Mac/Windows License and File Crossover

Mac user here. We just got a Surface Pro with Windows 11 that we’ll use for traveling. Two questions:

  1. I own a license for Mac, but the key didn’t work when trying to register on Windows. Do I have to buy a separate license for Windows?

  2. I saw posts from 3+ years ago about Mac-based Scrivener files opening as blank on Windows. Has anyone tried moving files across platforms recently, and if so did it work?


Search this forum for “scrivener windows surface pro” and you’ll see a few comments. I don’t use it so can’t say with any certainty but can’t think why it won’t work.

The Scrivener Windows product (which is a completely different app under the covers) requires its own license.

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On point two, I’ve been doing just that for nearly 10 years, through various stages of development on both platforms, with only occasional “pilot errors” (not allowing Dropbox/Sync enough time to complete its process).

Never has there been an issue of a blank project; a couple of conflicts to be sorted, usually it’s been shutting down the computer before the user lock (to prevent the project being open on two computers at the same time) has been deleted from the copy on the cloud server, which seems to be the last step in the closing process.



Postscript: By the way, by Sync I mean which I have to use with my collaborators in China as Dropbox is blocked by the GFoC (Great Firewall of China). Before Sync, we used the late lamented Cubby.

Also, make sure Dropbox files set for “offline”. Dropbox website provides details. If not done, will likely see the type of errors in @addison916 point 2


I’d like to upgrade form Scriv/Win 1.9 to 3.1. As I have read above, converting my projects shouldn’t be an issue.

Any experience whether the crossover conversion/import from Scriv for Mac version 1.x works well? Import mac->win works fine with Win Scirv 1.9.

Also, how is cross-platfom Win->Mac doing ? I think importing Scriv 3 to Mac 1 doesn’t work well, but with the current versions?

One of our goals for Scrivener 3 for Windows was functional parity and consistency with Scrivener 3 for Mac.

Each program has some settings that the other doesn’t, largely due to the systems-level tools provided by each OS that Scrivener is borrowing.

With those caveats, I think Scrivener 3 projects move quite well between my Mac and PC. And, I’m and out of both platforms all day as a member of the tech-support team.

Admittedly, I don’t use my PC for any of my own writing. But that’s mostly because I prefer my Mac. I wouldn’t have any concerns about writing for extended periods on a Windows machine with Scrivener 3 if I had a better PC setup.