CRASHING - I'm locked out of my project - PLEASE HELP

I’m using Scrivener 3.0.2 on my desktop.

Yesterday I added it to my laptop, too, and somehow in that process I can no longer open the project I have been working on. The app thinks the file is already open on the computer I am working on. I have “saved a copy” and I have manually renamed the files. Nothing works. The application just spins and I have to force quit. I have rebooted and also re-downloaded the app with no successful resolution.

I’m locked out. (fyi the tutorial WILL open without incident…)

Unfortunately, there’s no one way that this can happen, and it’s so rare that I’ve never experienced it. Your best bet is to email support. They’ll probably need a zip-archived copy of your project, so be ready to do that.

Been waiting over 24 hrs for customer support…

Have you tried loading your latest Scrivener backup?

Thanks for the recommendation. Great thought. But I just tried that and no luck. The color wheel spins and the app freezes.

I would keep trying backups until I find one that works. Have you tried from both machines?

Are you really using Linux? I didn’t know Scriv 3 worked on Linux.

How did you “add it to your laptop too”? What steps? Are you using DropBox or some other cloud sync service?

Also, just to be clear, the problem project won’t launch from either machine now?

I am on MAC OS. I do not know why it says Linux next to my name; that is an error.

Here’s what happened…

  1. I upgrade to the new Scrivner and was using it well, on my Mac desktop for few weeks.
  2. I realized that I needed to have the ability to also work on my laptop when I was away from my office, so I did the follow:
    a) moved the master file to my icloud to ensure that I was accessible from both computers
    b) downloaded the newest Scrivener app to my laptop, entered my serial #, and opened the file

apparently, I must not have closed the one on my desktop when I did 2b and this has caused me not to be able to access my masterfile, my backups, my renamed masterfile, nor my renamed backup from either my Mac desktop nor my Mac laptop. Every time I try to open any of these I get a message that the file is already open, which it is not.

I have deleted the Scrivner app by dragging it to the trash and re-downloaded/installed but this has not worked.

I have now been locked out of my project for a week now, and no one from literatureandlatte has reached out despite several attempts. I am frustrated and saddened by the lack of customer service.

Moving the project to iCloud might well have been what caused the problem. In iCloud settings in System preferences, have ticked the box to optimize storage so that only the files your Mac thinks you need are downloaded?
You should have used Dropbox or some similar, simple cloud service. ICloud Drive is not 100% feliable. Sometimes it doesn’t download all files.

Please check your junk mail folder. Our customer service queue is backed up at the moment, but you should have heard something in less than a week.

It is safe to ignore the “file already open” message if you have confirmed that the file is in fact not in use elsewhere. A number of circumstances can cause the lock file to fail to reset correctly.

As noted, the feature of iCloud that allows you to “optimize disk storage” is not recommended. Scrivener expects the entire project to be stored locally. You can see all sorts of weird behavior if it isn’t.


ETA: Sorry OP, I just saw Katherine’s post. What is the problem you are seeing now: Spinning app (from your first post) or “file in use” (from your latest post)? If the latter, please ignore it and my post below.

If you were using it for a few weeks, you should have more than one backup from before your project got botched. Are you sure you don’t have backups somewhere from the original unbotched project? Do you use Time Machine to back up your Mac?

Do you know where your backups are stored on your Mac? If so, check that folder. If not, my suggestion is to open Scrivener on your Mac to some other project that works, possibly the Tutorial, and see under Preferences where your backups were stored. Perhaps they are still under the original project name.

I keep coming back to the backups repeatedly because your backups are going to save you a lot of work, if you can find one that works from your “few weeks” of successful use.

Otherwise, you will likely need to rebuild the project.

The other thing is, you are officially in damage control mode. The idea is not to make things worse by moving stuff around. Leave the project files where they are on iCloud for the moment. I think you’ve already made copies of the iCloud stuff, that was a good idea.

In the event that you can’t find any good backups, Scrivener, Time Machine, or otherwise, then you will need to rebuild your project. (Unless one of the resident geniuses on the forum can come up with a better idea :slight_smile: )

What that means is, you will need to:

  1. Create a new, empty Scrivener project
  2. Go into a copy of the botched Scrivener project folder and retrieve the writing in your documents one by one. You don’t do this using Scrivener, you would use whatever Mac tool you have for opening RTF documents. (Sorry, I am a Windows user, so don’t know about Mac tools. For that matter, I don’t know where the RTF documents are stored in Mac V3, L&L used to call that out in the manual, but I didn’t see it in the Mac v3 manual that I just downloaded to try to help you.)
  3. Copy/paste the contents of each document into the new project. There may be a better way to accomplish this, but it’s what I would do.

When you are done with this process, you will have at least recovered all of your writing. You will need to recreate any metadata, bookmarks, etc. But hopefully you will find a working backup and not need to do it.

When you get your project up and running, come back here and ask about best practices for syncing. You choice of ICloud was not a good one. Also, you may want to read up in the Scrivener manual on project backups. If you had understood and implemented a good backup process, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Just sayin’


Thanks, everyone, for your help. L&L customer service helped me find a backup that wasn’t corrupted and it opened. I have also connected dropbox so that this won’t happen again. merci/gracias/thanks

Glad to hear of your happy outcome! :slight_smile: