Project created on Macbook won't open on PC

I mainly work off a Macbook, where I created my project. I have Dropbox installed, and it’s saved there.

I just installed Scrivener on my PC laptop (and I installed Dropbox as well), but when I try to open the project I get this message:

“The project you are trying to open was created or saved using a newer version of Scrivener than the one you are currently using. You will need to update scrivener to open this file. Try selecting check for updates from the help menu to look for updates.”

Did that, didn’t work.

I’m new to Scrivener, Last night my Macbook died, and I tried to open this project on my PC and got this message. Not sure if that has something to do with it.

Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Most likely, you’re running Scrivener 3 on Mac, and Scrivener 1 on Windows. Windows v1 can’t read v3 projects.

If you can get that project on a mac with Scrivener 3 installed, you can export to the older format, which is compatible with Windows v1.

Version 3 for Windows is in Beta now, but I wouldn’t recommend it except as a last resort; it’s not complete, and there are almost certainly bugs that might damage your project, and the compile feature isn’t fully implemented (the user interface is done, but the functionality behind it isn’t, according to the latest release notes). If you do open your project on the Win Scriv. 3 beta, make sure to copy the .scriv folder and all its contents to a backup location beforehand.

Note: Win v1 projects were compatible with Mac v2 and vice-versa.
Note 2: The Windows version numbers are skipping ‘2’ and going straight to 3 in a bid to finally catch up to the now current Mac version.
Note 3: If you just purchased/will purchase Version 1 for Windows, the upgrade to 3 is free: … ows-update

Thanks Robert.

I’m not very computer savvy, so please let me know if I’m understanding this correctly.

Would exporting it to the older format mean that I would be working with two different projects, one on the Mac, and another older version on the PC? Or would I still be working on the same project?

(If you have a link to how to export that would be helpful, I did a search and looked through the manual but I don’t think I found what I needed.)

You mentioned V3 is in the works for Windows, any idea when that may be ready to use? Would I be able to update the Windows license I have now at no cost, or am I going to get charged for that?

At the end of the day I’m just trying to work on the same project on my MacBook or PC laptops. Very frustrating. I really appreciate your help on this.

If you still have access to a Mac (you said yours died), then there’s a menu you can use to save it in a format compatible with the Windows version: File>Export>as Scrivener 2 Project.

I know that’s confusing, but that will export your project into a format that Windows version 1 can use.

If you want to avoid having to do that every time you work on the project on your Mac, you should still be able to run the previous Mac version 2.9 here: That version will accept your version 3 license.

So, the steps would be:

  1. On the Mac version 3: File>Export>as Scrivener 2 Project
  2. Install the “legacy” version 2.9 on your Mac and continue using it until V3 for Windows is available.
  3. On windows, continue to use version 1, which can read the Mac version 2 format.

See the link I shared in the previous post; Note 3; if you purchased it this year, then I think you’re good to go. If not, then contact the support email address to find out if your license qualifies you for the free upgrade.