Unable to Connect to License Server

For the last few weeks I’ve been getting this error repeatedly. It only happens on my desktop (win 10), not my laptop (win11 or whatever is current). I am using Scrivener 3. When it happens, the entire program locks up and I have to go into task manager and crash it. I just reset my desktop to see if that’d fix it and some other issues, but the moment I opened Scrivener and validated it…it gave me the message. It took four times opening and closing it to finally be able to open my projects.

We’ll get this issue from time to time as a help ticket.

When it comes up in the help queue, my first recommendation is to review the PC’s Windows Security settings, as well as the security settings for any anti-virus, firewall, proxy, or VPN software your PC has installed.

Those programs often install updates in the background. And, sometimes those updates will lead to the security program incorrectly flagging either Scrivener or the Paddle.exe activation progress as potentially malicious.

You’ll want to review any quarantine lists that your security tools have to see if Scrivener or its components are listed as blocked or quarantined.

Another option you can test is to run Scrivener as an administrator (right click over the Scrivener icon and select ‘Run as administrator’) and register. Next time you launch Scrivener normally it should stay registered.

If neither of those suggestions resolves the activation issue, then you may want to reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking and activate Scrivener in that mode.

The steps for rebooting in Safe Mode with Networking are available from Microsoft Support.

The Safe Mode with Networking will deactivate any tools that are blocking Scrivener, but it will still be able to connect to the servers. Then, you can reboot your computer as you normally would.

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Ah, so likely an update did something. Thank you. I’ll look into it and keep this noted!

Other factors could be the cause, of course. But, security updates are a common one that we’ll see.

If my previous suggestions do not resolve the issue, we can do some additional troubleshooting here.

Or, you can open a help ticket by using the email links on our contact us page. That’s a good place to turn if the troubleshooting starts getting into too many personal details.

If you do need to take that step, including a link to this forum thread could help whomever picks up the ticket so that they don’t ask you to repeat any steps we’ve already tried.