Unbelievably slow

I’m experiencing a tremendous lag. Keyboard strokes don’t echo for about 5 seconds. Constantly freezes (“Scrivener not responding”) with blue spinning circle. Anyone else? Any advice? Thanks.

You could start with this thread and the one it references to see if any of it applies to you: https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/rc-21-general-performance-problems/95036/1

I’m running Scrivener 3 on a powerful Windows 10 Surface laptop. It’s unusable. I have a tiny Synopsis I’m trying to edit and it’s impossible. Cursor movement gives a 5-10 second lag; any command leads to “Scrivener (not responding)” and spinning blue circle. It’s quite unusable - and I have no problem simultaneously running other software and did not have problems running earlier beta versions. Does anyone have a fix for this? If not, can one get one’s money back?

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Thank you. I posted to that thread:


You may not get an answer there. That is the Beta Release forum, which can be replied to, but no new messages are allowed. And I think many people have stopped looking at that forum, now that 3.0 has been released.

Alexander, this kind of falls under the categorry ‘there’s something really wrong’. Dancing cricles or beachballs for seconds is definitely not the way Scrivener performs.

I had a quick look, and turned up lots of ‘my Surface is lagging’ (;wonderful term…) on the web. There can quite evidently be all sorts of problems, it sounds with underspecification, thermal ‘brakes’, and under this, versions of firmware and software.

Let’s presume you don’t have one of these; then a first question is whether you typically just close and sleep the laptop, or if you regularly reboot it? Windows is never that reliable, nor are its drivers, and reboots are just good sense. I would say at the end of each day.

And of course, how many resources are you using vs. how many actually provided on these slight-of-hardware machines (cut-down cpu chips, low memory, disk, etc.)? If you just have a lot of tabs open on Chrome, for example, without special extensions you will be eating up an enormous amount of memory, so that any program that needs more will have to fight for it, meaning memory is ‘swapped’ to disk, greatly slowing all down.

At a deeper level, at least one ‘lag’ fix that I scanned occurred only after the person did a forced restart, which is a thing with devices which keep running even when you think they’re off; for example iPads. Apparently on a Surface you do it by nolding down the power button for around 20 seconds until it reacts. Of course only after you’ve saved and exited from any programs.

Here’s an article which tells on both of these points, gives a good statement about what not to do, uses the easy system tools to see if resource problems look important, and then explains that easy forced-restart fix, which cleans out leftover problems which got embedded so that normal exit or shutdown doesn’t remove them.


Again this kind of action can become needed because Windows, and especially battery-preserving hand-carry tech items are not in truth entirely reliable. So it’s a normative thing to do, even once in a while on an iPad.

Worth a careful read, and maybe it will help you. Note what he says about the typical from-Microsoft advice to completely scrap and rebuild your laptop not helping at all, not to say its risks where you would have to preserve all your current content (files) elsewhere, then reload all of them and all your software. And find time to do it.

You should of course have been taking all Windows Updates, as these are where Microsoft actually fixes problems which continue in Windows, and especially in their own machines like Surface, which were present when they released them.

And yes, there could of course be some special way Scrivener is not getting along with your Surface, though it is rather (highly) unlikely. If there is such a problem, others will report with you, and I don’t know any software crew as attentive as our very long term present friends at Scrivener.

They’re also direct and fair when it comes to business, and you can find their refund policy spelled out, easily on this page: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/faqs

Good fortune, and according to temperament, I hope you soon find you can enjoy what Scrivener should give you.

p.s. I just noticed that you posted this to Beta Testing, which is not active now as Scrivener 3 has been released. If your problems continue, you’ll get much better attention in the Technical Support forum where they can notice it. I’ll see if I can get anyone to move your present post and reply.

I consolidated posts on this topic into a single thread, and moved the new topic to the Technical Support forum. You’ll get better responses here, but that’s why things are out of order.


Thanks so much for your thoughtful and informative response.

I seem to be having the same problem with Scrivener 3 being sluggish and slow. I never saw the blue circle or “Scrivener not responding” -messages (or “Loading text” -messages) when using Scrivener 1.9, but they seem to be a constant problem with Scrivener 3. I have been trying the new Scrivener 3 for a few days now on my HP Spectre laptop with i5 CPU and 8Gt RAM and Windows fully updated and with no other programmes on, and the problem still persists. With Scrivener 1.9 there were no such problems, even if I had several Firefox/Edge tabs open simultaneously and listened to some music with bluetooth headphones when writing. I guess we can’t be the only ones with this problem, and I’m curious to hear about others and also about some potential fixes for the problem. I still have 26 days left in my trial, so I have some time to decide what to do, but, being in the middle of a big book project, I’d rather hear about potential fixes (or the lack of them) sooner than later.

Has anyone found a solution to this problem? I decided to buy S3, but sadly, the sluggishness seems to persist and it’s really disturbing… I’m now considering moving back to S1.9, I hope it will be possible without losing anything. S3 is the only software with this problem in my laptop.

Have you tried doing a full uninstall of S3 and reinstalling with a new download, maybe into a new location? The idea is to get as clean and fresh an installation as possible. It may not help, but it can’t hurt.

In addition to the advice above, as a test try temporarily disabling your antivirus software. Some AVs don’t play well with v3.

Is this happening with all projects? Does it happen with the tutorial project?

FWIW, I’m using Scrivener 3 on a Surface Pro 6 running Windows 10 Enterprise, and on a Surface Laptop 3 running Windows 10 Pro, and have never had a problem with either. Both devices may get shut down any number of times during the day (either manually by me or automatically if they time out from inactivity), but both go for days or weeks at a time without being rebooted.

Neither runs any AV other than what Windows provides natively.

I hit this problem the other day, for the first time. Despite having a very new laptop (11th gen Core i7, 16Gb RAM, fast M2 drive, etc.), Scrivener just crawled to a halt the other morning. I hadn’t changed my AV (which had never caused a problem before), nor had I installed any new hardware or software. Turned out to be a “new” graphics card driver that had overwritten the existing one (which was actually newer). HP do their own drivers, but in this case, the generic Intel driver worked better. So, anyone who hits this problem, could try either rolling back their driver or manually installing the graphic card manufacturer’s reference driver. Hope that helps some people.