Scrivener Windows Does Not Open Project from MacOS


I’ve been using Scrivener for a long time in MacOS for creative writing projects and for keeping a general project journal (as it’s a great way to organise ideas, keep logs, etc.). But since I split my time between MacOS and Windows, I just purchased the Windows version as well so I can jump between OSes without losing access to my important Scrivener projects. I’m syncing via Dropbox, but am very careful not to try opening the same project on multiple systems at once or before syncing has finished.

However, I’ve found that my most important Scrivener project (my project journal) just won’t open in the Windows version. I’ve tried File->Open with another project open, “Open Existing Project” from the New Project window, and opening by double-clicking the .scrivx file in Explorer. The first two just do nothing at all (after selecting the file and hitting “Open”, the Open Project windows disappears and nothing else happens). The later opens Scrivener but goes straight to the New Project window (again not opening the project I clicked on).

I’ve tried waiting for a long time, in case it was slow to load this project, but nothing ever happens. There is never any error displayed.

This project continues to open just fine in MacOS.

This is a somewhat large project (~150k words and >100 folders/sub-folders). Is it possible there is some limit to what the Windows version supports which differs from the Mac one?

I’ve tried both the latest official release (from the main site) and the most recent beta version from this forum ( ) with the same results.

It seems like the program must be encountering an error but not outputting it. Is there anything I can do to get more information on the bug?

It sounds like you’re using Mac Scrivener 1.x - Windows can only open files saved in Mac Scrivener 2.x, since the filetype had to be redesigned to work crossplatform. If you’re moving to Windows, you can download the trial version of Mac 2.x from the website, open your old files in them and it will save them in the new format which can then be opened in WinScriv. If you’re planning to continue operating cross-platform, you’ll need to upgrade to Mac 2.x.

I’m using Scrivener MacOS 2.3.1.

Dumb question, but did you move over the entire *.scriv folder? If you only moved the *.scrivx file, it won’t open.

Yup, the whole .scriv folder is there.

Aha! I just figured it out.

Because I had long ago gotten Dropbox conflicts, there were multiple .scrivx files in that same folder. (Dropbox automatically makes copies when conflicts are present.) I was ignoring the conflict copies and simply opening the main one — and everything was working fine on MacOS this way. However, this seems to have been the source of the issue in Windows. Deleting the extraneous .scrivx files and then opening the project seems to fix the problem.

Still, this seems like a bug that should be addressed. At the very least, an error should show up saying what the problem is.

If you hunt through the various sub-folders in the project on Windows, do you see any files marked as conflicted? This will usually be done as a duplicate, so you’ll see something like “22.rtf” next to “22 (conflicted copy blah blah).rtf”. If you see any of those, move the conflicts out to a temporary location and try loading it again.

Oops, looks like you found the very problem I suspected. :slight_smile:

Yeah, we do have this on the list to make a bit more robust in the future.

Good to hear. Thanks.

For now, I’m just happy to have Scrivener multiplatform :slight_smile: