Scrivener 3 crashing when I save


I finished a large project in December '22. When I reopened the file in April '23, saving it would cause Scrivener to freeze and crash. I thought it was the size of the project (how big can they be?) so I moved only the needed pages (no drafts, snippets, or images) to a new Scrivener document, but the problem persists.

Scrivener freezes and crashes when I hit save.

Version 3.3.1 (15588) for Mac.


Hi. What if you create a fresh new blank project and try to save it?

Also, what do you mean, exactly, by “save” ?
Do you not have auto-save on? (If yes, and that causes no crash, the pig is whatever else you’ve got going on, on a manual save.)

Is your destination location read-only?

(I suspect your anti-virus.)

[EDIT] I am a Windows user. I don’t know if it is the same for mac, but some specific characters in a file’s name can sometimes prevent the file from zipping. – Do you have a zipped backup triggered by your manual saves?

The size of the project doesn’t/shouldn’t matter.

What version of Mac OS?

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I have created a new file with only the bits I will edit and kept other/older versions in an old master file. This didn’t change.

By save I mean clicking “save.” I do have the autosave but in the past I have lost data so I always save every time I take a break or something.

My destination is not read-only. I’m on a Mac so I am not sure about the anti-virus. I haven’t run anything on this computer…

Yes, some characters are weird for mac files names too, but I have all English letters in my file name.

NEW BEHAVIOR: I was just adjusting the appearance of Scrivener’s binder and puff, it crashed (not even froze).

Thanks for your question. The OS is Ventura 13.2

Both of these are not actually answering my questions.

– I meant a blank project. One that won’t have whatever it is that is causing an issue, if, IF, it is part of your current project. What you say you did can’t serve that test/purpose.

Save: do you have a backup operation linked to save ?

  1. First you should go to your project file (.scriv) in Finder and duplicate it right now as a SAFETY measure before you do any more testing. You might also want to go to your scrivener Backup folder and identify the last backup Scriv made of that project before this problem started — duplicate that project too as a SAFETY before you do any more messing around.

  2. If your Scriv is set to backup projects on save, is it possible what you have open is itself one of your backup copies of the project rather than the master? Backing up a backup project to your backup folder sounds like a recipe for confusion.

  3. Now, manual Save will write to disk the currently open document in the project. If you have Scrivener set to backup on Save, it would be doing that too. So, does the crash occur no matter what document in the project is showing in the Editor pane or is it document specific? I suspect the former will be the case. Now, if Scriv is trying to backup your project on manual Save, the next question is what could be giving it trouble? Have you gotten a new computer or done a major OS upgrade since you were last using Scriv? Does the backup folder Scrivener is set to use exist? Do you have MacOS set to “optimize disk space” — which removes files from your computer and puts them in the cloud only?