'project already open' - and it isn't!

Dear All,

I’m a new user of Scrivener. So far I’m really impressed, and think it well worth the price. However, I do have (as beginners always do) a puzzle.

I use the software on two machines: a Mac desktop and a MacBook Pro. When I open my project on either machine, a dialog box appears telling me the project is already open on another machine. I know for sure that it isn’t today, since my laptop is switched off at present. I merely click ‘continue’ and I’m able to go through to the project, but it’s a little unsettling. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance, and thank you designers for making a good, intelligent piece of software.



Which version are you using, version 1.x or 2.x? 2.x should be better at telling the difference between a project that wasn’t closed properly and a project that is open on another machine (it also has a “Make Copy” option). The cause of this message is a file inside the project that gets written to when a project is opened. When a project is opened, Scrivener looks at this file, and if the file exists and contains certain info, Scrivener tells the user that it looks like the project is open on another machine. So this file must not be getting destroyed for some reason. Did you close the project properly before you shut your laptop down, for instance?

Thanks and all the best,

Dear Keith,

Thank you very much for this speedy, clear reply.

I’m using Version 2.02. I’m sure I did close the project properly before I shut down the laptop - in fact I’m pretty good at making sure everything shuts down properly on both machines. Is it possible that the ‘telltale’ file you refer to is something that could be deleted without harm? Sometimes there are .plist files of this kind, I’ve found …

I’m fairly sure it’s nothing I’m doing (a dangerous phrase, I know).

Thank you again,


The file should be deleted each time the project is closed, and it will be recreated each time the project is opened, so I would wait and see if the problem continues and we can take it from there.


Dear Keith,

Thank you very much. I’ll keep watch for the next couple of times I use Scrivener. If this keeps happening, I’ll post and let you know.

Thanks again for your helpfulness.

Best wishes,