Freezes when opening saved project

Scrivener froze when I was trying to move a note to the trash so I quit and restarted the program, and now it will not open that project again. Every time I open scrivener and then try to open the project, the program freezes and i have to force quit. I’ve restarted the program several times, and restarted my computer. It will start a new project and open other saved projects, just not this one. Any ideas of how to fix this without reinstalling the software?

Since you can start new projects and open existing ones just fine, reinstalling will likely not be necessary. Most likely there is a corrupted media file in the project that won’t open, and Scrivener keeps trying to load that item whenever you open the project, resulting in an immediate crash. That’s just a guess though, based on what usually causes this type of problem.

What you can try doing is finding the project in Finder, right-clicking on it, and select the compress option. This will create a zip copy of the project as it stands. Keep that as a backup since we’ll be messing with the component files directly. Now right-click on the project again and select “Show Package Contents”. That will pop up a window showing you the internal files that make up your project. Navigate into the Settings folder and drag the “ui.plist” file to the Desktop. That will reset the view settings for the project, which include what you were looking at last. If the crash is resulting from viewing a corrupted media file, then it will no longer be jumping to it, and theoretically you’ll be able to get into the project. If that works, and it opens without crashing, go ahead and empty the trash via the project menu. Hopefully that is where the media was and the problem will go away. If you do find that after navigating around a bit, you experience a crash again, then the problem is probably located elsewhere, and we’ll have to do a bit more exploring. So for a while just try to keep in mind what you’ve clicked on so that when it does crash you’ll know exactly which binder item triggered it. That will make it much easier to repair the project.

If moving the ui.plist file out did not fix the problem, then go ahead and drag it back in, replacing the new one that Scrivener created (if it got that far). That’s not the problem, and that file contains settings you’ll likely want to keep otherwise, such as column arrangements, what gets tinted with label colour, and so forth.

Thank you so much! This was incredibly helpful. Now my question is how do I delete the problem note in my project without crashing the whole thing again? I’ve been using scrivener fine for weeks just avoiding clicking on this one note, but I think it’s time to take care of it. If I click on the note to move it to the trash I’m back to the original problem.

Hi Jessica

A shot in the dark… if the note is in a folder, can you delete the folder without clicking on the note? If there is other stuff in the same folder, can you move the other stuff to a new folder (without clicking on the problem note) and then deleting the folder containing the note?

As Amber said, make sure you’ve got a backup copy you can revert to :wink:

Best wishes


You may be able to do it simply by locking the editor (View > Editor > Lock in Place) before you click on the item in the binder. Locking the editor to some other document will prevent it loading the new one you click on, so you can safely drag it to the trash and empty the trash, then unlock the editor.