Scrivener causing computer to crash

With some regularity, Scrivener freezes up on me. When this happens I cannot issue any command in the program – and cannot save my work. Sometimes when it happens I can’t issue any commands to my computer at all. So when it freezes, my other programs will stop responding too (my iTunes will start to skip), and I can’t swipe out of the desktop Scrivener is open in.

I don’t know what causes it. The only thing that makes me think it’s Scrivener is that it only ever happens when I’m in Scrivener actively using it. It has been happening pretty much the whole time I’ve used the program, maybe once a month.

The freeze lasts 30 seconds or so before the computer shuts down and restarts. I have experienced it before where I have lost hours of work. This would not be as big a problem if, on top of having autosave after x amount of time of inactivity, you also had an option to set autosave for x amount of time during activity, but I digress.

I find this happens most often when I have maybe 5 or more programs open (but not always), especially when itunes is playing, and when I have expanded the Scrivener window to fit the entire screen in a new desktop. I have had several small glitchy things happen involving the way Scrivener automatically expands into this desktop, which I can’t remember the details of, but which make me think having it expanded like that affects things.

After my computer restarts, there is no Scrivener crash report window, and no way to recover what I was working on.

I’m running a 2013 Macbook Air with Yosemite 10.10.5, and Scrivener 2.7.


As for the core problem, that sounds more like general system issues to me (specifically you mention it restarts itself automatically after 30 seconds? That definitely sounds way outside of the realm of things Scrivener has any influence over, but I might have misread it). You mention it happens more frequently while Scrivener is open, it could be the material you are working on demands something of the system that you don’t otherwise typically use (for example, a video file triggering a QuickTime codec to display it, which was installed five years ago and has since become unstable). Other common issues are ancient plug-ins lingering in the system from older versions of OS X. It’s hard to say without a crash log though.

Since you aren’t getting those, I would recommend leaving Console open all of the time in the background (I’d add it to start up items on the Mac) and in Scrivener, enable the Show internal error alerts option at the bottom of the General preference pane.

It could, the Full Screen mode that debuted in 10.7 was never fully fixed up, it still has bugs lingering from back then, as well as new bugs introduced in subsequent versions of OS X. Generally speaking it should be perfectly usable, but might elevate the probability of seeing glitches and worth minimising your use of to see if it has a direct impact.