Transfer scrivener project file to new computer

I’ve just received a new M1 laptop and have installed Scrivener 3.2.2 and have activated the license. I have Scrivener 3.2.2 installed on my desktop as well, and I have just tried to copy over a file created on that computer but Scrivener 3.2.2 on the laptop will not open it. When I click on recent projects on the new lap top it shows the file/project but it does not open.
Please assist.
Thank you in advance,

Addendum: Problem solved—user error.

I have a related query, same scenario (new laptop, will be erasing and trading in the old and am transferring over Scrivener projects).

In terms of backups and preferences, is the best way to transfer these to the new laptop to copy the contents of the Scrivener folder in Kinsey > Library > Application Support and paste them into the corresponding folder on the new laptop?

There’s instructions at this L&L knowledge base article: … -computers

Where it points to Manage > Save Preferences To File, you might also want to do the same for themes.

Thank you very much, not sure how I missed that article!

I’d use an ounce of caution with the “transfer of Preferences.”

I had followed the recipe provided by that link when setting up a new M1 laptop, that had just arrived yesterday. I had transferred the preferences file from my desktop Mac Pro Tower running High Sierra and Scrivener 3.2.2, However, before doing so, I had installed Scrivener 3.2.2 on the new laptop to make certain that the program ran properly, and it had. But once the preferences file had been transferred to the new machine, the ‘Open Last Project’ command no longer functioned. The solution was to find and delete the preferences file (.plist), following which the function worked as intended.

I then returned to the desktop’s Preferences file and copied just those elements that I felt were specific to my needs, pasted them over the new computers files of similar nomenclature and closed the window. Still works as intended.

Oh, I am so jealous. Waiting for the gold MBA 512. My laptop is from 2011 (that’s about 135 in dog years).

But I shuttle between 3 (elderly) computers, and using dropbox as the location seems to be the best way to move files between them.

Fear not, your M1 will probably arrive shortly, as mine had been delivered one week before schedule.
I normally write on a MacPro Tower (desktop) but I often new a change of venue, and this the laptop. It’s very fast, but a word of caution, Big Sur isn’t prefect, and perhaps not ready for prime time. I use an external trackball mouse, and telling the OS to disable the internal trackpad when it senses an external :exclamation: mouse causes the computer to reboot itself. I had to re-enable the trackpad in order to avoid this issue. A small finding, but I’m sure there are others. The disable trackpad option had been present in older OSX iterations, so it’s not a Big Sur feature per se.
P.s. there are some typos that for some odd reason I was not allowed to edit out.

Well, yes, having to wait does have certain advantages.

In my opinion, and in the opinion of almost everyone else, the M1 is the most significant revolution in personal computing in at least a decade, or at least in recent memory (and thankfully, Keith got Scrivener in shape for both the M1 and Big Sur well before we were presented with them).

Kudos to Apple. Steve would be proud. Maybe we can now forget Jony Ive and the butterfly keyboard ever existed.

But it is a change, and change implies growing pains. Hard to make an omelet without breaking the eggs first.

Yes, Scrivener for the M1/Big Sur appears to work well on day two of my use of the new laptop. However, with all of the talk about the old vs new keyboard, I can honestly say that, side-by-side, I do not see or feel any difference between the new, and my 7 year old Mac-book Pro’s keyboards. But, then again, I have never been a fan of Apple’s keyboards, whether attached to a laptop or desktop, as I prefer the mechanical variety.

That said, the M1 is very fast, and in Scrivener, a perfect example is the time it takes to reveal Project Stats with a several hundred page novel/manuscript … it’s almost instantaneous. But Big Sur has some bugs that Apple has to address, however, the few legacy applications that I use are running quite transparently in Rosetta 2, at least, as far as I can tell.

May I slightly hijack this thread? :slight_smile:

My much-loved 2011 17” MBP, failed last Friday. I had hoped it was just the PRAM battery, but it seems it was the graphics “card”, so it’s time to give my savings a big hit. I’m dithering between an M1 MBA or MBP.

Can I ask each of you why you chose the one you did? We are in lockdown again and I’m on the very vulnerable list so I can’t wander into the local Apple Store to try them out. On the face of it, the difference seems to be £200 for function keys vs touch-bar and 400 vs 500 nits.

I’ve never used a touch-bar so I don’t know if that’s worth the extra. On the other hand, for a long time I also had a 2011 MBA, which was probably my favourite machine for carrying around and typing on.

What do you think, guys?

Thanks :slight_smile:


I’m holding off on my upgrade, but have been debating on which of the two I would prefer. It seems one of the more significant differences to the user’s experience is the Air has no fan, while the Pro does. From initial reports, that means after about 5-10 minutes of heavy load, the Air will throttle back performance to control heat build-up (like an iPad, I guess), where the Pro would kick up the fan speed and maintain the same/less diminished performance.

