Using Scrivener Free for Months?

I started my free trial of Scrivener sometime last fall and have been waiting for it to “time out” on me. My fellow writers have had their sessions time out and successfully paid for the software.

My free session goes on but I WANT to own the software. When I try to go purchase it, it wants me to re-download Scrivener, and I’m worried if I do that I will erase all of my work with a new program. I’m also nervous that it will crash one day because I never paid for it - I seriously want to just own the software and for life to go on.

I don’t know what loophole I landed in, but I need to figure out how to pay for the software, truly own it, and without losing my work. It could just be an irrational fear that if I download the software again, my work will be erased.

Has anyone else had this issue? Thanks!

** It says I have version 2.9

Hmm…I’m not sure you’d lose all your work because the file is stored separately from the Scrivener application.

Perhaps to first make sure, can you locate in the Finder the Scrivener file that your work is stored in? Once you can, you can duplicate that file and store it somewhere else where you know to return to if you want.

Then, you can download the updated Scrivener 3.x and purchase from there.

My few cents :slight_smile: I’m sure someone else would correct me if there’s something to be corrected ;-)

2.9 is a free legacy download for Macs running macOS 10.11 or older. … d?os=macOS

[attachment=0]scrivener 2_9.png[/attachment]

Data and app are separate. Version 3 uses a different file format. Depends on your OS and Mac as to what will run.


Well that might explain it. The old version you are using—which hasn’t been under serious development for a number of years now, and received its last minor bug fix update about five years ago—was made free to use on all systems that cannot run the new version (macOS 10.11 or older).

If that is what is happening, then you shouldn’t be seeing any kind of activation or demo warning when you fire it up. It would also mean, sadly, that your computer isn’t new enough to run the new version anyway. But I guess the silver lining is that the version you have installed is yours to use as long as you wish. :slight_smile:

Now on the other hand if you are running system 10.12 or newer, then you could just be coming up against our rather generous demo terms. It gives you 30 days, but those days are only counted when you actually use the software. It’s entirely possible, if you only write now and then, to spread it out over the better part of a year.

In that case, you probably should update. You can’t buy the version you are using for obvious reasons anyway. You’ve been using the wrong demo all this time. I guess the good news (or bad, depending on your opinion) is that you get another 30 days with the version 3 demo.

I would in that case highly recommend reading through the chapter on how projects work, in the user manual PDF. It sounds like you are unsure of where your work is really saved, or what that looks like, and that’s vital to keeping your writings safe for the long term. Once you do see how that all works, you’ll also see the impossibility of what you’re describing, as well.

Thank you for all over your answers!

That’s so sad about my Mac :laughing: I remember buying this laptop fresh off the market! But yes, it’s now too old for the newer software so I downloaded the 2.9 and it’s still an amazing piece of software that has made my writing experience so enjoyable. Since my laptop works perfectly fine, I’ll be holding onto it for some time yet. I will look at the PDF you mentioned, Amber, because I want to make sure my work is saved.

For now I’m stuck using the older software until I upgrade my laptop, and I’ll look at the directions to make sure my work is permanently saved.

Thank you!


No worries! We all used that version to get piles of books, articles, films, dissertations, documentation, essays, short stories, television series and myriad other things written, over the course of its seven year run. It’s still the same old good software it always was, and I hope it serves you well.