My project file has turned into a folder and no longer opens

On a Mac, a Scrivener project is saved in the form of a "package file". A package file appears as a single file in your Finder, but is actually a folder containing the many sub-folders and files which make up your project.

Not all cloud-syncing services will handle package files correctly, which may result in the project’s file structure being exposed after a sync. In other words, what used to look like a single file on your Mac now looks like a folder.

A project appearing as a folder in Finder

If your project now looks like a folder (as in the above image), it is likely you will no longer be able to open it, as Scrivener for macOS may not recognize the file type as a Scrivener project. In this case, what you’ll need to do is ensure that the proper extension is added to the end of the folder name.

To do this, right-click on the project folder in your Finder and choose Get Info. In the Name & Extension section, you will be shown the entire filename, including the extension. Here, modify the filename so its only extension is ".scriv" (e.g., Example Project.scriv). On the warning message that pops up, click the Use .scriv option to confirm your changes.

Pointing to the “Use .scriv” button on the warning message

Upon doing this, your Scrivener project should revert back to package file format, and you should be able to open it as usual.

If you are repeatedly encountering this problem, we recommend switching cloud-sync services. Our official recommendation is Dropbox, which has been tested and proven to be compatible with the Scrivener file format.

If the above instructions don't solve the problem, or if you continue to have issues after changing cloud-sync services, please contact our macOS support team.