Large scrivener file (>1 GB) will not open

Large scrivener file (>1 GB) will not open. I am able to open smaller projects just fine. I tried reinstalling the software but when I click the icon on my task bar (dock) the old Scrivener appears and I don’t know how to access the new download. Will this even fix the problem or is there a size limit on Scrivener files. I have a lot of photos and art. I’m willing to remove photos to reduce the size but since I cannot open the project I am not able to do that. Any ideas? Thanks!

Find the project (.scriv). If you’re on a Mac, double click to open it. If you’re on Windows, .scriv is a folder; look inside for the .scrivx and double click on that.

That’s good advice for a completely different problem.

So, what happens instead? Spinning beachball? Error message? Nothing?

Unlikely, but you can give it a try. And restart your computer.

Not really (if we ignore RAM and disk storage). And not that small, anyways.

Perhaps more details about your system would be helpful.

What OS?

How old is the hardware?

How big is your HD/SSD?

How much RAM do you have?

Does the file in question contain a lot of graphics or is it just text? From the size I suspect it has a lot of images.

Not necessarily. You assume the OP wouldn’t say “the file won’t open” when the problem is only that it’s not in the Recents list (for instance). I do not.

Yes, I jumped to this very conclusion. But technically you’re right: A large file also wouldn’t load properly if you can’t find it anymore.

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I seen plenty of times where a Mac hard drive is simply out of space. Bigger files are hard to work with in those cases.

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I suspect you are right, but we have to remember that Scrivener projects are hundreds/thousands of smaller files. But a GB Scrivener project seems over the top.

I can see a Research folder containing actual collections of tomes and artworks and audio clips in it, rather than just linking to those files elsewhere.

I can see a Scrivener project easily growing to over a gigabyte. I kept everything I did for a client in a single project. Over six months the file size grew to over 500MB. If I didn’t fire the client it would have easily been over a gigabyte by now. That was just for blogs with images. No videos or audio recordings.

Another reason the OP could be experiencing this problem is if the project is stored on iCloud or OneDrive. I have had problems with projects loading if there are critical elements being “conveniently” labeled online only and the syncing engine decides to be a pain.

So I would suggest making certain that the project is not stored in a cloud share.

That’s one of the most dramatic measures to stop the growth of a Scrivener project I’ve ever seen.


Due to an NDA, I can’t say why I fired the bloke. However, I can say that anyone with an ounce of common sense would have done the same. :slight_smile:

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I have fired at least two that I can think of. No regrets. The last one kept begging me to take them back. They thought I was their employee, rather than them being privileged to be my client.

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That reminds me of a student I had when I worked for the Swiss college in London (now no more). One day he told me that I should do what he wanted because he had bought my services. I told him that on the contrary, he had paid for the privilege of sitting at my feet and leaning from me!



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A very important distinction indeed.