migration issues *newbie

Recently migrated Scrivener from mac pro to iMac. First run through with Scriv and finding some files did not come with migration. It may have been the formatting (though not sure why) but even when I try to open the missing file on iMac after manually saving and bringing in it says the file cannot be opened. I have tried to open it as both a .scriv and scrivx…the latter seems to be the default when I send it from old machine to new. I was able to open the file on iMac as a compiled file but wish to restore to chapters (folders) as originally written. Is it me or the software/hardware?

Any thoughts appreciated.


Further to initial comments. When I restart Scrivener and try to run the tutorial it opens with the correct binder files but the title of a previous document is listed in the header of the page e.g. “My Story” - Start Here. I don’t recall if Scriv assumes you are starting a new project on using the tutorial or if that is just a glitch?

thanks again.


How did you migrate the projects?


Migrated with time capsule backup from external hard drive. I did have issues with some other programmes not fully or correctly transferring but its only been a few weeks and still going through items. Part of the issue is I am sure the age between systems. The laptop was a mid 2009 and the iMac a late 2015. I had issues with CS4 suite as well.

I was just able to bring in the missing file by saving to thumb drive on MacBook and opening file from it into iMac…but don’t see that as the long term solution.

Also cannot follow the tree to the backup folder…I can get half way to it and then the links stop. e.g. user/library/support/backup…I can get to library but cannot find the other folders. Trying to see if hidden files is the issue or if I am just unfamiliar with the iMac…it is a little different than the MacBook.

Thanks for the response.


Wouldn’t it be better to just download all apps from the app store again so you get fresh versions? And then just copy data files via thumb stick or Dropbox?


It could be for some…the age difference in some of the software is such that now much of it is subscriptions. I don’t want to pay 29.95 a month for software I have (and don’t use an awful lot) but like to have it handy when needed. Also the age diff in the computers…some of the software in no longer out there or doesn’t run on “newer” systems. So I will keep old laptop and learn the intricacies of the new desktop.

I did reload some apps but the migration I had hoped was faster to move all the related files I had created. In hindsight…yes…I would have just pulled out the files I needed and re-installed what I could or needed. Not a big deal…frustrating at times but livable. Still learning all the in’s and out’s of Scrivener even after writing a couple hundred K’s worth of words. I’m old :slight_smile:


You should only be copying the entire folder ending in .scriv, however you are doing so, and on any machine with Scrivener installed, folders ending in “.scriv” should be acting more like files, even when viewed on an external drive. In these cases, you ordinarily would never see a .scrivx file—that’s just one piece of a project that is ordinarily hidden. So if that’s all you are copying it would make sense that it doesn’t open correctly. A project may be dozens, hundreds or even thousands of files. One single file is not going to be enough.

That aside, Apple’s migration and restoration utilities are prone to causing permission errors. If you don’t have permission to edit every piece of the project folder, then it can fail to open. We have some instructions for fixing that problem, so it might be worth giving those a shot if the error message you are getting refers to permissions (and it would help us to know exactly what error message you get).

By default it opens whatever you had left open the last time you quit the software. When moving from one machine to another however, I wouldn’t rely upon that convenience feature to be accurate or functional.

The easiest way is to click the button in Scrivener’s Backup preference pane. Otherwise, the path you gave isn’t a typical one. You do have control over this, so in theory it would be possible to create a “support” folder in Library, and a “backup” folder within that, and have Scrivener use it—however in most cases, and the out of the box factory defaults would be “/Users/yourname/Library/Application Support/Scrivener/Backups”.

Hope you get things figured out! The important part is getting your files copied over correctly and entirely. Scrivener itself can be installed or copied however you like, but if you haven’t updated it in a while, I would highly recommend downloading a fresh copy from our site (or from Apple if you bought it from them), as your newer iMac may not work as well with an old copy. We’ve had to fix a lot of bugs over the years that new OS X versions introduced. :slight_smile:

Thanks Amber,

Sorry, the directory I used was just made up…the original too long. I can click the button and go directly to it…just cannot follow the path manually. I realize when I did the migration that things may not completely transfer. It has only been a couple weeks with the new computer and over the Christmas break did not get a lot of time to tinker with it. I think I have most under control at the present…did reload some software and I do have the latest update for Scriv,. I have to admit that the only thing I really have a hard time with on an Mac is the filing system…just does not seem as intuitive to me…it may be that it tries to determine where things should go first rather than the operator choosing…a work in progress…me I mean.

The Scrivx file was a surprise to me and I tried to open those “non working” files but now it opens up as the compiled version. I did manage to copy the original file and format into the iMac so have my working file back in shape. Tried to replicate the error message but no go…will send if I can figure it out. Lots to learn. Will consider the fresh copy if things don’t improve.

Take care,

Happy New Year.


Yeah, where it comes to some folders it has become much worse in recent years. They’ve gone from being an open OS to a nanny OS, even worse than Windows in some regards. One thing that helps is to switch your Finder preferences to open your home folder when you make a new window, rather than “All my files”, which is handy I guess, but very fuzzy and confusing as a primary file management mechanism. The other thing is to, when viewing your home folder, press Cmd-J click the “Show Library Folder” option at the bottom.

I can’t say what happened there. That should be literally 100% impossible. The .scrivx is merely an XML file with the data used to construct your binder tree and some project settings. It has no content in it, and nowhere in Scrivener is a compiled version of your project stored anyway (unless you drag one in, but then it would be an RTF file elsewhere, not in the binder file).

Anyway, glad to hear things are back in the right shape at this point.