Setting up Scrivener on a second machine using same license

wondering if you can help me…

i’ve been using Scrivener to date in Tiger on a Mac Powerbook. I have just got a fabulous new iMac running Leopard, and I would like to install Scrivener again on the new machine.

I know that I’m allowed to download Scrivener again using the same license as you lovely folks provide an uber generous household license, but can you tell what steps I need to take to make this a seamless process, and migrate all of my projects across from my previously installed version of Scrivener to the new iMac?

And as a supplementary question, is there any way to keep an up to date version of my projects across both machines using the power of wireless?

Thanks in advance for any assistance or tips and tricks people successfully doing a similar migration may be able to offer…

Cheers :slight_smile:

Hi kimiko,

Welcome to the forum.* (plus Scrivener>File>Backup Project To) is potentially your friend.


*Also a route to migrate your projects across.

Hugh is correct (I also use Dropbox, it’s great), but to clarify a little: all you need to do is install Scriv on your new machine, then copy your existing .scriv documents across to that machine. That’s it.

(Unless you also want to copy any custom templates you’ve made. I don’t know where they live in the file system, though.)

If you have made any custom templates, they exist in ~/Library/Application Support/Scrivener (the user’s Application Support folder is the standard place to store application-wide support files such as this). So you would just copy the “Scrivener” folder from inside ~/Library/Application Support and paste it into the ~/Library/Application Support folder of your new machine.

I definitely recommend Dropbox too - it’s a great way of moving stuff between computers, and also of backing up. (Sync’ing Scrivener project files between computers is not so easy and I’d recommend against it as it can cause problems with the package format of the files. Getting into the habit of using File > Backup To and backing up to your Dropbox folder is probably the best way to go.)

All the best,

Another vote for Dropbox and zipped backups. It might be tempting to just dump your projects right in there and work off of them like that, but even if you are extremely careful to never accidentally open the file on two different computers at once, the idea still makes me nervous, plus it makes a royal mess of your Dropbox transaction history.

One other thing you’ll probably want is your preferences, export them using the Preferences pane; at the bottom there is a drop-down for doing so.

If you don’t know where your projects are saved on the old Mac, they are most likely in your Documents folder. If they do not all appear to be there, use Spotlight to search for “.scriv” and that should find everything.

I’m having what I think is a similar issue… I worked in Scrivener at home with the .scriv saved in my Dropbox. When I opened the .scriv on my work machine the next day, most of my work was GONE!

I freaked out a little bit and when I got home I disconnected the Internet (so Dropbox wouldn’t sync!), opened my home machine, and everything was there. Relieved, I dragged the .scriv to my desktop figuring the problem was with Dropbox corrupting the file. I did some more writing, saved my file, created a .zip of the .scriv and emailed it to myself.

Opening up the .zip file today, the same thing happened! Most of the work I did last night is completely gone!

I’m just trying to understand the best practice around this… Emailing .scriv or zipped .scriv files is clearly not the best way to handle this. I really love Scrivener for my academic writing, but I’m gun-shy now that it’s going to delete my work!!

What exactly is the best way to transfer files back and forth between computers? Working locally and then backing up to Dropbox? Working locally and then archiving/emailing the file to yourself?


Working locally and then backing up to Dropbox is precisely what I do. You stated you ended up with a partial project using the zip method—that really shouldn’t have happened from a technical standpoint. There is probably some other variable involved. Perhaps the source project you were zipping was already damaged. Another thing that might have happened was that the second machine only got part of the zip file before you unarchived it; or the first one did not finish uploading it before it was shut down or put to sleep. This would be unlikely—usually messed up zip files just don’t work at all—in fact I’ve never seen a corrupted zip unarchive with partial content.

I always give Dropbox a good five minutes after the checkmark icon comes up, just in case. I’ve had incidences where not everything has transferred yet.

What you are doing should work just fine. One thing that you don’t mention is if you are using the same version of scriv on both machines. You might want to verify that.

Thanks Jaysen and Amber -

I am using version 1.11 of Scrivener on both machines. And I’m as perplexed as you about the .zip file not working. You may be right in that the original file is corrupted. I guess I’ll save out a back up and re-create the project from that.

Fingers crossed that it’s all there!