Scrivener Crashes

It’s happened a number of times lately. More often than not, it’s happened when I’ve gone to close a project (but not the application) but yesterday, I opened a 2nd project but it then completely froze and I had to force quit. It reopened without issue but when I opened Scrivener this morning, I got the following:

I’ve submitted the report but was wondering if anyone else was having similar issues.

I’m on 3.1.5 which I believe is the latest version.


And again overnight.

The first thing I’d try is, with Scrivener closed, go to ~/Your Username/Library/Preferences (hold down Opt and click on the “Go” menu in finder to get there) find com.literatureandlatte.scrivener3.plist and move it onto your desktop. Then open Scrivener, it’ll create a new Preferences file, so if that sorts the problem out you’re going to have to reset all your preferences, I’m afraid. If that doesn’t work, remove the new file and move the old one back in place, then get in touch with referencing this thread. I hope you sent that crash report in to Lit & Lat … you should be able to find the details using the Console if not.

Hope that helps,


Thanks Mark. Yes, I submitted the report. I was just curious to see if anyone else was having similar issues

The only thing that crashes for me is my 5K iMac running Catalina, which crashes regularly even when I have no apps running! When I can come out of lockdown, I’ll take it to my chum, ask him to completely reformat the SSID and install Mojave! Until then, I have to be really careful if I’m using it … and there are apps for which I need it 'cos my rock-solid 2011 17" MBP is not up to it.



Apologies for the lateness of my reply.

I haven’t tried any of the solutions yet but then it hasn’t crashed over the last week. I’m reluctant to do anything for the moment as I’m not overly confident with computers.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

I’m having a similar problem. Scrivener files crash for no apparent reason.
Sometimes I have closed down the app, rebooted the computer, and when I reopen Scrivener I have to set up the backup folder again and all my preferences have disappeared as well.
Is it related to Catalina update 10.15.7?
Because I have noticed other glitches such as the WiFi dropping out for no reason and other programs freezing.
This is a 2019 iMac bought in Dec 2019. Shouldn’t be having any hardware problems. So I have to believe it’s the software.
Any ideas?

I have recently had several crashes. They’ve occurred on both my 2020 iMac and my 2015 MacBook Pro. I send in the reports. Other than much lower frequency of occurance, most of the symptoms I’m experiencing are similar to those of the OP.

I also had a recent crash when using ScratchPad with no project open. I used to get a lot of ScratchPad crashes. They have become less frequent but apparently can still happen. I’ve been using ScratchPad less, recently, not because of crashes - because most of the ScratchPad files have been moved into Scrivener.

I’ll try the Plist procedure and see what happens.


If programs other than Scrivener are also crashing, then the problem is probably either hardware or operating system-related.

Make sure you have the latest versions of both Mac OS and Scrivener. Then, if only one Scrivener project is crashing, try resetting the project display settings, as explained here: … y-settings

If that doesn’t help, or if all Scrivener projects crash, try resetting Scrivener’s Preferences, as explained here: … references

If that still doesn’t help, please open a support ticket and paste the crash report into it. The automatic crash reporter does not automatically notify the support team.


I recently started to use Scratchpad and really like it. But now, every time I start making notes there, the program quits on me. I have not lost any copy but it’s bothersome to be in the middle of a thought and ‘poof’ the screen is blank.

This is the only time applications crash on both my 2020 iMac and 2017 MacBook Air. And Scrivener rarely crashes on me.

One suggestion made in this thread was to be sure my operating software is up to date. I am still running Mojave. I have too many legacy applications that I’ve been told will not run on Catalina so I have not installed that and probably won’t for as long as I can put it off.

So for now, I’m just going to stop using Scratchpad. No big deal.

See if this support article helps: … d-crashing

for your reply. The link noted crashes with Scratchpad when used with iCloud. Well, I do use iCloud as I bounce between a couple of computers depending on my location.

So, I’ll use a work around for now. Maybe in a few years when I retire from the the real world, I’ll downsize to just one computer.

thanks again!!!

SCSHRUGGED, thanks for the pointer to the note about iCloud. I was using iCloud for storing Scratchpad files. I switched the rest of my Scrivener files to DropBox about the time Scrivener for iPadOS came out. I just moved the Scratchpad files to DropBox as well.

Here’s hoping that stops the crashes.


Scrivener observes changes to the Scratch Pad folder using an Apple technology called Grand Central Dispatch; this allows Scrivener to get notified whenever a file changes in the folder so that it can refresh the list in the Scratch Pad UI. These crashes seem to be related to that, but they are so deep in the OS that I’m not sure how to fix the issue and continue to use GCD. So for the next update I’ve ripped out that code and have made it so that the Scratch Pad window just updates its content when it is brought to the front, or when Scrivener is activated (brought to the front). That should be enough for most cases - the only time that won’t catch a change is if the Scratch Pad folder has synced changes via a cloud service while the Scratch Pad is open. For that case, I’ve also added a “refresh” button. It’s a little less automatic, but it should at least - I hope! - avoid these crashes in future.

All the best,

Thanks Keith!!
I will certainly give it a try when available and will report back. In the mean time, my work around is working fine and not slowing me down.


Kieth, thanks for the update.

Your update sounds good. This has been a long running issue, but your diagnosis explains why it was so hard to find.

Well done.


Hi Keith, Am I correct that the update you mention (the one that might help with Scratchpad-induced crashing) hasn’t been released yet? (I’m running 3.1.2.)


You are correct, the version with the fix has not yet been released.

However, the current version is 3.1.5. You might want to upgrade for other bug fixes, particularly if you are (or plan to be) using Catalina.


Just to say, over the last few weeks this has been happening a lot to me - ie it crashes on opening, up comes the window to report it (which I do), I reopen and all is well until the next time. I have to quit the prog each time because I work on two computers . I have Big Sur 11.1 and Scrivener 3.2.2. I am reluctant to trash all my preferences, built up over several years, so just put up with the crashes, but it is odd …

I’d recommend resetting your preferences to see if that’s the problem. Make a copy first so that you can restore them if it’s not. But not only are crashes annoying, they do carry a risk of data loss. It’s generally not good to just ignore them.

To reset Scrivener’s Preferences file, go here: … references

To reset the display settings for an individual project, go here: … y-settings
(Do this first, as most of the crashes I’ve seen with Big Sur are project-specific.)