Scrivener suddenly shutting down on me!

This had never happened to me until a few weeks ago. I opened Scrivener from the icon on my dock, as I usually do, then opened up a file through the Recent Items menu, as I usually do. Then it started shutting down!

It’s possible I tried to open a file I didn’t realize was already open because when I started the process all over again, I got a pop-up “Copied Project” dialog box telling me my file “seems to have been copied from another project” (I’m one person working on one machine, so nobody else could have been accessing the file) and did I want to make another copy? I chose yes just to be safe, it made a copy, and then I was given a dialog box in which I asked to describe the problem to Scrivener staff (nobody ever got back to me – I checked my trash and spam folders too).

  1. I understand the dialog-box support is given through a third party, and now I can’t find their name (though it was given somewhere in this forum and now I can’t find it). What is that third party so I can look for any word from them?

  2. Did I read about a trick somewhere on this forum about holding down the Shift key while Scrivener starts up, and that automatically shuts any files you left open last time, thereby preventing this bug? Or did I misunderstand that?

Your help is much appreciated.
SF Novelist

Holding the Shift key when you launch Scrivener will keep it from automatically re-loading projects. It may or may not resolve the underlying crash, depending on exactly what the issue is.

Replies from the support team will come from scrivener.tenderapp,com. Please make sure that domain is whitelisted BEFORE asking for support.

Reports from the automated crash reporter will generally not receive a personal response. If you need one, open a support ticket here:



It’s impossible to open a project that is already open - if you select a project from the Recents menu that is already open, that project is just brought to the front; it cannot be reopened. In fact, the reason your saw this message is that Scrivener crashed. What happens is that when you open a project, Scrivener creates a “lock file” inside it that tells it the project is open. When the project is closed, that lock file is removed. If you try to open a project with a lock file inside it, then Scrivener shows you this warning. If Scrivener crashes, it doesn’t have chance to remove the lock file seeing as the project does not close properly, and you therefore may see this message even though the project is not open elsewhere (which is why the message says that it seems to be open elsewhere). As long as you are sure that the project is not open anywhere else - that Scrivener isn’t open twice on your computer and that the project isn’t open on another machine - you can safely ignore the warning and continue to open the project.

There can be two dialogue boxes. When Scrivener crashes, sometimes Apple shows a crash report box. If you send that, Apple gets the crash log and we never see it. When you reopen Scrivener after a crash, we show our own crash log form, which asks you to fill in what you were doing and send it to us. If you read the information given in that dialogue box, however, it explains that we do not reply to crash logs directly - they get sent to us and we (or I) go through them at the end of each week or two, collating them to see which are real Scrivener issues and which are macOS problems. I only reply to crash logs if I need more information about the crash in order to fix it. The dialogue box explains that if a crash is preventing you from using Scrivener and you would like help and want us to reply, you should email us at AT

All the best,