My Scrivener is linked to my OneDrive and recently, I've been experiencing an annoying issue. Every time I close my Scrivener project on Windows, I receive a notification from OneDrive saying the file has been moved to the recycling bin, even though I did not delete it:

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When I return to Scrivener, nothing has been deleted--all my edits have been saved, but when I check the recycling bin, I find all past versions of my project:

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I thought maybe this was happening because I only have the free trial of Scrivener, but I don't think that's it and I'm really confused. I know Scrivener automatically saves things, as well, so it's not as if it's not saving. I also have only used a fifth of my OneDrive storage.

I'm relieved that my Scrivener project is still being saved, but am annoyed and want to know how to resolve the problem.

  • this actually has been happening to me too. I never went and checked what it actually meant though so I didn't know it was deleting my stuff. I mean, everything I wrote was still in scrivener itself, and I don't think it's been happening since I bought to full version, so maybe that is the problem? Aug 19, 2021 at 2:45
  • It seems like whenever scrivener saves to your OneDrive, it automatically trashes the previous saved version so your OneDrive version is always the latest one, hence why you get the notification. I don't have scrinever though, so cannot confirm this.
    – Sciborg
    Aug 20, 2021 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


It seems to me that what's getting deleted is your backups.

Scrivener can be configured to create backups on project close or open or both. And it can be configured to keep a certain number of backups, meaning, once you've reached that number, it will start deleting backups, and, as it seems, do this on project close.

See this article from Scrivener's creators on backups.

It's the checkboxes "Backup on project close/open" and "Retain backup files" followed by a number dropdown that you're interested in. From your screenshots, I think it's set to "5"...

Also, check out "Backup location." You shouldn't use the same folder as the one where you keep your projects or they could possibly get overwritten.

To be extra confusing, Scrivener can also be configured to take a backup every time ctrl-S is pressed (a.k.a. manual save). See the "Backup with each manual save"-checkbox.

Update: Worth noting from your question and my answer is that you may not know where your Scrivener files really are stored. Use this article to try and locate the file.

Yes, the backups are good, but they aren't the actual Scrivener file (which, on a Windows machine should be a folder with a name ending in ".scriv", like "My Project.scriv"—yes, I know, confusing...)

This is the folder you need to make backups of and take care of. If you're spending months and years on your projects you should also keep a copy in the cloud or offsite. (See the above article on making backups, especially the "3-2-1" rule.)

For example, if you find a change you did a month ago and you don't like it and want to see what you had before the change (but you didn't remember to take a snapshot before the change, because who remembers that?) five or even 25 backups may not be enough... you should do more backing up than just automatic Scrivener backups.

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