Minimum MacOS requirements


I’m looking at old laptops to augment the iMac I usually work on. I can’t decide how old I can go. Are there minimum requirements for Scrivner to work on macOS? Is there a MacOS version I need to make sure the laptop can support? If it’s only 4g ram will Scrivner run ok? Appreciate the feedback, thank you.

Scrivener 3 version requires macOS 10.12.1 Sierra or later to run.

You can download Scrivener 2.9 for macOS which can run for free on:
macOS X 10.9 Mavericks (Cabernet)
macOS X 10.10: Yosemite (Syrah)
macOS X 10.11: El Capitan (Gala)

But you will need a previous license for Scrivener 2 if you want to run Scrivener 2 on:
macOS 10.12: Sierra (Fuji),
macOS 10.13: High Sierra (Lobo)
or macOS 10.14: Mojave (Liberty)

You can open your Scrivener 2 projects in Scrivener 3, but if you want to open a Scrivener 3 project in Scrivener 2 you need to export it as a Scrivener 2 project first by going to File ▸ Export ▸ As Scrivener 2 Project.

I hope that helps.

macOS 10.12.1+ (Sierra?) according to Download Scrivener | Literature & Latte

My opinion: A machine limited to 4 Gigs of RAM likely comes with a hard disc (slooow) instead of an SSD. That would work, but the overall performance could be underwhelming.

I have been running version 3 on 2015 Macs (iMac and formerly MBA) for years. The iMac currently runs MacOS 12.2.

So if you can get one of that vintage you’ll be fine. 4GB RAM will be ok until you try to load a full-length draft in Scrivenings or if you have lots of inspector comments … will slow things down considerably.

You can get a HDD replaced by an SSD in a 2015 MBP/MBA, and SSDs are not very expensive.



Similarly, my 2013 laptop runs Big Sur and Scriv3 perfectly fine. I’m more worried about remaining battery life than anything else although again, she seems to be running fine.

Other than the need for Mac OS 10.12.x or newer, the system requirements largely depend on your project. 4 GB of RAM and a mechanical HDD would be fine for a text only project full of articles and short stories. It would be disastrous for a multi-book series project full of concept art and video clips.

:scream: That was meant to be 10.12.1+, wasn’t it?

Yes. Fixed. Thanks, and here are some random words to get to 20 characters.

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I would suggest that you get the most that you can afford and not go on the cheap. If you go for the minimum it will become obsolete sooner and you will have to replace it anyway.

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