Application not responding - only for a specific project

Hi all,

Scrivener 3 is crashing on my Mac every time - but only for a specific project. I’m assuming that means the project has been corrupted in some way but I REALLY can’t afford to lose what’s in it. I back up automatically to Dropbox but when I try to open the project all I get is the spinning cursor and a ‘Application not responding’ notification. I then have to force quit to close Scrivener.

Two other projects I’m working on in Scrivener open up fine apart from rebuilding the search index every time.

The only thing I can think might be causing this is some files having been deleted when I ran Disk Cleaner on my computer and cleared the application caches.

Any suggestions?

You can locate Scrivener’s automatic backups by going to Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups and opening the backup folder in Finder.

If Disk Cleaner deleted some of the project’s component files, it may be difficult or impossible to recover the project. (And you should yell at Disk Cleaner’s support group.) However, this kind of crash is often due to a much less serious issue with the project display settings. Instructions for resetting those settings can be found here: … y-settings

If that doesn’t help, another option is to open a new project and import the old one using the File -> Import -> Scrivener Project command. That will recover anything that can be recovered, but of course if a file is missing there won’t be much we can do.


Thanks for coming back to me, Katherine. I went with creating a new project and importing the previous project in. I can’t be sure that I haven’t lost anything but as far as I can see everything is there.

I had been backing up to Dropbox because I was using Scrivener on iPhone as well but since moving to Android I don’t have access to the app anymore. Would you recommend just keeping the backups local or is that unrelated?

“Backup” and “synchronization” are not the same thing. By which I mean that relying on a Dropbox copy synchronized to other devices as your only backup is a terrible idea: a problem on one device can wipe out all the other copies at internet speed.

However, setting Scrivener’s automatic backup location (Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups pane) to a Dropbox folder is reasonably safe, especially if you check the ZIP backup option to keep your backups from being edited accidentally.

If you were still using the iPhone, I’d recommend either keeping backups locally or using a different cloud service, so you wouldn’t have both the live copy and the backups in the same place.


Hi! I thought I’d share my experience, since I encountered a similar problem and it was resolved.

Scrivener was crashing every time I tried to open my current project. I had worked on that project for months with no problem, and had changed nothing to my computer. My other projects opened normally.

I tried KEWMS’s suggestion of resetting the display settings. It worked perfectly, as far as I can see. I was able to open the project again. The display was back to default but all the content was there.

So thank you very much for this thread, and I hope this helps anyone who may come across the same problem.