File is not writable. Access Denied.

I recently bought a new computer that has Windows 8 and am trying to transfer my Scrivener files. I have my projects saved onto an external drive. When I try to open the files on the new computer I get an error message that says " File not writable. Access denied."

I saw previous posts on the forum recommending that I make sure that the file’s are readable by right clicking on the file and changing the properties of the folders. I have done that and I still cannot open the project.

I tried emailing the project to myself and the project opened without any words.

Why is my file still not opening?

The message means that Scrivener can’t save to the file location, so there are a few things to check:

  1. If the files you’re transferring are zipped, be sure to extract them first to somewhere on the local hard drive. Either right-click the zipped folder and choose “Extract All” or double-click the folder and then drag out the .scriv folder to another location. You should then be able to open the project in Scrivener as normal.

  2. The files might be saved somewhere that Scrivener doesn’t have permission to write to, e.g. if you’re trying to open them from the external drive and the external drive or the parent folder on the drive is set to read-only for the new computer (but could be written to from the old computer). Moving them to another location will probably be all you need to do, but you might want to double-check the permissions on the .scriv folder as well.

  3. Ah, this one is the same as the end of number 2–check the permissions for the project and make sure that your new Windows account where you’re running Scrivener has write access to the files. This means going into the Security tab in properties, not just deselecting “Read-only” from the General tab.

With the email, it sounds like you didn’t get the full project across, just the “project.scrivx” file that lists the contents of the binder and the meta-data. Most email servers don’t allow you to attach a complete folder, or don’t handle it well if they do, so you always should zip the project folder before sending it. On the receiving end, you should then be able to just extract the project folder from the zip and work with it as usual, though again subject to any of the potential permissions problems above.