035 Lags When Typing

I noticed better responsiveness right after the download but now I’m getting strange results. When my laptop isn’t plugged in, the typing slows down so much as to make writing impossible. All other features are fast, just the typing isn’t responsive. I tried several of my Scriv. files. It did become more responsive to files under five thousand words.

I thought this might have something to do with my power management utility so when I got home, I plugged everything up. The primary document I’m working on is 100,000 words plus notes and what not. They keystrokes are definitely more responsive, but still lagging a bit when I type. All other features, even cork-board are quick.

The odd part is, another document of about 40,000 words was lagging just as bad as it was when I had my computer unplugged. I’m running windows xp on an Lenova Ideapad, 1 gig of RAM and 160 gig memory.

Up until now I’ve found Scrivener fairly responsive when I type so this is a big change. I tried reinstalling with the same results.

Wanted to add, I tried turning off the colors on the note cards because I remembered reading a mention that this might cause slow downs. This improved the responsiveness for all files but I wonder why this would slow down typing, but not affect cork board or the other features? Also, I didn’t have a problems with using colored note cards in the 029 version.

I’m having a similar issue. I have two different laptops, both XP, one at 1.6Ghz and the other at 1.2Ghz, and when on battery power, they each display a typing lag in full screen. It probably has to do with the processor throttling down when on battery; I have both machines set for power source optimized. Until the tool bar at the bottom disappears, I can’t type at all. Then there is a lag such that I can easily get two or three letters ahead while typing. Even when plugged in, my 1.2Ghz laptop experiences a small lag. I saw in the release notes for 035 that the code optimization was removed because of the issues with lost material; I hope that this hasn’t made the program unusable for me. I do not have this lag issue with other writing programs when using the notebooks on battery, including Microsoft Word. I’m hoping that this is just a bug that can be corrected as I just would not have the patience to have the lag that I’m experiencing while typing. I do truly love Scrivener and hope I can continue using it.


I wanted to add a follow up on this typing lag issue. I put windows task manager on top of the screen while I was typing in Scrivener and found that when I am working in full-screen mode, Scrivener’s processor usage moves between 70% and 90% while I am typing (I type about 70 WPM). When not in full-screen mode, it uses 50% to 70%. I changed the auto save feature to 60 seconds and turned off spell checking and this is still the case.

When I use MS Word in full-screen mode or regular screen mode, it uses 2-3%. Another fiction writing program that I have which is similar to Scrivener in function, with a tree on the left and word processor on the right (which I won’t name as I don’t want to advertise it) uses 3-5%. I guess I’m having a hard time understanding how simply entering text could take 90% of the processor’s time.

I did this experiment is on my Thinkpad 1.6Ghz Pentium M with 1.5GB of RAM running XP SP3. I don’t know if this is a bug or if Scrivener just has very high system requirements, but I hope it is the former.


M.R. and jeepea, just to add a data point here and give some confidence, I made up an 035 project having 100,000 words, 570,000 characters and normal paragraph breaks, all in one scrivening, plus a nearly empty second scrivening.

Running on a laptop with Windows 7, I see no delay whatsoever, typing in either the huge or the tiny item, and running on battery or not.

During quite rapid typing, the Task Manager shows up to 8% CPU on the small scrivening, and up to 15-20% on the huge one. Turning off Spell Checking and Auto-Correction makes no apparent difference, so I imagine this is just the CPU needed to keep up the constant formatting of the screen, and normal.

As soon as I stop typing, the Scrivener use goes to zero. Thus all looks as it should, and probably that’s the experience of most users, though not for either of you at the moment.

What I am thinking is that what you see might be related to an issue I’ve observed once in a while right after earlier installs. When it happens, Scrivener is slow to start (20 seconds as opposed to 1-2 seconds). The Task Manager shows a constant 50% (1 cpu) use even when Scrivener is idle.

geepea, since you are looking at Task Manager details, maybe you can check if this is the case.

What I did to fix it was to deinstall Scrivener, and then afterwards, delete the c:\Program Files\Scrivener directory. Then I installed again, after which Scrivener worked normally.

035 requires a deinstall before installing, according to the release notes. Also deleting the Scrivener program directory will compensate if parts have been left due to earlier Betas. So maybe you can try this, and see if you get normal operation.


Edit: Gina, and M.R., I just wanted to add to this something I remembered.

I believe that the uninstaller for 035 is now powerful enough to completely remove the Scrivener directory by itself from Program Files; at least that was my experience in using it. So if you uninstall 035, you may well not find and need to remove the Program Files\Scrivener directory. It’s a quick check, and hope it works that way for you – also that the uninstall/reinstall itself removes your lag/cpu problems.

Regards again,

Thank you for the suggestions Clive. However, I did uninstall and delete the Scrivener directory before installing .035. Still, after making the above post, I redid this process with a reboot between uninstall and install with no change in behavior. I should state that this computer, Thinkpad 1.6Ghz, has the least lag of the three computers that I use. It is just noticeable enough to be annoying. On my 1.2Ghz Lifebook, Scrivener can get 3-4 letters behind. All of my laptops use XP SP3.

