"Serial number confirmation failed" in Scrivener 2.8 fixed by upgrade to 2.9

TL;DR; Scrivener 2.8 stopped recognizing its serial number on a Macintosh capable of running Scrivener 3.

I fixed it by upgrading to Scrivener 2.9, found here:


My older Mac can’t run Scrivener 3, so I ran Scrivener 2.8 on both machines to I could share files.

Recently Scrivener 2.8 on the newer machine (macOS 10.13 High Sierra) stopped recognizing its own serial number. The copy on the older machine (macOS 10.10 El Capitan) continued to work. “Check for updates…” claimed both copies were up to date.

The glitchy copy gave me a dialog box “Serial number confirmation failed with internal error: -6001”
Here is a screen shot:

Scrivener startup error message.png

Clicking the OK button showed the Registration dialog box, with my name and serial number correctly filled in. But when I clicked Register, I just got the “Serial number confirmation failed” dialog box again.

Clicking the “Fix” button took me to [url]https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/[/url] rather than a specific error page. I could not find this problem there using Search.

When I reinstalled Scrivener 2.x from the download page, I discovered that the version that runs on these old machines has been updated from 2.8 to 2.9, which changes Scrivener’s registration machinery. Version 2.8 is no longer available. Installing 2.9 fixed the problem, and it recognizes my serial number.

Thank you for posting this fix. I really appreciate it.

What I don’t appreciate is that Scrivener has yet to create a landing page when you click ‘Fix’ button for the problem in the software.

I had to search the forums to find the answer Scrivener should have provided. That’s remarkably disappointing especially when I’m getting threatened with my work being made inaccessible do to their software error.

Since Scrivener 2.8 was released, we have changed license providers. As a result, the original fix for this particular error is no longer relevant.

We apologize for the confusion. Sadly, it is difficult to retroactively update error messages in obsolete versions of the software.


I’ve sent in a support request today, but I’ve also just found this topic, and I’m worried. I’m getting the error -6001 and I’m running Scrivener 2.8 on MacOS 10.14, which the legacy downloads page indicates is not supported to run 2.9. Is it safe to upgrade to 2.9? I was about to make literally the very final tweak to a book before publishing it, so this is horrible, horrible timing!

You could try using it if you’re in a tight spot. We put that note on the legacy page because it was never fully tested or bug fixed for it. That doesn’t mean it won’t work at all in theory though. As I recall the main issue with it was that it couldn’t display some kinds of research files. The files are fine, the viewer just doesn’t work.

It would be simple enough to try, just download it and drag it to Downloads first, renaming it to Scrivener-29.app. Then drag that to the Applications folder. It’s safe to run more than one version at a time.

Just keep good backups in case you run into instability.

Sorry to have left you without good options. Apple changed a lot during that period of time, and 2.x development had already been discontinued for some time by that point, and was becoming increasingly difficult to even compile given changes to XCode.

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As a developer myself, I definitely sympathise!

Thank you very much for the prompt response. I have downloaded 2.9 and I’m happy to say that it appears to work fine with my document so far. Hopefully tonight I’ll able to finish the work and get the book published. After that, I’ll be considering my upgrade options :slight_smile:


I get the same serial number confirmation error and I’m already on Scrivener 2.9 using OSX 10.14.6.
I’ve used 2.9 since it came out with no issues till now. I’m unable to update my MacBook Pro beyond Mojave as I use much software which is not supported in later OSX versions. The support file for Internal error -6001 makes no mention of what to do for 10.14 users. If I re-download the revised version of 2.9 and re-install it, will it allow me to start up the application?

Scrivener 2.9 is not supported for use with OS X 10.14 or newer. So if reinstalling a fresh download of Scrivener 2.9 doesn’t fix the issue, we would recommend upgrading to Scrivener 3, which you can download here: Download Scrivener | Literature & Latte