Why do I have hundreds of Scriv files saved on my Mac?

I am not a brilliant computer user but I don’t think it’s reasonable for Scrivener to save hundreds of backups and other miscellaneous files. I have never completely understood just why Scriv picks the places it saves files. Surely I don’t need more than my current version and one backup somewhere else on my hard drive? There are dozens and dozens of version and rtf and pdf files. I took a small video of my scrolling down the long list after searching the whole hard drive for “Scriv” but at that point I was at the end of my know=how; I’ve no idea how to send it to anyone or who to send it to so they can see what’s going on. I see in the Forums that Scriv is only supposed to save the latest 5 updates. So why do I have them going all the way back to 2012? Getting frustrated here. Is there a detailed, dumbed-down tutorial somewhere about how to set up and manage file saving in Scriv? I just use it for my journal and keeping things like lists of books to read, knitting patterns and interesting stuff from the internet. Oh, and a couple old failed novel attempts LOL.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Scrivener’s backup habits are entirely settable by you: Go to Scrivener’s Preferences. Pick the tab there about Backups. You can there specify how many backups Scriv should keep of your project. There, you can also tell it where you want your backups to be saved.

I recommend you not set Scriv to just make one backup. Let Scriv backlog atleast a few backups – five is a pretty good number. That way if you lose or delete something and don’t realize it until after a few Scrivener sessions, you may still be able to get it back from a backup.

I also recommend you set Scriv to backup to some out of the way place that you don’t have to look at. Scriv’s default backup location is a good choice. Maybe it is already doing that, of course.


P.S. Something you said in your post makes me worry that you might laboring under some confusion about what is happening – so maybe it is worth saying a bit more here: Because you refer to rtfs and pdfs you are seeing. The backup file of a scrivener project presents on your Mac as a single file: it has either a .scriv extension or a .zip file extension depending on your scriv preferences. You should not be seeing any rtf of pdf files (unless you have opened the scriv package and are looking inside it – but why?). I was left wondering what exactly you are looking at that makes you think that scriv is making so many backups.

If your backups are stored in the same folder as your live projects, Scrivener will save all of them, ignoring the setting in the Preferences -> Backups pane. This is to minimize the risk that you’ll accidentally overwrite a good backup with a bad copy of the project.

The Finder “All Files” view will show you the individual files inside your Scrivener projects. Even with only a small number of backups of moderately sized projects, this could easily add up to hundreds of individual files. It’s just not a helpful way of looking at things.