped attachments, although at the moment I can’t recall which one it was.

Yeah, I think that’s the ideal advice. The system I use (Tresorit) allows me to have Scrivener’s automatic backup folder synced dynamically, so whenever I save or close a project the redundancy of having multiple backups, one of which is online, is something I don’t even think about: ⌘S and my involvement is complete.

But if one is dead set on using an email service like this for backups, this thread has the necessary workarounds.

That indeed appears to be the case.

Well… they are right…

If you want to share files with other GMAIL users, upload your file to google drive, then share the file from there.

As a matter of fact, stop the email silliness and just upload to google drive. That is what backs email attachment anyway.


  1. make zip
  2. Log into google.
  3. Go to Drive
  4. Upload file.

Yes, exactly. My Scrivener backup folder, along with all the other data on my PC***, is synced to OneDrive. No fuss, no muss, completely passive. (***Except for my live Scrivener projects, which sync to DropBox.)

Wouldn’t it be easier to just install the Google Drive “Backup and Sync” software, and point your Scrivener backups settings to the sync on your hard drive?

Yea, my practice is about the same as AmberV and JimRac, in that I have Scrivener preferences set up so that backups (which are all zipped) go to a folder that is synchronised to the cloud (OneDrive at the moment). But in addition to that I have Time Machine backups, and I also use BackBlaze.

I’m using Tresorit too.

But whatever cloud service you pick—the automatic backup to zip feature of Scrivener and the options to chose when to backup and how many backups you want to keep keeps you from all the hassle once you have set it up.