Is it possible to convert back?

Scrivener, which has been my writing environment for more than a decade, is now hell for me. I am avoiding using it due to these endless downloads and re-installs. I currently pray that I can keep scrivener from closing, so I won’t have to re-install yet again. All of my Scrivener time at this point is spent either avoiding using the software or wrangling another download/install. And these installs last only 2 weeks at this point…

… and there is no end in sight. This has been going on for months and months.

Is there any way back to some form of stability? After all, my files are long sense converted to version 3. I assume they cannot go back. OR can you release a beta that doesn’t expire, and I can use that until you have the final product ready? At this point, I don’t write due to this… It all just looms over me. I want to stay with Scrivener. But I need some hope that this will end, and end soon.

Thank you for all you do. I love version 3.

HI Robin,

You’re testing beta software. This is how the process goes. The entire point of the beta testing process is for the devs to fix problems and release new versions so that we, the testers, can confirm the problems were fixed.

The more frequent releases are good news, because that means they’ve got the biggest items working.

But it still may go on for more months and months, because you’re testing beta software and the devs are not going to release the paid version of v3 until they feel they’ve got everything fixed.

I don’t find the biweekly upgrade process very arduous, and frankly I’m surprised that you do. I think it takes me five to ten minutes, twice a month, to uninstall the old version and reinstall the new one. Is it taking you longer than that?

Anyway, to get off the beta testing mouse wheel–

Launch Windows Scriv v1.9 and launch the Windows Scriv Beta. Arrange the windows side by side.

Create a new blank project in Scriv 1.9. Open your on-going project in the Beta.

Drag and drop the files and folders from the beta into to 1.9. (This won’t copy metadata. At least, it didn’t the last time I tried it, which was a while ago. You’ll have to do that by hand or live without it.)

Then stop using the beta, and start using 1.9.

ETA: This post contains a few other suggestions for getting your work out of the beta: [url]]


Alternatively, find a friendly Mac Scrivener user, send them your project, and ask them to use the File -> Export -> As Scrivener 2 Project command to convert it to the older format, which Win Scrivener 1.9.x will be able to read.


If you need that friendly Mac user that Katherine mentioned, hit me up in PMs. As long as your project sizes are small enough, I’m happy to do the conversion.

I’m not sure exactly what your issue is. Do you object to having to update your program every couple of weeks for 1 minute? OR is the program crashing? You say you PRAY to keep it from closing. Is there something you can do force the close so the programmers can reproduce it?

If the program keeps closing on you, then it would be nice to help the programmers figure out why. I use Scrivener beta well over 40 hours a week for many months, and it has yet to close unexpectedly. The point is, if that is the issue, it is something very strange on YOUR system that is mixing badly with Scrivener, it is not something that most of us are experiencing.

Almost every install I have done has taken hours or days. So it hasn’t been this easy to install process that the rest of you enjoy. And I have had some head injuries that makes it impossible to hold the convoluted install process that we now use in my brain. This means my spouse must come in and wrestle it all to the ground.

Thanks so much for giving me a way back to the old version. I will gladly purchase when its ready.

Good luck. Hope you finish soon.

Robin M Powers

If installing Scrivener takes hours, something is wrong. Please post in the appropriate support forum (or the beta forum) about your experiences.


The issue here is not Scrivner it’s your PC.
Your PC is terribly outdated / underpowered or severely compromised… If you can afford it take advantage of Black Friday to upgrade.You should be able to find a machine running a Core i3,or i5 with an SSD (this is key to speed and safe data) for under $300.
Any of these will update Scrivner in 2-3 minutes if not seconds.
The install process is this:

When It notifies you of the new version.
Click Upgrade
Agree to the terms
Let it install
It upgrades in place.

It will take 3-5 minutes you and your spouse’s time.

As much as many may have empathy. It does not make sense to change a process for a PC that is outdated or has a serious problem.

Or have your husband or a helper do this, Robin – appreciating what you thoughtfully let us know.

I think this will all work out – as Katherine says, really the install should be very easy, and with a little conversation, should be for your machine also.

Just a feeling, that writing itself will be very good, as it’s been a way back for many of us, from things in life, I am sure.

Best, and a smile,

Before you run out and buy a new PC - check some things first. It shouldn’t take this long on any machine in existence that can actually run the program at all.

There are only three things that could cause this to take hours.

  1. You are on dialup internet (and yes ppl, there are some still on it out in very, very rural areas, especially in the US, like Montana, the Dakotas, etc - 356MB is not a huge file unless you are downloading it at 26 KB/s)

  2. Your machine has been compromised in some way with some sort of malware.

  3. You have some faulty components (maybe your RAM is faulty or your Hard Disk is failing)

If #1, there is nothing you can do. If #2, you will probably want to make sure whatever is causing it gets fixed not only to run Scrivener properly but because you will have other issues. Only if #3 would buying a new PC or components be helpful.

We all have dozens if not hundreds of customisations to our Scrivener setup. It seems unlikely that the literal installation of the app would take hours/days even on old hardware, so I wonder if the ‘installation’ that OP refers to is the total time it takes to get a new install back to how you had the previous one, if you don’t use the Export/Import settings option, I know I used to follow this route before I was comfortable with the Export/Import settings and I would still be finding settings to change days later, Re-tweaking this software manually ‘as you go’, from scratch, each time would take several hours or days.

Also, you don’t have to say yes to the new versions until the one you are using expires.
You can just say no and it will work with the version you have installed until the expiration date.