Project won't open in Scrivener 3

Dear all,

I cannot open Scrivener 3. When I try to open it, it always tries to open the last project I was working on (which weighs 300 megas) and gets frozen with a screen where I can read “loading project…”. Besides, another small screen open with this message (I translate from Spanish): “Timeout of session objectives. The objectives of the session will be reset”.

I tried to open a new project, but it won’t let me arrive to it…

Any idea?


Please try holding down the Shift key while launching Scrivener. That should prevent the program from loading your last-opened project.

Then, once Scrivener has loaded to its default menu, you can go to File > Options > General and uncheck the box next to “Reopen projects that were open on quit.” Then, please click “Apply” on the bottom edge of the Options panel.

Changing that setting will stop Scrivener from automatically opening any of your existing projects. You will then need to open them either from the “Open Recent” button along the bottom edge of the default window or from “Open Existing Project…” button.

You can add your projects to the Favorite Projects list, which is located under the File menu. That will make them easier to locate later.

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RuthS’s way seems to be the best. Another option for preventing THAT LAST file from opening would be to manually navigate to a “more normal” .scriv project file and open it that way. This would likely open only that file.

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I never noticed the Favorite Projects item on that menu. How great! The Recents list is always running out of slots for me.

I was going to ask if there is any way to sort the list. Then, just for fun, I looked in the registry, and there it was: a simple text box value, with one fave per line, arrangeable in the order you like. What could be easier? :grinning:

Don’t try this at home unless you know what you’re doing, of course.

Happy new year to all, and to all a good write!

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Thanks, Ruth, it worked! At least I can open Scrivener without problems.

But I can’t open yet the project I told you. It is an academic paper where I had to use many articles and books in pdf, some few images… I have tried to import it, but when I navigate to the file I don’t know which to select. If I try to open I can find what file to select, but then if freezes again: “Loading text 13 %”.


Update: I could finally open it, and opens fast, with the penultimate backup of the project.
Thanks for all your help!

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Do you have backups going? If so, there should be your content at least saved that way. I hope so. Getting the content and putting it in a new project would be a bit of time, for sure, but much better than losing the content.

Yes, the backup up had all the content, only that I had to use the penultimate, not the lat one that seemed to be corrupted.

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Thanks for the follow-up. I’d try running sfc /scannow, and then a chkdsk C: to see whether there are any disk issues. The corruption is more likely at a file level, but I’d want to be sure. Let me know if you are not familiar with those and I can give you specific lines, but they are not too hard and maybe you already know them.

In fact, I work with a Surface Pro and these last days I had battery issues. I contacted Microsoft and they will tell me tomorrow about changing the battery… So, the Surface has been closing suddenly and I guess it was that made the project corrupt…

Hopefully I use Onedrive, so all my files are save!

If Microsoft doesn’t change my battery with a warranty exception (it has more tahn 3 years), then it probably won’t be worth repairing for me. Any laptop recommendation?

Happy to hear it’s not likely Scrivener. Too bad about your Surface. I’m not educated about general laptop deals to be highly confident in my recommendation, but about 6 months ago, I purchased an MSI Creator and I’ve been very happy with it. The VALUE of the recommendation only applies as your needs match mine (and is further dependent on current options).

I’ve not used private messaging in this forum, but it appears to have it. I’d be happy to help if I can. I can certainly list features that may match your needs that you can tell me. I’d want to know things like this (and this may help you identify systems on your own too):

  • how many programs/windows/browser sessions to you open at once? (I open a lot) - this affects RAM and CPU (but mostly RAM)
  • Do you care how much you can see on the screen AND (these are tied) can you comfortably see small text/icons even if with glasses (as I require)? - this affects what screen you target, which can go from very low resolution (under HD) to 4k (it’s rare to see higher at least on a laptop).
  • Do you plan to drive high-resolution monitors (regardless of what screen comes with your laptop) - this affects the video card level that you may require. - this affects the video card level that you may require.
  • Is a backlit keyboard helpful? Related… should the keys have shine-through characters? I find those to both be helpful.
  • Do you frequently use high CPU rates? This may require more cooling, which is usually easier on larger laptops (typically, thicker)… if not, you can likely get by with a super-thin laptop (like Dell’s XPS series). I’m not “accusing” them of being bad in any way and I almost bought one.
  • How much do you care about battery life? My MSI has a large battery and it’s been fantastic.
  • I did not know that my MSI has a great built-in method for controlling how much charge I give the battery. But I LOVE THIS FEATURE SO MUCH. I usually tell it to charge up to 50% and no more (to help the battery last longer). But when I’m going to need it on the road, I charge it up to 80% (and could charge to 100%). To some, it’s no big deal… they’ll pay for a new battery in 2 years. For me, this feature is worth a lot and I was happy that it had it.
  • Do you want touchscreen? This does add to the cost, but for some it’s a requirement.
  • EDIT: Thunderbolt port (more in a later comment)

I hope this helps. All the best to you.


Yes, Scrivener wasn’t finally guilty :wink:

About your recommedations on the laptop, thanks, I guess these can work for someone else so, unless an administrator advice us, we can let it public here. I’d say yes to all of your questions as intensive user, video, etc.

What timing, because I was thinking in this one that can give you a sense of what I need: MSI Creator 15, the touchscreen version. So your experience with the MSI is helpful, thanks!

Great to hear. ALSO, I later thought of the importance of a Thunderbolt port (maybe especially for writers who research and anyone using many peripherals that are not taken on a trip). If you combine that with a well-equipped docking station, it’s very fast to disconnect when leaving and connect when you’ve returned. This even allows charging your laptop through the Thunderbolt connection.