[Solved] Scrivener seems to have a massive memory leak or other serious issue on Windows 10.

EDIT: Basically this was solved by running the Scrivener in Windows 7 compatibility mode, and getting the Windows Fall Creator’s Update seems to have cleared up the remaining issues that compatibility mode didn’t quite fix. /Edit

The tutorial worked fine, after that, not so much.

It is a new download and I’ve only ever tried to work on one project with it.

It’s prone to massive lag and slowdown. After a bit, it just stops working entirely.

It is a new download and I have only ever tried to work on a single project with it. There is no possible way I’ve done so much that I’m clogging up the memory. I managed to fill out one corkboard card and transfer a 26,000 word Open Office project over to it. It managed it just fine and the tools made it easy to do, which pleased me. I was able to read through it and do a few minor edits, then I tried to do some corkboard cards and the problems began.

Yes, I have tried messing around with a new project and testing it out to be sure it wasn’t the document itself. The same problems occur no matter what I’m working on.

If all I’m doing is using it to read something, it works fine, but once I start trying to do anything productive, the issue gets worse and worse. Weirdly, the task bar at the top of the screen stops working [File, Edit, Document, etc.] but I can still switch between the various GUI menus such as Manuscripts, Chapter, Corkboard, etc…

If I let it run, it stays in it’s current state, it does seem that I actually have to provide input to make it worse.
Only Scrivener causes this problem, and it persists until I restart the PC. Even going into the task manager and shutting down Scrivener doesn’t clear it up. Any other task runs like it normally does, Open Office doesn’t have this problem, nor does Firefox, any of my games, etc, so it’s not a hardware issue and the problem is on the software end.

There are no background programs running, no open browsers, I can literally boot my PC, open Scrivener, and it will start acting up almost as soon as I try to do anything that involves input. It’s incremental though, and doesn’t just lock up right away, which seems to suggest it’s a memory issue.

It also seems to save its current state. So if I shut it down with the task manager, open it up again, it has the same problems as when I closed it. Only a restart of my PC seems to revert it to the original state where I can do a bit before it decides to lock up again.

Oh, and it also disables my right click for some strange reason. It breaks it completely until I restart my PC, even if I use task manager to shut it down, my right click remains non-functional.

It’s not a word processing computer either. This thing was built for games. It’s not brand new hardware, but I have 16GB of Ram, a 6GB GPU, an i7, and a SSD.

There’s really no reason the performance of Scrivener should be this bad on hardware like this.

“Well, it works on other computers fine” doesn’t really address the problem. It’s a serious issue that I’ve seen many reports about. This isn’t a minor problem. It seems to simply amount to the program just being horribly optimized.

I love the idea behind this and am hopeful some patches or the upcoming version fixes this problem. Hopefully the former because this is an issue that needs to be immediately addressed and really shouldn’t wait until a future update to be fixed. I’d rather have a functioning program instead of a refund as everything about this program appeals to me aside from this huge glaring problem.

Thus, I’m willing to try tinkering around with it in the hopes of finding a fix. Any suggestions to that end would be appreciated. If that doesn’t work, I’m stuck using Open Office and hoping an update fixes things.

EDIT: Using fullscreen mode drastically increases the amount of time it takes to get to critical failure. That seems to be what breaks my right click. The issues still occur even if I don’t, especially if I’m using anything but the text editor itself, such as the corkboard, but it does accelerate the onset of the problems a great deal faster than anything else.

If I am only using the text editor alone, it takes a while for it to fail. That’s kind of nice, but also defeats the purpose of having Scrivner to begin with.

All right, things have improved after mucking around for a bit. Huzzah for troubleshooting!

Windows 7 compatibility mode has stabilized things quite a bit.

I wanted to narrow the editor window, so I created a window to the side using the inspector and widened it and the binder to squeeze the editor into a narrower space. I now have a corkboard window to the right. Seems to be working all right, though I haven’t done much with it yet.

I actually really like this setup as it makes for easy access to reference notes. I’m hoping it will work out this way as it will probably be my standard format for working in Scrivener.

