Using Scrivener on a computer NOT my own?

Just wondering if Scrivener could be used on a borrowed computer (like a public library, a friend’s parents’ home, etc.) which you don’t have your own user account on.


  1. A portable version of Scrivener


  1. Normal Window or Mac version that accesses Dropbox, but doesn’t save your work to the borrowed computer at all?

Thanks in advance,


First issue I can see is, while your very generous Scrivener licence allows multiple installations on household computers it wouldn’t allow installation on a library computer, and typically a library wouldn’t allow install of your software on their system. Now if the library had their own Scrivener licence that’s a whole different ballgame.

Same applies to a friends system. Of course if your friend had their own Scrivener licence then you could check the thread on working with removable drives.

The L&L staff could chime in on whether the licence would allow for install of Scrivener on friend’s system while it was in your home and in your possession, though I’d assume it would absolutely have to be removed before it left your possession.

Scrivener requires access to local storage in order to run. So no, it can’t be used on a computer that doesn’t allow you to save your own files. It’s theoretically possible to save to a removable drive, though. Whether this approach gives acceptable performance depends on the exact hardware involved.

For security reasons, modern operating systems don’t like to run applications from remote drives. There are ways around the problem, but you would need the system owner’s approval.

From a licensing perspective, you could use the trial version to cover a short term need, like your own computer being temporarily unavailable. For a semi-permanent situation, the owner of the computer would need their own license.



Are you considering this because you’ll be away (traveling?) from your main PC?

If that’s the case, one option is to use some software like MS Remote Desktop or LiteManager to access your main PC remotely. In that scenario, the Scrivener program and data would still reside at home, and you would connect to it from a remote PC.

Just something else to think about.

I notice you’ve got iOS in your signature. Any reason you’re not considering iOS Scriv for this?


I have a physical disability (among other things, I am in a wheelchair and I can only use one hand) which makes it difficult to use things the ways other people do.

For example

  • I currently “type” much quicker on swipey virtual keyboards (e.g., Gboard, Swiftkey, etc.) found on devices like the iPad. I don’t even have a physical keyboard for the iPad.
  • On the other hand, I have a lot of difficulty editing, cutting / pasting or moving stuff around. The on-screen buttons are often too small and I have trouble doing some of the gestures.

I wind up doing a lot of switching between my computer and iPad depending on the task I am doing. And I am on a never-ending quest for better workflows.

I do have registered Windows and iOS copies of Scrivener, though.