My (Bought and Paid for) Scrivener is now Unlicensed?

A message popped up on my laptop letting me know that my Scrivener is suddenly unlicensed and my free trial will expire in 28 days.

I went back through my email to when I purchased Scrivener and put in the license information to re-activate. I was informed that I could receive a discount allowing me to actually pay more this time around than I paid the first time, if I wanted to continue to use the software.

I am utterly baffled. An upgrade to Scrivener should not mean my Scrivener license of a previous rollout no longer works and I am now being asked to pay for something I already purchased.

My hope is that this is some kind of a computer error. I saw others mention the company may have changed licensing companies recently causing some hiccups.

How do I clear this hiccup? Because if the answer is to pay twice, I’m out.

Hi CrunchyEarthMama, and welcome to the forum.

The first item I’d recommend is reviewing which version of Scrivener your license is for and comparing that to the version that’s actually installed.

That is, Scrivener 3 for Windows has its own, separate license and is a paid upgrade from Scrivener 1 for Windows. However, we offer upgrade discounts for users who had Scrivener 1 licenses and are interested in upgrading to Scrivener 3.

Assuming that your license is for the version of Scrivener installed on your PC, the next items I recommend reviewing are your Windows security settings and the quarantined lists for any anti-virus, proxy, firewall, or VPN tools you’re using on your PC.

I’m suggesting that because those programs often install updates in the background. Those updates could cause Scrivener or one of its components to be incorrectly flagged in the quarantined lists as suspicious. I’ve had that happen on past help tickets, so it’s a good first step to eliminate obvious issues.

Another option you can test is to run Scrivener as an administrator. To do this, please right-click over the Scrivener icon on your Desktop and select ‘Run as administrator’ and register. Next time you launch Scrivener normally it should stay registered.

If neither of those suggestions resolves the activation issue, then you may want to reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking and activate Scrivener in that mode.

The steps for rebooting in Safe Mode with Networking are available here.

The Safe Mode with Networking will deactivate any tools that are blocking Scrivener, but it will still be able to connect to the servers. Then, you can reboot your computer as you normally would.

If Scrivener continues to fail to activate its license after trying those suggestions, you may want to open a help ticket. For Windows tech support, please send an email to:


I have sent a ticket. Thank you.