However, one big glaring issue is that I still can’t use fullscreen. It immediately locks things up still and screws up my mouse. I have to reset the PC when that happens to fix it.

It’s been stable for the better part of a half hour, but I’ve only been doing minor edits to an imported project so far. I’m taking things slowly to see how this goes, but so far it seems like I’ve managed to make it functional at least.

I can live without fullscreen and it seems mostly functional so far without any lag or hanging up so far. It’s too soon to call at this point, but I’m optimistic. I’ll update this later, maybe not tonight, but I’ll try to do more with it and see how it hangs. It’s a bit late to start on a new project right now, so I’ll just make due with continuing to edit my current project for tonight.

Back again for a further update.

I got the Fall Creator’s Update for Windows 10 last night. That helped even more and everything seems to be working fine now, even Fullscreen.

I’ve been working for a few hours today and have encountered no lag or hangups.

Not sure what the initial problem was, but it seems to have cleared up entirely so far.

I’ll update again if that changes, but otherwise everything seems to be working perfectly. There is nothing to complain about currently.

I am still using Windows 7 compatibility mode, which seems to be the biggest factor in why it became stable.

I am really liking this program a lot. Especially the ability to keep my notes organized and access them easily without having to use multiple text editor windows.

Anyway, time to get back to work. I’m almost done editing my transferred project and giving it a look over before I start on adding new content to it.

I’m using windows 10 - no Fall Creator’s Update yet. I run both Scrivener versions 1.9.7 and the new beta.

I don’t use any of the compatibility modes. Yet, I’ve never encountered any of the problems you mention.

It can be really helpful if you specify the version of Scrivener you are using.

Do you have all those 26,000 words in one file?

It’s the latest version. The install is literally a few days old. It’s not the beta.

Also, yes, it was an open office document, so all the words were in one file. It’s handling the exact same file perfectly fine now.

It’s also worth pointing out that that file was just one part of a larger project that is a roughly 350,000 word 1st draft so far. In Open Office it was broken up into ten 30-40k chunks. The 26k part was the smallest segment. Scrivener is handling all of it with no problems with each segment now imported as a chapter.

I need to go in and break some of it up later, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m still converting and building reference notes for what is already done, and have done some minor editing as I’ve gone over it. I will be breaking it up into more manageable segments over the next few days.

The problems arose with any file size though. So it wasn’t that there were too many words for it to handle. Especially considering that it’s handling files that are nearly twice as large at this point with no issues. The largest segment is nearly 46k, but they average about 35k.

I had been troubleshooting, so I started new projects and mucked around testing it out to try and pinpoint the problem.

I’m not really sure what the issue was, but it had the symptoms of a memory leak. I also uninstalled and reinstalled it, downloaded it again and reinstalled it, multiple restarts, etc, with no change and the same problems.

The issue is solved as far as I can tell. With my old version of Windows, the only thing that didn’t work after I turned on compatibility mode was fullscreen.

After the Windows update, even fullscreen works fine. I’ve been using it for most of the day today without any problems.

I left it in compatibility mode just because it was working perfectly and I didn’t see the need to fix what wasn’t broken.

Due to this post, I’ve turned off compatibility mode and it seems to be running fine that way now as well. Whatever the latest Windows Update did seems to have fixed whatever was causing the problem. Though I only tested it for a short while that way.

I don’t know what happened exactly, only that the issue has magically disappeared since Windows Updated… I don’t think it was an issue with Windows or my hardware as the issues were basically isolated to Scrivener itself. I run games, other word processors, web browsers, and all sorts of other programs without any issues.

Scrivener just didn’t like something that was going on with my previous version of Windows. Whatever it was is gone with the latest update.

Another update.

Back to Windows 7 compatibility mode for me.

Scrivener still screws up my right click. It doesn’t lag or hang up anymore, but using the full screen editor makes my mouse’s right click completely stop working. I have to restart my PC for it to function again. Just shutting down Scrivener doesn’t fix it.

No idea why, but it’s consistent.

The issue goes away in Windows 7 compatibility mode and everything else works as it should regardless of whether I’m in compatibility mode or not.

