Will I lose my work if I upgrade or uninstall Scrivener?
No. Scrivener is a standard file-based computer program, not a web-based or mobile application. This means that any projects you create in Scrivener are saved outside of the program, on your hard drive. They are not kept within Scrivener itself. This is similar to the way Microsoft Word works, in that you can keep .DOCX files on your computer even if you don't have Word installed. Thus, upgrading, uninstalling, or even switching from trial or beta versions of the program to the purchased version, will not affect the work you've done so far.
If you are downloading a major update, note that this may involve upgrading the file format of your project. When you first open a Scrivener 1 for Windows project in Scrivener 3 for Windows, for example, you will be asked to allow Scrivener to update the file format of the project. This upgrade will not affect your work - it will simply ensure the project is compatible with the new version. Once you have gone through with the file format upgrade, you will be able to open the project as normal in the new version.
When you create a new project in Scrivener, a File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window will pop up where you will name the project and choose where you wish to save it. If you don't recall doing this, it is likely that the project was saved in your main Documents folder, as this is the program default.
While Scrivener has convenience features for tracking the last few projects you've edited (e.g., the
File > Recent Projects menu and the
Open Recent button in the Project Templates window), these features should not be relied upon to manage your projects. Think of these commands as shortcuts to where your work is located on your computer, just like a shortcut on your Desktop/Dock is linking to a program saved in your Program Files/Applications folder. You should therefore familiarize yourself with where your projects are stored, should you ever have to do a full reinstall of your program (in which case the "recent" lists would be wiped). You will then have confidence in knowing precisely where everything is.
See our knowledge base article on storing and organising your projects for related information and advice.