Newbie-USB Drive

I am new user of Scrivener. I have loaded the program on my windows laptop but would prefer to have the program or at least all the data files on a secure USB drive. If possible what is the best way to go about this?

Thank You,

  1. Insert USB drive
  2. Install Scrivener
  3. When asked to select install location, point it at your USB stick
  4. Run Scrivener off USB stick.
  5. Profit

And, of course, you can then save your scriv projects to the usb as well, allowing you to take both the program and projects with you.

FWITW, I have Scrivener’s latest BETA on a USB stick and merely copied the Scrivener folder from the install location on hard drive and pasted it to the USB stick. Just point it to your project folder location and go for it.
Also; you do not need to dig up the registration info when running the BETA or 30 day trial.
Some article I read suggested it ran faster than when actually installed on the USB stick.



That makes sense, Should I uninstall the program from my laptop and then install it again onto to the USB Hard Drive so I don’t risk conflicts between the two?

Thanks for the replys folks.


Running Scrivener from USB cannot possibly give you a performance boost; most thumb drives are designed to run at USB2 speeds, but even USB3 is slower than just about any internal hard drive you will find on even a very old computer. I don’t know how they validate what computer you are running Scrivener on, but switching the thumb drive from one comp to another might cause other annoyances with the licensing software… If you can, just install it on all of your computers. It’ll definitely run better that way.

As for your projects, you can certainly save them to your thumb drive directly (but you ARE sending the automatic backups somewhere else, right? RIGHT?!) You might want to go into your settings and change the autosave interval to 10 or more seconds, instead of the default 2, just to increase responsiveness and reduce wear on the solid state thumb drive (that’s less of a concern with newer drives, but still a consideration).

You are going to run into registration issues running from the USB stick; this won’t matter for the beta, which is just going to expire at a set date and that’s that, but for the regular version, some registration information will need to get written to your computer’s registry. Additionally, there are files that are created in your user AppData folder which will either be created when you save them on a given computer (compile presets, project templates, backups, etc.) or, conversely, will not be accessible if they were created on a different computer. The spellcheck dictionaries will probably also not work for most of your machines if you are not installed locally.

Basically, Scrivener isn’t currently built with the intention of being able to run off a USB drive. I know some users do it, but it’s not a set up that we recommend or support, so just be aware that you may run into some quirks if you’re trying it.

Security is the main reason I want to at least store my Project files and their backups on a secure 3.0 USB Drive (not a thumb drive). Some of the projects I will be using the software for needs to be stored off my lap top. If the program is also on the USB drive I could get by with just using the one laptop to access it. At minimum I need the Project files and Backups on the USB drives.

My suggestion would be to leave Scrivener on your laptop even if you install a backup copy to your thumb drive, and then use the computer installed version for preference. I only run it off the thumbdrive if I need to access Scrivener on another computer, especially if I don’t have install privileges - for example, the computer labs at school.

It does have a few idiosyncrasies and jitters, but on the whole it works fairly well, and there should be no problem saving your files or backups to the usb - but don’t store them both on the same usb, you want to keep your back ups and main files separate, or it rather defeats the purpose of having back ups in the first place.

For backup, just copy the project file to the USB drive. Just asking, is there some “built-in” feature that you can automatically push the project save to another location?

If it’s a standard external drive, not a flash drive, then you can certainly just move your projects to the drive and open them from there. The Backups tab under Tools->Option is where you set the location of your backups. If the drive letter changes on the various machines you use it with, you may encounter problems, but you might get away with pointing the backup settings at a shortcut that you set up on each machine’s Documents folder.

… But I hope you have some other kind of backup storage; if that drive gets lost, stolen, damaged, or just fails, then you will lose all your data.

Thanks everyone for the input.

I purchased a secure usb 3.o drive.

I uninstalled the program from the computer and installed it on the USB drive.

It does install the Icons on the desktop but I start it from the file Icon.

The tutorial and all the demonstrated options ran without incident and very fast. ( Faster than word on my computer).

I have another question about the nonfiction templates. When I type in the scene file it shows up in the Chapter file. As you can see I am not a professional writer. I will pose this question in new post.