restoring scrivener after computer died.

My computer died last year. Luckily I was able to get in on target mode and get all my scrivener files. Thank God. It has taken me almost a year to figure out how to fix the computer. Now, I’m ready to get back to having my regular writing companion. A few questions.

I downloaded scrivener to my lap top but it has not asked me for my serial number. I don’t want to get started on anything and have it freeze up on me. I have had enough trauma. Where do I put in the serial number?
Also, how to I get all of my files back into the downloaded scrivener. I would think iit would be " import files," but it is greyed out, but maybe that is because my serial number is not in it, which leads me back to the first question.

also, another unrelated question- can you run scrivener on two of your computers under the same serial number?

If you have a complete and functioning Scrivener project, you don’t need to “import” anything. You just open the project and go. (File -> Open)

Where did the laptop download Scrivener from? If you got it from the Apple App Store, you will not have or need a serial number, as the App Store software handles registration for you. If you got it from us, you’ll find registration on the Scrivener menu. And yes, you can use the same serial number for multiple computers.


To recap- my old lap top died. I was able to wipe it clean and thank God I could get my scrivener projects off of the computer using target mode ( Mac)

I was so excited to see that I only had to bring the files over to this computer. I copied them on an external disc and brought them over.

On the new computer I had to download scrivener to see if I could read the files and if they were all there. Now I can’t open the files because it says that they were opened in a new version of scrivener. I’, on10.9.5 on my old lap top, This is where I want to be able to use scrivener and where I used it before. Is there anything that can be done?

What version of Scrivener is the new computer running?

In Finder, please locate one of the projects, right-click, and select the option to Show Package Contents. Post a screenshot of what you see.


More problems. I went to the new computer and wanted to click on the Scrivener icon to see what version, but it asked me for my lisc. So I went through old email and found it. have both a regular license and a serial number I tried both, but I get this prompt

"Please ensure that you are connected to the internet and that the license code you entered is correct.

If you have activated this license before, it is possible you have run out of activations; in which case, please deactivate the license on another computer and try again.

If the problem persists, please contact support at"

Who is Anyway, I guess I can’t use it on either computer. So frustrated, I just want to get back to writing and have possible interest in a book from an agent.

If it’s a new computer, you should be able to use Scrivener in trial mode while we sort out your license situation.

We can’t address license issues through the forum. You’ll need to open a support ticket for that:


thanks. I’ll do that. Will I be able to get those old files and use them on a lower version? I hate to think I did all of this for a year and still can’t write on that computer using scrivener. I’ll set up a ticket.

It should be very easy to move forward: from an older version to a newer one. It’s more difficult, but not impossible, to move from a newer version to an older one.


Sent everything to scrivener to get the unlocking of my account. I have not heard back. I’m wondering if I will. I requested this through email a year ago when this all started and never heard back.


I would say always check your spam folders. A company can reply, but they can’t control what happens to an email when it reaches destination. Some spam filters are more aggressive than others.

Thanks. I have been checking the spam folder as well.

Finally heard from them, however, I keep getting a prompt on both computers that it was created in a higher version. I can’t open anything on either computer. As I sent them this morning.
Thank You I downloaded 2 to my Big Mac, but it says that I cannot open the file because it was created in a newer version.

Here is the thing. My writing lap top broke a year ago. I was unsure if I had lost everything. So a year ago, I got into that computer in target mode and retrieved the docs. Thank god. I got them to my Big Mac Running OS 10.14

My writing place is my lap top and it only has OS 10.9.5. That is where I need to get scrivener. But when I brought the files back to the lap top, now that it is fixed, it said it could not open them because they were created in a later version. Now, I’m wondering why. They were created on the lap top, copied over in target mode and I may have opened them to see if everything was there with the version that I downloaded from scrivener to my Big Mac. I assumed I was in a visitor mode, but did not worry about it because I just needed to be sure that I got all the files. I didn’t think I would write on the Big Mac, but wanted to wait until I could get back to my lap top. Everything was cleaned off the lap top I downloaded the version to that computer square icon. I can’t get anything to open the files.

Lap top says I need a new version. which I don’t think is possible to add to that operating system

Big Mac says "

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."

I get the same prompt with lap top.

It has been a year since I have had access to these files. I’m speaking with an agent this week. It would really help to have access and now what needs to be done to submit these to the agent.


Install Scrivener 3 on the Big Mac. Use it to open your projects. If they open successfully, use the File -> Export -> As Scrivener 2 Project command to revert to the Scrivener 2 project format.

If they don’t open with Scrivener 3, then the “version” message is a red herring and something else is wrong.


I have a similar problem. I bought a new Mac for writing retreat. Uploaded everything on the old mac to this one. Same OS, same version of Scriv, everything. Now that I am here–far away from my other laptop, I’m not able to open any of the projects. So frustrating! I spent hours trying to open these–even the backup will not cooperate. Since this seems to be a global problem, I don’t think there is a corruption or anything like that. I’ve put in a request for support but that could take days.



“Won’t open” is not a very helpful message.

Is Scrivener reporting that elements of the project are missing? That the project was created with a newer version? That it’s a read-only project?

Exactly how did you transfer from the old Mac to the new one? Direct copy from one disk to the other? Restore from a Time Machine backup? Upload/download via Dropbox or a similar service?