Invalid serial number or user name

I searched through a couple of pages on the boards and could not find anything like this, but it must be a fairly common problem. I had a copy of the 1.0 trial version of Scrivener (maybe even the 1.54) on my computer for quite some time and just recently downloaded version 2.0 (I could die, it looks so beautiful). But when I go to enter in the license and make it official, it says the name and number are invalid with each other. I have entered it in by hand, as well as very carefully coping and pasting it over making sure there were no extra spaces. Do I have to wait for the payment to clear before it becomes available? Or is the 1.0 trial version clashing with the 2.0 download? Or is it something else entirely?

I’m really eager to dive into my new writing projects and I would be grateful for the help. Thank you.


Thanks for buying, sorry to hear you’re having problems!

First, just double-check that you are trying to enter a 2.0 licence into version 2.0 (if you bought recently then you definitely have a 2.0 licence, you just need to check you are entering it into the version you most recently downloaded from the site - you can check Scrivener’s version number by selecting “About Scrivener” from the “Scrivener” menu. Also ensure that you are entering your name exactly as it appears next to “Serial number name” in the e-mail you received - because the name and serial number are linked the name must be entered exactly as you entered it when you purchased.

Next, try wiping the preferences file - sometimes it’s just gremlins that have gotten into those fields and clearing the preferences fixes it. To do this, go to ~/Library/Preferences in the Finder (where “~” represents your home folder), locate the file entitled com.literatureandlatte.scrivener2.plist and move it to the Trash (while Scrivener is closed). Then re-launch Scrivener and try entering the serial name again.

If that still doesn’t help, let me know.

Thanks and all the best,


Thank you so much for the lightning fast reply (and you are most welcome for the purchase. I am so in love with this program. Now I just need it to get over this hiccup). : ) Here is the update:

It is version 1.5 (trial). That is what I can get to currently open, and when I tried to clear my cache of the com.literatureandlatte… etc., I couldn’t find such a file on my Mac with Finder. I dug deeper into the library manually and there is no .plist for anything in scrivener, just some Adobe products of mine. What would you suggest next?

You said you downloaded and installed 2.0, yes? If you didn’t delete it, it ought to be on your computer somewhere, but by default it will have the same name as the older version (“”) so it may be that you’re accidentally launching the older version. Try using Spotlight to search for “Scrivener” and see if you can get two different versions to come up–maybe you have one not installed to your Applications folder.

It may also be that you mounted the .dmg after downloading Scrivener 2.0 and ran the program straight from there, never installing it on your hard drive at all. If you can’t find it on your computer when you use Spotlight, just go to the main L&L page and download again, then mount the .dmg, install Scrivener to the Applications folder and launch it, then put in your license name and number. (You can trash the 1.54 version first, if you like, or install 2.0 along side it–move the older version to another folder or rename it first.)


The fact that it’s 1.5 is the problem, then, so that’s easy to remedy. First, as MM says, trash your current version of Scrivener - move Scrivener from wherever you installed it (most likely the Applications folder) to the Trash. Then just go to and click on “Download for Mac”. When Scrivener.dmg downloads, if it doesn’t open automatically then double-click on it in your downloads folder in the Finder, and then drag the new Scrivener into your Applications folder. The Scrivener 2.0 icon has a sliver “S” through the middle of it, so you can tell immediately if it’s the right one.

Let me know if you need further instructions.


All the best,

It looks like it is working beautifully! Thank you both so much! Now, the only problem is an aesthetic one. I’m going to try and upload two snapshots, but if it doesn’t work I’ll try and describe them here. In the applications folder it doesn’t have the silver “S” icon, but a couple pieces of paper with a white circle and a line icon overlayed on top of them. Is there a way to get it to look like it should with the silver S? (And I noticed when I updated everything the Scrivener icon I had in the docking station at the bottom of the screen didn’t change from the 1.5 icon to the silver icon. Again, does that have something to do with it?)

Oh, and I also have what looks like a Scrivener “drive” (like the ones you get when you put in a flash drive). I can eject it. Can I/should I? Or is that a part of the permanent fixture on my desktop now? I’ve kept everything from the first step after the “download for Mac” instructions up, just in case, so it might just be the disk image that it says I can move to the trash after installation).

Thank you for helping so much with such simple problems.
Picture 9.png

The “drive” is the .dmg that you download–it’s like inserting a CD into your computer, only virtual. You need to move the Scrivener application from there to your Applications folder, after which you can “eject” the .dmg and trash it. To do the install, drag the silver S Scrivener icon that shows up when you double-click the dmg to the Applications folder icon that’s next to it in the window or drag it directly to your Applications folder in the Finder–it’s the same. Do not drag it to the Applications folder in the Dock–I know it doesn’t make sense, but there you are. Doing that results in it not really installing and in you getting that paper-overlay icon you’re describing, so I’m guessing that may be what you did. If so, just trash it from there and reinstall as described above and you should be seeing the proper icon in your folder.

As for the old icon in the dock, that should’ve disappeared when you trashed 1.54, but you can just drag it off the dock and it will poof in a puff of smoke. Once you’ve installed the new version and launched it, the new icon should appear in the dock and if you wish to keep it there even when the application isn’t running, you can right click on it and choose “Keep in Dock.”

Alright, thank you. I’m glad I asked so that I properly installed it instead of pseudo-installed it (and it does seem logical, doesn’t it? But like you said, there you have it). : )

I moved the old install to the trash and double-clicked and moved it over into the folder presented in the .dmg menu like so (below).

The old 1.5 icon in the dock did indeed update to the silver S, but inside the application menu the paper overlay icon is still there (I dumped the old one into the trash already). Any ideas? I have not emptied the trash in case I needed the old 1.5 file. I don’t think that would be clashing with anything, but it may. Or it could be something else. I am so sorry for these continued responses. This is being a million times more frustrating than it needs to be. So, thank you.
Picture 10.png


Often this is just an OS X caching problem. Try logging out of your user account and logging back in again - that should clear it.

All the best,

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help. Thank you so much, to both of you. Everything is working.

You know, a number of us have snubbed the App Store, but Heather’s experience would have been so much smoother with an App Store purchase. I guess it does have some value after all. Here’s hoping Scrivener gets approved without much headache.