I do need to modify the data I provided. When I was looking at the task manager, I was looking at total CPU usage and not just Scrivener.exe’s usage. When I checked on this properly, I found that Scrivener uses between 60% and 80% of the processor in full-screen mode and 40% to 60% in normal mode. This is about 10% less than I’d stated in my previous post. As far as when I’m not typing, Scrivener uses 5% or less.

I’m also having another issue with my Lifebook in that it takes 90 seconds for Scrivener to load, but I think that’s probably a different issue that I’ll address in another thread.


Gina, even though not a fix, that’s good information for Lee, I’m sure.

What you observe on the Lifebook is exactly what I was referring to – and with some sense that the lag and the slow start cases may well be related.

I wonder if you did the deinstall and directory removal, then install again, on the Lifebook?


I did uninstall and reinstall .035 on my LIfebook. I do think that the lag might be a little less while typing in full-screen, but it is still there. As far as the startup time, that did not change. Startup the first time after installation took 105 seconds and is now between 75 and 90 seconds.

I watched the Task Manager while I waited for Scrivener to start. During the delay in startup, Scrivener.exe jockies with a windows process csrss.exe in keeping the processor running at 100%. I’m not really sure what the connection is between the programs, but I also see that csrss.exe boosts its processor usage when I type in Scrivener, bouncing up to 4-5%. I’ve checked and seen that there are Trojans tha masquerade themselves as csrss.exe, but in this case I believe I’ve confirmed that this is the genuine MS process. Hopefully this information is useful.


Thanks Gina and Clive, I will look into this and run some tests on my 1.6ghz pentium running XP sp3, ill reduce some RAM to 1gb and investigate further.


I am having a similar problem, and have tried all the usual fixes including extending the autosave time and deinstalling and reinstalling.

I have recently added colours to my index cards on cork board, so could be that.

I am running 035 on a networked computer running vista. 32 bit. 4gb ram. interl core duo processor 2.66ghz

My time lag is QUITE bad, very annoying – more than a minute.

When I look at windows task manager, Scrivener is using around 20-25% of CPU, whereas most programs seem to use around 2-3%.


Adding this to the conversation:

I have had this problem intermittently with Scrivener and other apps.

On my system it seems to relate to processes that involve indexing functions. One primary example is what happens if I have Scrivener and MS Outlook (2010) open at the same time. When Outlook initiates a sync with my Exchange account, it will sometimes cause keyboard lagging.

The behavior acts like a bottleneck is occurring in the keyboard buffer and keystrokes can’t be handed off to the next process at the rate they’re input.

I’ve verified this with regards to MS Exchange by comparing differences in the keyboard repeat rate before and after cancelling a server request. When I get a slowdown, if I cancel the server request, the keyboard repeat rate returns to normal immediately. I haven’t related this to any specific to Scrivener, though.

Hope this is of help.


I’m also having this issue, and the lag is so bad that I can’t even use Scrivener.

When I have Scrivener open and on top of the other screens, the CPU usage hovers around 5%. When I’m actively typing not in full-screen mode, it jumps up to 30-40%.

Specifically: When I first start typing, the lag is every two words or so, but as I continue without pausing, the lag gets worse and worse until I have to stop typing completely. CPU usage remains the same whether I’m in full-screen or not.

All of this is with my computer plugged in. I hope this helps and that this issue can be resolved quickly.

I don’t know if this issue has been addressed in another forum, I’ll keep looking, but I’m having this problem as well. I had been experiencing it for the last several months on my netbook running xp and 1g of ram, but had no problem on my laptop running windows 7 w/ 2 g ram and a 2Ghz processor. However as of the latest install, the problem is occurring on the 2nd computer as well. I get very large lag, up to a minute at times, and it has kept me from doing any typing in the program at all, which means I probably won’t be using it much until some sort of a solution is put forth.

(Build 049)

Typing in full screen mode raises Scrivener.exe CPU usage to 97% when quickly typing, which renders full screen unusable due to lag.

In binder view, with cursor in the document text field and holding down any key for infinite repeat increases Scrivener’s CPU usage to 94%. Normal typing results in noticeable lag, raising Scrivener’s CPU usage to 80-90%. Moving the cursor to project notes and holding down any key raises the CPU usage to only 35%.

Switching among documents in Scrivener is snappy, and all other functions seems to be very responsive.

I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling 049, but I’m getting the same result.

XP Home Edition SP 3
Celeron CPU 2.40GHz
1.5 GB RAM
Dell Dimensions 2400

Here’s hoping the performance can be improved for older machines, but I certainly understand if that’s not possible.

Thanks, Lee.

  • Steve

Tested NaNoWriMo version (045) on:
HP dc5859
AMD Athlon Dual Core Processor 5000B
2.59 GHz, 1.75 GB RAM
Running XP Pro SP3

Full screen mode is very slow on this machine, however, in binder/document mode the text document fields have no discernible lag.

Hope this info helps.

  • Steve