Problem converting document to Scrivener 3 on new MacBook


I just purchased a brand new MacBook Air running Big Sur, on which I’ve installed basically nothing. One of the first things I did after turning on the computer was install Scrivener 3 and then try to load a document I created in the original Scrivener, which I put onto my iCloud. It’s very big – 9.1 GB – and was first created in 2016. Most recently, on my old Mac, I was running the document on Scrivener 2.7 with no problems all all.

However, when I try to open the file in Scrivener 3, it does something really weird. After asking for the file to be copied into a new format and rebuilding the search indexes, it creates a version of the document that looks identical to one I had several years ago. The file structure reverts and all the files I’ve added since then are thrown into in a “Recovered Files” folder and given odd, numerical names. Meanwhile, I’ve converted another, smaller Scrivener document with no problems, but I’ve tried this several times with my big one and this keeps happening.

What’s going on here? I don’t think I have any anti-virus software on my new MacBook.


We could probably sort it in a Zoom session.

Find. me at


drmajorbob at

I’m usually available noon to 5 or after 10 (for a while), central (Texas) t3:21 PM.

Much thanks, DrMajorBob. I’m going to try a few more things and then I may well take you up on your generous offer.

Do you still have access to the old Mac? If so, the first thing I would try would be to take iCloud out of the equation. Use a USB stick or other removable media to transfer from the old computer to the new one.