It’s an easy fix so I’m content. I still consider this solved at this point.

Thanks for this post! I’m having a similar issue and have a similarly “overkill” computer for word processing: i7-4790K 4GHz quad-core, 32GB of RAM, 4GB Ti1050 GPU, NVMe SSD boot drive.

I also notice that the program seems to run better in full screen. This is problematic because my second draft process is to do a split screen between Scrivener and a web page to access grammar checking apps. Navigating through a paragraph with the cursor keys is extremely slow, and highlighting paragraphs to copy and paste will sometimes “chug” as if the system is bogging down.

I’ve used both Edge and Chrome browsers, with neither resulting in much of a difference. Memory usage in either case is still well below max - usually under 20%

It almost seems like a graphics acceleration issue, what brand of GPU are you using, NVidia or ATI?

I’m using Windows 10 Pro, 1709, 16299.309 (March 13, 2018 update.)

Will try with compatibility mode and see if that changes anything.

I’m using an AMD GPU, ATI hasn’t been a thing for a while and they quit using that branding in around 2010 I think. I’ve also got an older i7 Intel CPU and am using Windows 10 Home. My PC was built for gaming.

I have tons of memory as well. 16 GB of RAM, and 6 GB of VRAM in my GPU. I actually have two 6 GB GPUs in X-Fire, what Nvidia calls SLi, but running things like Scrivener only uses one of them. Only games use both of them and I have to enable it via my GPU settings GUI even then. I also have a 500 GB SSD as my boot drive, and a couple of 2 TB storage drives.

The Creator’s Update seems to be what cleared up most of my issues and Windows automatically updates so I should be up to date. Not sure why exactly. Though compatibility mode does fix my mouse issue. It’s a weird one and Scrivener seems to break something to do with my Windows Explorer that keeps my left click from working properly. The compatibility mode prevents whatever it is that does it.

I am sure it’s Scrivener and not my hardware because it’s the only program that causes that issue and doesn’t happen unless I’m using it.

Compatibility mode also made Scriverner a little more stable prior to the Creator’s Update. as well, so hopefully it will have a similar impact on your system.

I mean AMD of course, brain fart, heh. This is why we use editors . . .

Compatibility mode helped a little bit, but it was still noticeable.

I hope you are aware of the way Scrivener auto-saves your work while writing. The thing with Scrivener is that you can break the text up in infinitely small parts in the binder but still view them as one part while writing and compile it as one single document in the end. One advantage of this is that Scrivener only loads the active binder document in memory and only auto-saves that miniscule part while you work. So if shit hits the fan and your computer crash while it is auto-saving, only what you had in the editor is affected.

But if you have 30-40k documents in the binder, you risk destroying it all and saving takes longer.

I don’t know why you’d contact Windows Office Support for a problem with Windows 10. One’s a software suite and one’s an operating system.

‘peterprism’ is a bot.

Lunk, I understand and agree with your main point, that an open 30k document may be unrecoverable if the system crashes.

But while the bolded bit in your quote above may be accurate for Mac, it is not accurate for Windows. A computer crash on Wndows may also corrupt the index file of any open Scrivener projects. One possible result being, when the user reopens these projects all documents appear empty, although the text probably still exists in the underlying rtf documents. We’ve seen that happen many times on this forum.

In that event, the only easy recovery is from zipped backups. Lacking those, the user must rebuild their project from the underlying rtfs.

I agree. Having both “Backup on close” and “Backup on Save” ticked and backing up as zip files should be a standard setting, but with a 350 k word project this might take some time, which is another reason not to overload single projects.

Frankly I don’t understand how some dare put all their writing in one single super-big project. It’s not like putting all your eggs in one basket but more like putting your whole farm in one basket. If it crashes you lose everything…

I have kept multiple backups in more than one location of anything I’m working on for years now.

I always save something at least twice in different locations after any session, and back up my entire documents folder with external storage at least a couple of times a month.

When I was younger I had a HDD die and lost months of work and learned my lesson.

Always, always have redundancies. There’s really no excuse not to as a few extra moments per session will inevitably save tons of work and lost time sooner or later.