Yikes, I need help. Won't open files

I have a novel I just finished, closed it yesterday and now the file does not open. I reinstalled the latest version of Scrivener but when I select the file and hit open, nothing happens. I can open other Scrivener files without difficulty. Obviously I’m concerned. Yesterday, I had to shift several files and delete others because I ran out of memory on my laptop. I don’t think I changed anything related to this one file. And yes, I do have it backed up to Dropbox.

Ran out of “memory” OR disk space (where the files are stored).

Do you have routine Scrivener zip backups TimeMachine (or equiv) backups available?

Yes I have a zipped file on google drive from when I closed it. I can always download that but is there something I can figure out so this doesn’t happen again? Or do you think it was related to the memory problem?

If you run out of disk space – which sounds more likely, based on your description – you shouldn’t expect Scrivener (or most other applications) to work correctly until you fix the problem.

My hunch is that you do not have a “memory” problem, but in fact you probably had a shortage of disk space. Memory and disk space are different. If you don’t do something to fix the issue (which is just my hunch) with disk space, then yes, the problem will re-occur and eventually your computer will just stop agreeing to work for you.

And, as you didn’t mention TimeMachine backup, I urge you to get it setup and to do routine backups of your machine.

Thank you. I’ve corrected the problem, I back up to idrive as well as dropbox so I do have a back up zip but if there is a way to reopen the file on my desktop, then that is preferable for me. Other Scrivener files open and operate without any problem. All my other programs (Keynote, Quicktime, Word, Excel) are working correctly. So is there a way to open the Scrivener file on my desktop or is the behavior of the program (it opens but won’t open that one file) something to be concerned about? Thank you.

the project probably is corrupt as it was partially saved. again, just a hunch but a strong one. you probably have to go back to the latest scrivener-created backup zip that you have and is good. others may have another idea.

i do not know anything about idrive but it says on their website they provide backup service. might be the backup there is newer than your zip. look.

i really like and use dropbox for what it is—a sync service. it is not a good backup service as any flaws on your files on machine are immediately synced as flaws on the copies on Dropbox. not good if you expect it to be a backup

i use Time Machine to backup to two USB drives connected to my machine and a NAS device. also backup to Backblaze.

If you had TimeMachine (and maybe idrive does this) you could go back to the most recent backup that happened automatically to get the best version to get lost changes back in your novel.

Also, remember Scrivener projects may look to be a single “file” but in fact the projects are MacOS “packages” holding hundreds if not thousands of files. all these files have to be correctly saved to work. of course Scrivener does all that very quickly but it will not work, as you found out, if all the files are not in agreement with each other.

Excellent point. It was “application memory” and I also had a pretty full hard drive so I offloaded a ton today. I’ll use the zip file and cross my fingers. Thanks so much for your help.

Yes true. I’ll have to stay on top of this.

hope for the best

see "Your system has run out of application memory." How is that possible? - Ask Different for a little background in running out of application memory. related to disk space

Thank you for the link! Appreciate all your help.

Are you running the latest Mac OS (Monterey)? If not, ignore the rest of this post.

If you ran out of application memory, and you’re running the latest Mac OS Monterey, there’s a bizarre bug that causes this. The fix? Restore your mouse cursor to the default size.

Here’s a link to the article explaining the issue, and how to reset your mouse pointer size.

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Thanks, nope, I’m using Big Sur but that’s good to keep in mind.