Where am I saving?

I have a very specific question as I’ve searched the forums and found variations but nothing that tells me – How can I find out where my computer is saving my active project to?

I can’t find the active project in my Windows directories. So, I’m trying to figure out where it is saving my project to.


It is saving it where you told it to save when you created the project. If you didn’t make an active choice, create a new project and see where it suggests that you save it. If you are lucky it will suggest the same folder where your current project is saved.
Or make a search in the file system for your projects name, or part of the name.

A trick that’s worked for me in the past is to invoke the File->Save As menu, observe the folder it defaults to, and then use Windows’ file browser to navigate there and verify that the project/file is there. Once confirmed, I just cancel the ‘Save As’ operation. There may be other ways in Scrivener, but I haven’t used version 1 in a while (have been on the beta for the past year). It seems like clicking on something in the title bar would show something?

The file name search worked. I should have thought of that. So my next question is Does Scrivener by default save projects to Scrivener > backups?


No, it automatically saves the active project to the folder where you initially told it to save it, when you created it.
It saves backups to another folder, which is specified under Tools->Options.

Don’t confuse the active project and the backups, they are not the same thing. Backups are meant as a safety precaution, in case something happens to your project. Then you can go back and open a backup, a previous version.

I’ll have to investigate. I think I created another folder called backups, or else I just save it to backups. I’ll try to make it so that it saves in backups and another folder like Scrivener > fiction or some such thing.

I appreciate your responses. Thank you.

I’m sorry and I don’t mean to nitpick here, but you say

No, it automatically saves the active project to the folder where you initially told it to save it, when you created it.
It saves backups to another folder, which is specified under Tools->Options.

Is there a way to find out where I initially told it to save documents I’m working on in the program? Like Tools->Options shows where the backups go, Is there a place that shows where the non-backup versions were told to be saved?

Windows Explorer?

You specify the location for a project when you create it. The default is probably your My Documents folder, but you could potentially choose any location accessible to your computer. Since you are creating the file, Scrivener assumes that you know what you are doing.

Backups, in contrast, are created by Scrivener. You can still specify the location, but Scrivener doesn’t expect you to do so at the moment the backup is created, and so it saves the setting for you.


How do you know where you save other files, from other softwares?

Both my Mac and my PC ask me every time I close a Word document where I want to save it, even if it’s already been saved somewhere. I’m also given the chance to save it somewhere else.

Scrivener just tells me it’s making a backup somewhere. (Now I know I can go to options to find out where it’s saving the backup because of someone’s helpful comment here.)

But for some reason there doesn’t seem to be a way to find out where it’s saving the original document that’s not a backup. I understand you choose somewhere to save it when you first save a document, but I started my story in 2015 and didn’t make note of where I was saving the documents I’m working on.

So if I open Scrivener on another computer, I’d like to make sure I’m opening the version I’ve saved on my other computer and, believe it or not I don’t know how to do this and I’m trying to contribute to the community so others don’t lose large pieces of edting they’ve done, like I have.

I can do without snark. Thanks very much but no thanks. If you have something helpful, I’d appreciate that over snarky rhetorical questions. :smiley:

Hi cjzurcher,

Strictly speaking, no.

But–if you have a project open in Scrivener, you can have Scrivener tell you the path to the project folder by checking Tools > General > Show full project path in title bar.

If you don’t know where the project folder is and you’re trying to locate it from outside Scrivener, then search for *.scriv using Windows Explorer.

Those are your two options, although the trick that rdale mentions might be useful too in some scenarios.

It sounds like you are having versioning difficulties. If you explain your process, maybe we can suggest some improvements.


If you are using more than one computer, it would be helpful to know how you are transferring the project from one to another.

If you are using a service like Dropbox or OneDrive, then there is a special folder on your system that’s managed by that service. The project needs to be in that folder in order to synchronize.

If you are using a thumb drive, then you can use the Save As command to save a new copy to the thumb drive, and give it an appropriate name so you can tell which version is which.

If you are using email, you can use the Backup To command and create a ZIP backup, again with a unique name.


No, only if you forget to save before you close the document or if you started from fresh, with a new document.