Scrivener 3 freezes when doing Quick search

Scrivener freezes totally for about 20 seconds when I try to do Quick search.

In the OS’s Activity Monitor it says Scrivener is not responding and uses almost 100% of CPU. Then after about 20 seconds the software returns to normal – until I try to Quick search again.

Scrivener says it’s up to date (3.0.2.) I’m using MacOS Sierra and saving to Dropbox.

I use Quick search all the time so this prevents me from working.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I updated to OS High Sierra and the problem persists.

Are you working with a particularly massive project in terms of the amount of text in it? That is the only thing off the top of my head I can think of that would cause this - although, even then, we have tested it with large projects and I don’t have any problems with projects containing hundreds of thousands of words.

Would it be possible for you to make the project available for us for testing? You can email us at AT

Thanks and all the best,


thanks for your reply. The project is not that massive, it has 18000 words in it.

I hope to find a resolution without sending my project to you. Any ideas?


EDIT: The other search above the Binder seems to work fine.

Unfortunately there’s no way for me to investigate this without seeing the project, as both searches use the same index files, so I’d need to run a search from my development version to monitor what is causing the hold up.

If you just don’t want us to see the file, you can always obscure it as follows:

  1. Make a copy of the project in the Finder.

  2. Open the copy of the project.

  3. In the copy, go to Edit > Find > Project Replace…

  4. Use Project Replace to replace random characters, e.g. “a” with “y”, “e” with “c”, “d” with x" and so on, until the text of the entire project is indecipherable gobbledegook. (It’s very important you only do this with a copy of the project, of course, because you cannot reverse this process!

  5. Find some gobbledegook text and try searching for it to check that the bug still manifests.

  6. Zip up the copy of the project and send it to us at AT or attach it to your reply.

This way, you’ll provide us with an unreadable and indecipherable version of your project that should still exhibit the bug given that it still contains the same configuration of text, just with different characters.

Or, you can always make the project available to us via a link which you can remove as soon as I have downloaded it, and I will delete the project on my end as soon as I have found the bug.

Thanks and all the best,

Thanks Keith,
I’m sending you an email now.

Great, thanks for the project! I’ve just replied - that helped me find the problem and fix it for 3.0.3.

I am having this issue as well. I am using Scrivener 3.0.3.

My project is quite large. As soon as I use the quick search function, the program freezes and I have to force quit.

Could you please email us at AT and make your project available to us for testing?

Thanks and all the best,