When I close Scrivener, It says my project can't be saved

Every time I close scrivener, it erases my project. I open it up again, no project. I can import it, or open the saved version (I am saving it incessently now) but scrivener itself erases it each time. Scrivener is useless to me in this state. Help. I should add this just started happening. Before, it always opened where i closed it.

Okay, deep breaths. First, let me assure you that in all my years of using Scrivener on 3 different operating systems, never has Scrivener actually deleted a project, and I don’t think it’s doing that to you now. After all, there’s always a project for you to go find and open, so…

Second, let’s define a couple of terms, as that’s key to understanding your actual issue:

Save/Saving is what Scrivener does whenever you pause for a couple of seconds while writing. There’s no action you have to take to make sure that your writing is written to your hard drive; it just happens, constantly and invisibly.

Backups/Backing Up is what typically happens when you close a Scrivener project, if you go with the default settings. This is a longer process that makes a copy of your project, and optionally archives it using “zip” compression to bundle the project’s many files and folders into a single file. Scrivener can’t open a zip-compressed archive without you first extracting that using Windows’ built-in file browser (right-click and “extract all”).

From your description, I think you’re doing one of two things to “incessently save”. One possibility is that you’re using File->Save (or CTRL-S) a lot, which isn’t really necessary. The option is there so people who have developed the habit from long experience with writing in regular word processors don’t get errors every time they use that shortcut. The second possibility, is that you’re invoking a true backup, maybe via File->Back Up or via a setting that invokes the equivalent of File->Backup->Back Up Now when you use the CTRL-S shortcut.

The problem I think you may have is that Scrivener isn’t automatically opening the last project you were working on, so you have to use the “recent projects” list, or go find the project on your hard drive to open it up.

Possible solutions, based on what I think you may be experiencing:

  1. Check Tools->Options->Reopen projects that were open on quit; make sure that check-box is ticked.
  2. Be sure to use File->Exit, instead of File->Close when you’re done; the former quits Scrivener and closes your project, the later just closes the project, leaving Scrivener running; when you next start Scrivener, it won’t open anything, because you quit the program without any projects open, a per the Tools->Options setting described previously.
  3. Be aware of the “Open Recent” drop-down list of the “new project” window if that opens instead of your project. That’s a quick way back to resuming your work, and doesn’t require you to track down the project folder on your hard drive.

If any of that’s inaccurate, and/or none of the suggestions help, please post clarifications or further describe your situation. I’m sure someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

Is Scrivener giving you a specific error message? If so, could you post a screenshot of it?


Thanks for the help. I think I was closing it rather than exiting it. The last time I opened it my project was there. I just panicked the three times it wasn’t. I mean I have back ups to my back ups but it was a pain to have to reopen the project every time. Sorry for the hyper posting. I really appreciate the responses.