Scratch Pad or Backups migration after upgrading Mac App Store version

Important: This article only pertains to the Mac App Store version of Scrivener, which must be sandboxed to exist on the store. The direct-sale version is not sandboxed, and does not require the following procedure.

If you have recently upgraded to version 2.4.1 or higher of the Mac App Store version of Scrivener, from any older version, then you will be asked to set up your backup folder when the software launches. Likewise the first time you use Scratch Pad, you will be asked where you would like to save the files for it.

The reason for this is that Apple's rules do not allow software to help you find your support files, but at the same time we can only write support files without bugging you, to the support file location. Thus we have a bit of a catch-22 in that the so-called sandboxing location your software can operate within without asking permission cannot also be revealed by the software.

Since we like to keep things transparent, we were unwilling to remove such things as the button that opens your backup folder from the Preferences pane, or the text field that prints the path of where your files are. These are important pieces of information. Thus, we can no longer use the sandbox to automatically save your scratch pad notes and automatic project backups, out of the box. That means when you launch the update for the first time, you will be asked where to save your backups.

The important thing to note here is that all of your existing backups and scratch pad notes will not be moved. That is not allowed. You can certainly do so by hand, and we encourage it, but we cannot help you do this from the software. You have two choices:

  1. If you know how the Mac saves sandboxing folders, you can simply navigate to that location yourself from the folder selection window that Scrivener presents, and select your existing backup/scratch pad folder. This will provide the most seamless transition---but it can be tricky getting there as Apple has chosen to hide your support data from the Finder. To select your existing folders:

    1. Use the Finder's Go menu, and hold down the Option key. You should see "Library" appear. Select it.
    2. With the Library folder open in a Finder window, double-click on the Containers folder. You'll need to navigate to ~/Library/Containers/com.literatureandlatte.scrivener2/Data/Library/Application Support for backups.
    3. Drag and drop the "Backups" folder into the folder selection tool that Scrivener has opened for you on first launch. This will navigate the folder selection tool to this hidden location. You can now confirm the dialogue box and go on using backups as you have.
    4. The Scratch Pad is similar, only you will want to navigate to ~/Library/Containers/com.literatureandlatte.scrivener2/Data/Documents. You should see your scratch pad folder here. Drag and drop this folder into the folder selection window that Scrivener presents to you when using Scratch Pad for the first time. You should see your old notes once you've confirmed the window.
  2. Alternatively, you could select a new location without attempting to access hidden folders. At this point you may wish to consolidate your data using the Finder or some other means, or you could just go on with a clean slate. Just be aware that your older backups and scratch pad notes will remain safe in their original location, should you ever have need of them.