No valid activation? Again? Seriously?

That grubby little issue seems to be back. “Scrivener does not have a valid activation” and will now “Revert to Trial Mode”.

Seriously - it’s as annoying as a blowfly in your knickers when you open Scrivener because - wow- maybe you want to actually do some writing - and instead you have to buggerize around looking for your activation code.

Please Scrivener Team - fix this bloody issue!


Have you directly contacted L&L support via email? There may be some issue with your account/license that they can help you resolve.

I have had this exact issue for months. Every few weeks Scrivener ‘loses’ my license and reverts to trial mode. I need to dig out my license key and re-enter it, which is a pain. I’m also worried that at some point it may stop accepting my license code.

That’s something that worries me too.
This is also a reason that I will not buy Scrivener 3.

This keeps happening to me, too. Every few weeks, it will lose the activation status. It’s easy enough to find the code again but it’s not optimal. I do have a worry that it will one day just stop working.

How can we not worry? If it can just spontaneously lock up on us like this, what guarantees do we have that it won’t literally just withhold our work one day and never let it go?

I’m going to start backing everything up as a Word file. It’s tedious. It shouldn’t be necessary but how can we trust Scrivener in the long term when this keeps happening in the short?

Have any of you all reached out directly to L&L Support? They can’t talk about licensing issues directly here in the forums for privacy reasons, but my understanding is that there may be something about the way your account/license is configured in the Paddle database that they can help you resolve to keep these issues from occurring.

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This is getting to be a real pain in the ass. Almost every time I start up Scrivener, it tells me I don’t have a valid activation code and that it will revert to trial mode, or just crash. I’ve been using Scrivener for years, having paid for it and loving it, and I do have an active validation code. So I have to go find it every time, enter it once again, and then Scrivener says fine, that’s valid. Why can’t it do that the first time? This has happened at least a dozen times. Is there any way to fix it? It never happened before the latest update.

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Have you contacted L&L support directly? They cannot discuss licensing issues in the forums because of privacy concerns, but my understanding is that some accounts/licenses may have some weirdness in the back-end licensing processor and that they can work them to help clear up your situation.

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Would it then be even possible to use Scrivener 3 on Windows without Internet connection for a longer period of time? This is worrying me since I am regularly without any connectivity for quite a long time. My new Scrivener 3 starts OK without the connection but will it do that if the Internet connection is not there for days, or even weeks?

I have this same problem of falling back to trial mode, maybe once per week and it is getting on my nerves because of the time wasted for nothing - I cannot really see the interest of the license check from the LL servers at every start for a perpetual (?) license. Why Scrivener is calling back home?

So, actually writing and maintaining the infrastructure to do a proper purchase/licensing engine is actually 1) a hard problem, 2) a boring problem, and 3) takes time, money, and other resources. Many small software companies don’t try to solve these problems for themselves; they purchase pre-written licensing code modules from a company that provides all those services. But finding a stable company whose prices are reasonable and that ties in to the development frameworks that you work with can result in a small set of options. So some of this functionality comes with the license processor because even if you don’t use it, many of their other customers do.

Now, having said that, L&L support does occasionally need to revoke a license. For just one use case, people buy the product and then decide they don’t want it and request a refund; those licenses need to be revoked – and any instances of Scrivener that may be using those revoked licenses need to know that the license is no longer valid.

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Also, alas, piracy is real. We recently had to break it to a user who bought their license on eBay (!) that the reason why they were having activation issues was that it had been revoked.

(Sales direct from this site, or via the Apple App Store, can be assumed to be legitimate. If you have any questions about whether other third-party sellers are legitimate, contact us.)


The asteroids can’t get here fast enough.


truly made me laugh, Devin :slight_smile:

A good evening to you…

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Thanks, very useful! This explains that.

I got also an answer from the support, with their apologies: they are working on the issue. Meanwhile, they suggested the issue could be coming from a background update to the anti-virus, firewall, proxy, or VPN software (my case) and suggested to disable one of those at a time. If no help, one can attempt next time to make the registration as Adminstrator.
They also suggested (not directly confirmed) that I could run Scrivener for one month for sure without network.
This is not the only software giving troubles, and people are working to resolve the issue: all good for me!

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This misbehavior is indeed getting old, LnL.

Hi, just hit this same problem.

my two cents worth as to the license revocation issue. The way to solve that is to revoke the license and prevent any new registrations/updates with that license. You don’t go and change existing registrations on the fly, that’s pathetic. I don’t care if this is an in house solution or from a third party - all you’ve achieved is to annoy your users. Why do that if you want them to pay for updates next time around?

Good luck with this, I’ll check back in a couple of months to see what you’ve managed to do.

No, it’s not.

Innocent case – I’ve installed my copy of Scrivener on a couple of computers. I try it out for a couple of days, then decide it’s not going to work and get a refund. L&L issues the refund and revokes that license. I’ve uninstalled it off of my primary computer, but one of my kids is on a trip and has the second computer. Should they be allowed to use Scrivener now that I’ve gotten a refund for my license?

You make a point. Not a very good one as it does not give L&L a free pass to disable valid registrations, which is what is happening

How things went for me:
Check for update.

  • No updates, you have the latest.
  • Oh, and by the way, as a double bonus reward for your trouble, you’re being downgraded to a trial version.

Doesn’t matter what reasons there might be for having checks, and I’m sure there are plenty, that does not give them the right to unilaterally change my registration. If it’s an error then they’ve had plenty of time to fix this. If it’s a deliberate decision on their part, then where’s the upside? I don’t see any upside.

Either way they deserve some aggravation.


Have you contacted our support team?

As has been explained repeatedly, we can’t address licensing issues through the forum for privacy reasons. Unfortunately, the resulting lack of responses makes it easy to mistakenly conclude that we are ignoring this issue. We are not, and we welcome any information that you can offer to help us resolve it.