Best practice - moving projects to new OS Win11/v. 3 from Win7/1.9 (NOT migrating)

I have posted this in a new topic so I don’t hijack Custom words where I asked about merging/combining/editing custom word lists.

I am going from 1.9 on Win7 to v. 3 on Win 11, but I am NOT migrating my computer files - only manually moving my Scrivener related stuff. (The rest is bs) Any pointers, hints, warnings suggestions and constructive criticisms are welcome!!

This is REALLY good to know! Thank you @BClarke

I am working on combining several old projects that were built with multiple old dinosaurs and 1.9 for Windows. My custom word lists are huge. I’m thinking any work I do to marry them will be trialed within a new empty project (one at a time) to be on the safe side.

So far my plan is to:

  1. Check to see if my old projects opens ok in 1.9 on their respective dinosaurs.
  2. Copy the word list folders to a uniquely labeled file outside of scrivener to play with later.
  3. Back up each project to a zip file keeping the originals where they are until I can compare them to the upgraded versions.
  4. Move the zipped backup files to the new computer via a storage device (portable hard drive?)
  5. Copy the zipped project files to the new computer - and recreate the folder hierarchy so I hopefully don’t break TOO many research links and while retaining the new back up files on the portable hard drive. :crossed_fingers:
  6. I believe that in Windows I need to extract the zipped files (into the same folder??) before I can open them (someone let me know if I have this wrong please?)

This is where I get (more than a little) lost and need help.

It was suggested that I update Scrivener on my old computers, and do all the checking and comparisons to be sure they all update ok in v3 and the old OS before I move them over to the new OS, but that is impossible because of system requirements. I have zero knowledge of what goes on under the hood, but I am pretty ok with general computer speak. I could really use some guidance here.

I have v.3 installed on the new computer now, but wonder if I should un-install it, and install v. 9 instead, and do all moving and tests on 1.9 in the new OS rather just opening the Win7 zipped 1.9 projects directly into v. 3 and win11?

Of concern is that my biggest project is loaded with tons of tags, metadata, notes, inline notes, footnotes and over 1000 linked research images, charts, figures, docs plus labels, status and color coding.

I will say, I am seriously re-thinking some of this since learning more about v3’s capabilities, and style considerations for compiling. Many chunks will have to be compiled to Word in a specific style (based on the normal template) for publication, which is another post some day, but it is something I need to keep in mind as I go forward.

One other thing- my main WIP has a lot of window customizations (tool bar, color, corkboard etc) that aren’t in all the projects. How do I transport those custom settings to all the projects?

Are there any glaring mistakes? My first step is to get all my projects working individually on the new system and updated to v3. The rest can wait. What have I not thought about?

First make your zip backups of projects and recreate folder structure to preserve computer links to external files.
Now on new computer extract zip backups to Scrivener project folder on new computer.
Now use downloaded scriv 3 to open the scriv file ( whatever call file in old version). Now see how looks. Should convert old projects to new format.
Good news is doing this way old data is still preserved. Nothing is lost and all original data is intact.

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There’s an upgrade guide for Scrivener 3 that might be worth a look before you touch any of your own projects. Scrivener 3: A Guide for Scrivener 1 Users | Literature and Latte

Scrivener 3 will make a backup before it does the upgrade, but having your own backup is never a bad idea.

The contents of the project – except Compile settings – should migrate just fine. The customizations to Scrivener itself largely won’t.


To clarify, do I first physically put a copy of the zipped file in the projects folder then extract to the projects folder? Or do I drop it in another folder but just choose the projects folder as the target destination?

Thank you for the encouragement @GoalieDad

How the heck did I miss that? :woman_facepalming:
My searches have obviously been less than effective - I swear I’ve been looking! I will get it read tonight. I have been going through the ‘what’s new’ in the tutorial too. Thank you!

Save zip backups in your new backup location which should be different than the project folder location.
On my author website have lots of articles on scrivener including a series of pieces on backups and backup strategy.

If like the site sign up and will send emails as add articles to the site.


In Windows 11 the easiest way to extract a ZIP Folder is to double-click on it and drag the content where you want, be it the same folder as where the ZIP folder resides, like Downloads, or wherever you like.
For Scrivener, if I need to access a zipped backup, I keep it far away from my Scrivener Projects folder and drag out the .SCRIV folder, which brings along its underlying content.
The next thing I do is append an -OLD piece to the extracted .SCRIV folder name. Opening the folder, the .SCRIVX file still has the prior name, but double-clicking on it, it adopts the rename with -OLD in its name.
Just one way to avoid confusion over what’s your WIP and something you need to reference, restore or move into your WIP.