New PC - Scrivener says that project is incompatible

I’ve just set up a new PC and loaded Scrivener and when I try to open either of my existing projects, I receive a message saying that the projects are incompatible with this version of Scrivener.

I use Skydrive to access my projects between my old home PC (Windows 7) and my laptop (Windows 8.1). My new PC is also Windows 8.1. Now the only difference that I see between my current three installations is that my two original installations have been around a while and have been patched with a few patches. They are version - Oct 29 2012. The version on my new PC is - Oct 31 2013, which I downloaded fresh from the website. Apparently, there are some variations that are introduced that make a fresh installation different from a current installation that has reached that point via the updating process.

Anyway, I am thinking that the best way around this is to install an older version and patch it and then it should be the same, but I don’t have any of the older installations. Is there another way around this situation?


The file format hasn’t changed in three years, so I don’t think that is the problem, and retrograding probably won’t fix it (though it may be worth a try). What is more likely is that the file that identifies what version number the project is, got damaged. Some of the older versions of Scrivener had a problem where this file would get set to empty, so naturally when the software comes along later and tries to open it, it doesn’t know what version it is, and rather than try to open it and potentially destroy it, just quits.

So check the ‘version.txt’ file, inside the Files folder, in Notepad, and type in the number ‘16’ if it is empty, save it, and try loading the project again.

Thanks for the fast response :slight_smile:

Okay, the version file had 16 in it already.

Any other tricks I can try?


Okay the next thing I would try is first verifying the project is okay on the first machine, and if it is, use another method of transferring it. The easiest approach would be to right-click it on the source machine and “send to” a zipped folder. Then copy the zip file instead of the whole folder. Since this is having to travel across the Internet to get from one computer to another, that’s a lot of added complexity and perhaps SkyDrive isn’t copying everything accurately. Transferring the whole thing as one single .zip archive would reduce complexity.

Okay, here’s what was happening - in case someone else runs into this situation. You’d suggested opening a local copy rather than my SkyDrive copy, so that’s what I did and that worked. But it just seemed like I was doing something wrong…

So, I spent a couple of hours researching this and what I found was that my new Win8.1 PC was only offering on-line copies of my projects. I didn’t realize that this was even something that I had to consider because my Win8.1 laptop had started as Win8 and SkyDrive functioned differently on that version. When the 8.1 release came out and was installed, it maintained my off-line status for my files, so I never ran into any Scrivener issues.

For a brand-new Win8.1 PC, you have to right-click on the SkyDrive folder, tell it that you want your files to be available off-line, then reboot. When your PC comes back up, it will sync the files and bring full copies down, making them available off-line. Then you’ll be good to go.


That’s very good to know! Thanks for the tip, that may come up frequently in the future.