Upgrade to Catalina makes Scrivener believe I haven't purchased Scrivener

Silly me, I upgraded to Mac Catalina.

I’m running Scrivener 3.1.3. After upgrading to Catalina, when Scrivener loads, it shows the splash screen that says my Scrivener is unlicensed. When I choose ENTER LICENSE, it says I’m not using a license and asks me to either activate my copy or continue the trial.

When I input my email address and serial number to register on the ACTIVATE SCRIVENER page, I get a message saying ACTIVATION FAILED and goes on to say if I have activated this license before, it is possible I have run out of activations, which is impossible since I use the license only on one machine.

The only option i didn’t try is to choose RECOVER LOST LICENSE on that ACTIVATE SCRIVENER page. I hesitate to try this, not knowing what realm of hell it will propel me into.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

Thanks in advance

The first thing I’d try is upgrade to Scrivener 3.1.5. Specifically since the release notes for 3.1.4 include this note:

I’ve purchased Scrivener 2.8. Can’t login. A user provided a potential fix, since Scivener’s link does’t take one to a useful help page. The fix seems to have loaded an older version of Scrivner on my Mac, rather than 2.9.

It now appears I have to buy 3.x with no discount because I bought 2.x from the App Store. I have zero access to my documents because of the bug Scrivener hasn’t fixed, essentially holding my work hostage unless I pay full price for an upgrade.

At this point I question whether the ‘bug’ was actually intentional to force people to purchase an upgrade so that they have access to their creative work, once more.

Hostage? If you want to move on from Scrivener, you could always download the free 30 day trial of v3 and compile your docs to Word or whatever format you like. Wouldn’t that free you from your hostage status?



To get the upgrade discount as an App Store customer, send a copy of your App Store receipt here:


Great suggestion, Dirk, and I did it, but it didn’t solve my problem…and it looks like my thread got sidetracked by others and their legitimate problems, so not sure I’ll get help here. I’ve tried going to support but have had no reply.

thanks again.

Hi lometogo,

I’ve found L&L support to be very good about follow-up. Have you checked your spam folder?


Oops, I didn’t see a response to my email address as they indicated I would but I finally went into the tenerapp l/l support site and see Astrid replied on 6 April. My apologies. She’s recommending a re-install, so going to try that now.

I was going to suggest going to Tenderapp next. :slight_smile: Hopefully the reinstall helps!