Help Reinstalling Software

I purchased the software from Nanowrimo about a year ago. I had to erase my computer due to a catastrophic virus. I have not been able to find a product key. Now I can’t access my projects. What can I do?

I suggest you send this question directly to L&L support by using their Contact Us page, as they don’t handle license issues via this forum.


I have already, and their responses are less than helpful. I managed to download the free version, which gives me 30 days to save my projects to Libre Office. Needless to say, I am not happy with their customer and technical support.

I wasn’t able to find this email address in our support system. Is there another address you would have used? (Feel free to message me if you’d rather not share it.)

Generally speaking, you have access to the same license retrieval database that the support team uses, via this link:

If a search there is unsuccessful, things to check include making sure that you used the correct email address, making sure the license email wasn’t sent to your junk folder, etc.

There was a case recently where someone had made a typographical error when they purchased Scrivener. As a result we had the wrong email address in our files, and so the license recovery email was going to the wrong place. That sort of issue usually requires time and human intervention to solve, but our 30-day trial is lengthy enough to allow us to work through even difficult situations.

No, there was no mistake in the address. And this is the address I use for everything. I went to the link you posted and entered my email address. The response said that Literature and Latte sent me my information, but nothing came into my inbox. The problem is entirely on your end. But now that my work is no longer being held hostage by somebody else’s proprietary software, I am content to cut and paste everything into a Libre Office Doc. I should be done well before the trial period ends and then I’m deleting everything Scrivener from my machine.

Please check your junk mail folder. That’s the most common cause of apparent non-responses.

Nothing from Literature and Latte. The glitch is on your end, and good luck finding it.

If you’re having trouble with email delivery, then you should log in to the help desk directly. You can set up an account quickly, using your regular email, and if used before any previous tickets will become available on login. Creating new tickets and commenting on previous one can all be done from here.

I’ve wasted a year of my life trying to use your software. It’s obviously designed for corporate users, and I don’t understand why you’re trying to promote it to individuals. I don’t have a dedicated IT staff paid to take care of these problems. It’s just me.

I can’t express the frustration and despair I went through not having anybody answering direct questions or how upsetting it was not having access to my works in progress. I figured out the 30-day free trial on my own. And now that I’ve rescued my work from this hostage situation, I am done with Scrivener. It was a waste of my money and a thief of my time and effort. You can be sure I’ll be mentioning all this in reviews and recommendations.

If you can do it in a Zoom session, I’m available and always have been, no charge unless you want to donate something. There are lots of people offering help in various forms, but Literature & Latte doesn’t have the manpower to do it one-on-one that way.

zoom me

Speaking as a salesperson of 30+ years of experience, you guys sold me much more software than I needed. This is not a favor to a customer. You’re also treating me like a Luddite, which is insulting, as I’m certified to sell and use Salesforce. And judging from my responses, I doubt that I’m the first customer who got lost in your system. I used Scrivener for over a year. I have to have a license key in your system. Losing my license key is on me. Not being able to find it is on you. I did everything everybody suggested before I posted here as a last resort. Now that I have my work saved on Libre Office, I am happy to let the matter rest. But I will recommend that amateurs, hobbyists, and small-time freelancers avoid buying it.

If I were still working for Sawmill Marketing or NLV, I would beg my bosses to buy Scrivener. I can’t think of better software to facilitate corporate content and supervise a room full of content providers. I bet it’s also a blessing to big-time writers like Stephen King. I don’t understand why you’re marketing this monster package of software through Nanowrimo. It’s like you’re fishing for angry customers.

If you want to market Scrivener to small-time self-publishers and bloggers like me, cut your monster program into smaller pieces and let the customer add to it as he grows and needs more services. You might also consider checking your customer service software because I doubt I’m the only customer who gets no responses from your automated systems.

I hope that by now you will have calmed down a little. Yes, it is frustrating when we cannot get a problem resolved in the way that we might have wished. I would however like to respectfully disagree with your premise that Scrivener is a product for corporate clients.

I am an “amateur, hobbyist and small-time freelancer”. I bought Scrivener not because it was marketed to me, but because I came across it and liked its ethos and its orientation to amateurs and hobbyists. That was seven years ago. For five years I hardly used it, because I worked for a big corporation where the standard word-processing software is, as in many corporations, Microsoft Word. Now having retired I use Scrivener and enjoy it. I have had prompt support from LL when requested. I do not know how 70-80 percent of Scrivener works. I do not write novels or screenplays, hence there are many parts of Scrivener which I will never use. That will be true of the vast majority of users. That does not mean that it is inappropriate. What I use I find very useful and I cannot find these Scrivener features (for organization and separating content from formatting) in a standard word processor such as Word or Libre Office.

This may not work for everyone. But you cannot blame LL for selling you software you do not need. As far as I know LL does not actively “market” their software. People use it, like it and tell others. If you buy software you do not need or want that is on you. I have bought software which I have later found does not suit my needs. When that happens I stop using it. I don’t complain to the producers that it’s not for me. It will be right for someone else.

One final point. You could not find the license key and apparently neither could LL. What I do in those circumstances is to ask: do I really want this software? If I do, despite my frustration, I buy another license. If I don’t, then I stop using it and use the software that is most appropriate.


My problem was solved by accident. I tried downloading the free version. I was then able to cut and paste my work into Libre documents. I was then able to delete Scrivener, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I am a novelist. I also have a blog called “The Traumatic 90s” on WordPress. I found working with Scrivener to be highly restrictive and frustrating. And I tried using it for over a year, so this was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. And making it was as liberating as quitting a toxic job.

Speaking of toxic jobs, I was a sales and marketing professional for over 30 years, and I gave my professional opinion of LL’s marketing and a few unsolicited ideas on how to improve customer satisfaction and expand their income streams. I also pointed out that their automated software has a glitch that prevented them from sending me my license key. This is their problem, and I don’t care if they solve it or not. I’m good.

And by the way, Rolando. Telling a retiree on a small fixed income to throw away even more money to recover his personal work from the computer he paid for is extortion. It’s also the ultimate in middle-class privilege. Shame on you.

I would remind everyone that one of our few rules here is to be polite to one another.

We appreciate feedback, and that’s all that really has to be said about it. Some don’t like Scrivener after giving it a try, there are as many reasons for that as there are people, by and large. Some love it, and there are as many reasons for that. At any rate, we’ve got your feedback, thanks for taking the time to share it. Since there is not much point in this discussion continuing, and given how there seems to be sour feelings expressed for some reason, I’m closing this thread.