I’d be interested to know what happens when you’re using various video conference software/websites on the M1s… it always gets the fans going full-speed on my 2012 model Air and my somewhat less old Mini.

I was convinced to buy the M1 Air instead of the MBP by the various reviews – I can’t remember the last time that I saw a laptop get such universal praise. My previous 3 laptops were 13" MBPs. Even with an upgrade in RAM (16GB) and storage (512GB), it wasn’t much more expensive than than the entry level M1 MBP.

If you’re mostly using the laptop for writing, browsing and other non-intensive tasks (i.e. not editing large video or photo files), then the Air should be all you’ll need. The M1 chip really does seem to live up to the hype, not that I’ve really pushed it. This machine is light years faster than my 2015 MBP.

One thing to note, which I think it is applicable to both the Macbook Pro and Air, is that the keyboard will have a different feel to your 2011 machines. The new keyboard has more travel than the butterfly one, but definitely less than my previous machine (2015 MBP) and presumably less than your 2011.

If you liked the 2011 Air, chances are you’ll love the new one. Battery life is superb (I’ve had mine running for 5 hours almost non stop using Safari, Scrivener, Mail, Devonthink and Messages and have 82% power left), and the trackpad is bigger and better than previous models.

Haven’t used a touch bar, so can’t advise you on that. I’ve never missed it though. Both MBP and Air have a serious drawback in the ports available – only two Thunderbolt 3. That might be an issue if you attach a lot of peripherals, but a nice dock or portable hub could solve that problem.

Edit: re Rdale’s post, I haven’t used the M1 Air for a video conference yet, but would be surprised (and disappointed) if its performance was seriously compromised by video conferencing. This review came out slightly later than others, and uses an Air with 16GB Ram and 1TB storage, but is worth reading: … con-magic/

Thanks for the feedback, people. I hope Ron777 chimes in too.

I think I’m inclining towards the MBP, but I would like to hear from Ron777. One of the things I have to do is editing Final Cut Pro projects, and from reading that Ars Technica report the fan-less MBA might not be the best solution, That said, I’ll probably do almost all that work on this iMac with its 5K screen, even though it will be slower … but then I’m not a speed-merchant anyway!

As for the keyboard, I have no idea what sort of keyboard the MBP had … or the old MBA, but I don’t think any of my machines had a ‘butterfly’ keyboard, though there is this keyboard for the iMac that I had last year, as the one I had packed up. I don’t have a problem with it. I have a fairly serious essential tremor—I can only use my left hand on very good days—and I’ve never been a fast typist anyway, so niceties of keyboard switches have never been a concern.

On the Windows emulation front, which gets mentioned, it seems Crossover 20 can run on the new machines with 10,11,1, so I’ll be covered for that. I need access to the Windows Betas when Shirley, my collaborator, needs help.

Decisions, decisions!



Another (silly) question! Where is the power button on these new Macs? What happens you get a kernel panic … or does that never happen?



It’s apparently the touch id “button”… … %20MacBook.

Oh, also this is neat: Fast User switching with touch id: … -on-macos/

Ive ordered the MBA 8core GPU16gb, 1tb. While I edit video the MBP only has a real benefit for sustained work at 4k. I decided I couldn’t justify the $A400 price difference on that basis alone. I am keeping my fully spec’d 2020 16” as a desktop machine so if video processing becomes an issue I have a fall back.

Thanks, :slight_smile:

That’s very interesting. I’m planning on the same specs. The MBP had 2TB of SSD (which is now waiting for an enclosure to turn it into an external) but £600 extra for 2TB Apple SSID is more than I can justify.

I don’t work in 4K video, and, as I say, I’ll do most of my video editing on this 5K iMac, as the screen real-estate is valuable for that. So now, I’m really just wondering if it’s worth forking out the extra moolah for the touch-bar. Since my last post, I’ve been wondering what it was about my former MBA which made it more pleasant to type on, and I came to the conclusion it was the slightly sloping keyboard. I have a Logitech “Ultrathin Keyboard Cover i5” for my iPad. If I’m at my desk, the iPad is in landscape orientation on an IKEA bamboo tablet stand, and the magnetic latches on the keyboard attach to the hinges on the stand, putting it at a slight angle. I much prefer that to using it flat on a table! So that and £200 is a powerful argument in favour of the MBA! I’ve never had a touch-bar, and unless someone comes along in the next few hours with a completely persuasive argument for the touch-bar …



Thank you all for your advice. As no one has come forward with a compelling argument on the touch-bar, I’ve bitten the bullet … it’s “Goodbye touch-bar; hello £200”! :slight_smile:

But it won’t be delivered till 15th February! :frowning:


Holy crap! That’s a big jump in delivery time in just a couple of days. I’m thinking many are realising that MBP i9 level performance in the MBA format for those $$ is a bit of a steal.