Project panic

I’m transferring material from one computer to another, including Scrivener projects.

One of these is a central project containing several months’ worth of typed-up notes, digital IDs of historical documents that I’ve checked, references, notes to check, etc - the central research document of the book I’m about to start writing, which I’ve been researching for five years.

I discovered to my surprise that it wasn’t in my ‘Scrivener Projects’ folder, which I’ve moved into the Documents folder on the new computer; however, I found it and moved it there.

But when I tried to open it, I got a hairy message saying it was already open on the old computer.

I hastily closed the new computer to sleep it and went and rebooted the old computer, but no, Scrivener is not open on it at all.

I’m afraid to try opening the document at all now. Advice, please?

If you’re sure that it’s not open on the old computer, then go ahead and open it on the new one.

That message indicates that the “lock” file that Scrivener creates when it opens a project was not cleared. It can appear for a number of benign reasons. For instance, you’ll see it if you open a backup file, because the backup was created while Scrivener was open.

Make sure that all of your material has transferred to the new system intact before you dispose of the old one.


Thanks, I’ll try that now, though it’s hard to type with fingers crsosed.
I think I’ve brought everything over, but am leaving it for a couple of weeks as I sort the files; I have two Time Machine backups and a SuperDuper one, just in case.

Hmm. It’s asking me do I want to make a copy, or just continue. This is the whole message, with Cancel, Continue and Make a Copy buttons below:

The project at “/Users/me/Documents/Scrivener projects/XX biography/XX general.scriv” seems to be in use by Me on Me’s-MacBook-Air). If the same project is opened more than once at the same time, data could be lost.

It is also possible that this project didn’t finish closing properly the last time it was used or was copied from another machine while in use.

Choose ‘Make a Copy’ to make a copy of the project and work from that, or ‘Continue’ if you are certain that this project cannot already be open anywhere else.

Yeah, that message.

Just “Continue” should be fine, but you can certainly make a copy instead if you’re feeling extra nervous.


I opened it with ‘Continue’ - probably stupidly - but it seems to be all right. Thanks for your help, Katherine.