Scrivener very slow moving between functions

Win 7 with 8 gigs ram and whatever else people recommended.

Program loads fine and opens projects okay.

It hesitates for seconds at a time when moving around within the program.
Moving from a chapter heading to open the cork board for instance. Moving around
between any different operation makes the program stall for a long moment instead
of responding at keystroke.

I do move in and out of projects regularly during a session and even close out Scrivener a couple
of times a day. Is there a data bottle neck of some sort in handling this?

What needs to change?



What version of Scrivener are you using? If it’s a beta version, this ought to go in the beta forum. If not, then it’s still good to know which version.

Hmm, questions, questions. Why didn’t I think of that?

I am using version

I don’t know for sure, but I wonder if this could have to do with the frequency with which projects are being saved, which can cause disk activity that slows things down. Look at the Tools menu, Options, General, and then under Saving see what it says for Save after period of inactivity. Try raising that to a much higher number, and see if it helps. Of course, you can always save manually with Ctrl+S when you need to. NB this is different from making backups. If this doesn’t help … hopefully someone more knowledgeable will pop in here with a better idea.

Hi wickiup,

Just for kicks, disable your antivirus and see if that improves things.

If so, you might want to whitelist Scrivener.


Just peeked at save options and somehow it was set at 2 seconds. Reset to 30 seconds. Do not remember what a reasonable setting would be. Ideas??
Checking briefly I believe that small change made a difference.



Good, hope that will be a help. When I looked at mine, I realized it was set at 15 seconds. That seems awfully short, but it hasn’t been causing problems for me. I think 2 sec. may actually be the factory default! Anyone who’s ever lost work after pausing for breath and having a power outage while they breathe for 5 seconds can appreciate the reason; but it does mean a lot of work for the hard drive.

Well, no, not really.

The way Scrivener works is that it only writes changes to the project files (since each document and folder in your Binder are a separate physical file on disk) that have actually changed. It uses the interval you’ve identified to determine whether it’s time to auto-save based on the user’s activity. If you stop actively using Scrivener for the default 2-second pause, Scrivener will auto-save the changes to all the files that have changed since the last save interval (your actual documents, plus the files that hold the various metadata linking the project files together). Scrivener is not re-saving every last file in the project every time it auto-saves.

Raise that number too far, and you’re actually potentially hurting yourself and risking your most recent data. Raise it to 300 seconds, for example, and Scrivener is not going to auto-save until you’ve left it sitting idle for 5 minutes. Most folks I know, even when they’re grappling with massive writer’s block, still go mess with Scrivener and their open project more often than that. I believe Support recommends changing it to 15 seconds if 2 seconds causes slowdowns on your system, and from what I’ve seen here, 15 seconds seems to be a reasonable compromise.

Why would this two-second setting cause lag problems? From the cases I have personally seen, the usual culprit is Windows add-ons – usually an over-active security suite – that sit in memory and try to intercept all file access, or that try to speed things up by caching writes to the drive.

Thanks to all who responded.
Hopefully the issue is resolved and life and writing can go on.

The best to all


Thanks for the clarification, DevinGanger. Quite right, unless one has feverishly update hundreds of files before taking a 2-second pause, the autosave shouldn’t slow down the machine. If one has done that, one should switch to decaf, or seek professional help.