App needs to be updated to work with this version of macOS -- message when I try to open Scrivener


Can anyone help me with the following message that I receive when I try to open Scrivener?

“The developer of this app needs to update it to work with this version of macOS.”

Also, I hope I don´t lose all the work that I already have saved when I update the app!

Suggestions appreciated!

It sounds like you are using an old version of Scrivener that is 32-bit, and have recently updated to a version of macOS that does not allow you to run older software like that.

We do have a modern version of Scrivener that has been out now for some time. I’d recommend downloading the demo for that and seeing if it runs better. You can give it another name so as to not overwrite the old version (not that it sounds like it is of much use).

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I recently updated my Macbook to macOS Catalina (I waited to do so for as long as I could) and now I cannot open the version of Scrivener that I have because it is a 32-bit app.

Luckily, I still have my receipt with the serial number, so I downloaded the current version and tried to enter my license information but it didn´t work.

Then I read that it is because it is a major upgrade (2 to 3) so I tried downloading an older version of Scrivener that is for people with existing licenses, as a courtesy to them. When I downloaded the 2.9 version, I received the same error message as before: "The developer of this app needs to update it to work with this version of macOS.” Which put me right back at the beginning where I started. LOL. (Me río por no llorar.)

The issue is that version 2 isn’t 64 bit, and won’t be updated to 64 bit. Catalina requires 64 bit apps. Scrivener 3 is 64 bit, and is a major (paid) upgrade. There’s a discount for existing users, if you buy from Lit & Lat’s online store.

Thank you for the response!

I contacted a friend who told me that when she downloaded Scrivener 3 and put in her previous license information, she got a pop-box to purchase a discounted version. When I put in my email and serial number, I got an error message. (shrugs)

I went to purchase the app, and when I did that I had the option to upgrade from my previous version. Yay! Found it!

Got the discount, Scrivener opens, and all my documents are there. It looks like I should be good to go now!

Thanks for the replies! They helped point me in the right direction.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our upgrade guide for Scrivener 2 users, as Scrivener 3 has some very significant changes. You can find it here: … date-guide