Change from Windows to Macbook?

I’m a long-time user and fan of Scrivener, and hopefully this question is not a waste of time… I didn’t see it listed anywhere. Is it possible to change my existing Scrivener app from Windows to Mac? As my current PC laptop is slowly giving up (after an amazing 4 and a half years), I’m considering changing over to a Macbook. Thank you for reading!

Hi Ingrid,

You’ll have to buy a new licence for the Mac version, as they are two separate developments. There used to be a cross-platform discount, but I seem to remember that with the change to Paddle, as eSellerate went out of business, that is no longer possible.

From that point, the best way of getting your stuff across to a new machine—unless you are using Dropbox to synchronise between machines already and set that up on your new one—is to create a Zipped backup of your project(s) on some sort of removable media, copy it onto your new machine, unzip it and then open it in Scrivener.

If you’re using Windows 1.9, the Mac will make a backup and convert it/them to the version 3 format—the same would happen using the Windows 3 Betas. If you’re already using the v. 3 Betas, the Mac should open them without problem—I’ve been working with my Windows using collaborator like that for 2 years.

Be aware, if you do get yourself a Mac, apart from having to get used to the differences with Windows, that your project.scriv will just look like a single file in the Mac finder, and double clicking it will open it in Scrivener—it doesn’t present as a folder in which you have to find the .scrivx file.

Hope that helps.


Thank you Mark, that is very helpful! It is disappointing to know I’d have to purchase again - Macbooks are already SO expensive. As an illustrator/author, though, it seems like going to a macbook is a decent solution… My PC laptops rarely last more than 2 years, this current one is exceptional at 4 1/2 years. Sigh… I’m getting too old for this… :laughing:

Well, My 2011 17" MacBook Pro has just died after 9 years and a bit of heavy usage and travelling the world … it’s the only Mac I’ve had that’s died on me, and I’ve been a Mac user since the early 1990s. My wife’s 2011 13" MacBook Pro soldiers on, the only thing done to it was to replace the original hard disk with a solid-state drive 18 months ago. This 2015 iMac I bought second—or maybe more!—hand just over a year ago; it took a long, frustrating time to sort out that it had some faulty RAM simms, but since they were replaced, it’s been rock-solid.

I’ve always reckoned that to get similar specs and quality in a Windows laptop, I’d need to pay as much. In fact a few years ago, a student of mine was debating whether to switch to Mac or buy a new Windows laptop … she said she was looking at an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, so we did a thorough check. For the same specifications the ThinkPad came out about £50 more expensive! You can get cheaper with Windows, but as in all things, you get what you pay for. That said, I’m not a Windows-basher; just that if/when I have to use it, I really don’t feel at home.

So what are you looking at in the Mac line-up? I’m about to take delivery of an up-specced M1 MacBook Air to replace the sadly-missed MBP.



P.S. As a “long time” user of Scrivener, while it may be disappointing that you have to get a new licence, you will appreciate that Scrivener is very good value for money. I bought it when it first came out for Mac in 2006/7 and have had two 50% discount upgrades in the 14 years since then … well under £100 for 14 years and counting!

Try emailing L&L to see if there’s any deal they can do for you. I seem to remember they may have done in the recent past. Certainly worth a try.

I have a very up spec Apple Silicon MacBook Air (and a top spec 16" i9 MacBook Pro) and am extremely pleased with the performance. Like XIAMENESE I have significant Mac experience and have found them all to be very long-lived.

The only similar success I had with a Win device was a Fujitsu 13" way way back that ran XP. I ended up retiring it when the battery failed and it had to be constantly connected to power. A replacement would have had to be imported and worth more than the value of the unit. I did try a Surface Laptop 3 last year but sold it, frustrated by very ordinary keyboard and awful trackpad.

You are all encouraging and helpful…! :heart:

I finally got a Macbook Pro M1 (13 inch). An open box laptop for a good discount and it seems faultless. My son has a Lenovo and loves it for music and programming. I’ve been on Windows for about 20, so this Mac environment is a bit of a shock :laughing: but after 2 weeks I’m getting used to it, and overall I must say it is really well thought out. I miss the number keypad, but that’s just a detail. The battery life is astounding! Even using all my imaging apps (I’m an illustrator), Scrivener, email, etc. a good 6 hours can be had with this! Never, ever did I get that on a PC.

Scrivener runs great on it too, and it’s true - the value for the money is very good for Scrivener.

Can’t say I prefer one system over the other - they both have their good points - but I do love a lot of things about this mac. And it’s fun to use.

Wow, only 6 hours battery. I’m getting over 12 (never taken it below 20%) with Scrivener, music playing, up to 100 Safari tabs, Preview, Affinity Photo and a few other apps. You must be seriously working that Mac. :smiley:

Good to hear you are enjoying the move, you will enjoy it more over time as everything becomes second nature.

I grit my teeth every time I fire up Win. I’ve used Win from the very first version and only really (sort of) enjoyed the experience with 7. Have fonder memories of Gem from DR.That gui was sleek and fast on the very ordinary hardware of the day. That and Aldus Pagemaker were my work tools, before MS killed DRDOS/Gem and Adobe took over and effectively killed Pagemaker. Ah, the good old days.

Anyhoo, enjoy the new kit.

I’m in the same boat, needing to buy Scrivener for Mac too, as you probably remember.

I expect I’ll still upgrade the PC version to 3, once it releases, just in case I’m jumping between the systems for a year or so.

I did look at the M1 MacBook Air as a potential workhorse, before choosing the mini, and suggested last night to my wife that I should have maybe gone the other way around. She’d complained that I was tucked away in my office, working, and she’d been bored all afternoon. With the MacBook I could have sat by her, editing, and at least been in the same room if she felt the need to chat. :mrgreen:

Maybe next year.