Very old Scrivener and Windows 11

I have an extremely old version of Scrivener– from 14 Nov 2019. I use it for editing simple text and compiling it to Word. I still like this version and would prefer to keep it.

Since I got Scrivener, I have been using Windows 10. I am considering moving to Windows 11. Are there problems with using that version with Windows 11?

Many thanks.

Hello bckalt. Windows 11 was released for public use after that last update to Scrivener 1 for Windows.

In other words, Scrivener 1 has not be tested with Windows 11 nor patched to work with Win 11.

I’ve seen a few help tickets where users reported issues with Scrivener 1 and Win 11. Often, those are resolved with the upgrade.

My PC can’t be upgraded to Win 11, so I don’t have any hands-on tips for you. Someone else might, but I’d consider the newer version if you upgrade your Windows operating system and/or your computer.

And, we offer upgrade discounts with more information on that available on this webpage.

We also have this Upgrade Guide for Scrivener 1 users.

It’s a Scrivener 1 project that we expect users will open with Scrivener 3. It demonstrates how your existing Scrivener projects will have their formatting updated to work with Scrivener 3. I recommend working through it before you attempt to upgrade any of your existing projects into Scrivener 3.


Thank you! You saved me from a big boo-boo.

Although it may not be your preferred option, it is worth mentioning that Windows 11 has requirements that not all computers can meet. Older computers work better with Linux distros, like Linux Mint. The Scrivener 1 version was released, briefly, for Linux and is compatible with Windows in that same version. I have been using it on Linux ever since.


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Hello! I have a similar problem, but am looking for one more step. I have reviewed your attached links and will certainly use the guides and tutorial. Thank you!

When I first purchased Scrivener (c. 2017-18?) I had to install an older version to be compatible with my OS. (7 or ME?) It has worked great and I have a large ongoing genealogical project with hundreds/thousand+ of reference docs and pics in my research folder which are linked into my project in footnotes or comments.

I recently got a new computer. It was bundled with Win 10, but was upgraded to Win 11.

My questions are:

  1. How do I migrate all my projects properly so I don’t break all my links to the reference docs and pics? I haven’t found any threads that address this concept (yet).
  2. Are there any pros/cons to consider rolling back to win10 s. Win 11? The new computer’s main purpose is to contain this project and associated software programs. Compatibility is priority.

Thank you!

In answer to your first question, that Upgrade Guide from my earlier note is a good testing point before upgrading your existing projects.

Also, if you routinely close your Scrivener 1 projects at the end of each writing session, then you should have those backups available to restore to if the upgrade to Scrivener 3 causes any issues.

You can also use Scrivener 1’s File > Back Up > Back Up To... command to create additional backups of your projects. Ticking the Back up as ZIP file option on that panel will compress them, and you can tell Scrivener where to save those additional backups.

That would give you other ways to roll back to Scrivener 1 if the upgrade process has issues or breaks links.

As for your second question about rolling back to Win 10, that’s not a topic I’m comfortable getting into.

I’d recommend reviewing some Microsoft support forums and talking with people you know and trust who are knowledgeable about Windows.

They can perhaps give you some insights on where the pros and cons for that action.

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Thank you!

I am specifically concerned about moving all the images and documents - aren’t all the links location specific? I qm afraid of breaking all the links.

In other words, how can I be sure that Scrivener can find all the documents and images on the new system? It’s a new computer, not just an upgrade.

If this were my computer, I’d start on the old machine and install Scrivener 3. I test it with the upgrade guide to get a sense of how Scrivener 3 might handle my projects.

Then, I’d probably upgrade my existing projects to Scrivener 3 on the old computer first.

Once I was sure they were working correctly and my links worked well on the old computer, I’d migrate materials to the new computer and test again. Then, I could work on repairing any broken links if needed.

This Knowledge Base article offers tips on installing to additional computers.

Trying to do the upgrade steps at the same time as migrating to the new computer would be too much for me to manage at once.

And, I’d keep that old computer around until I felt certain the new machine was working well.


I wish I could… The old system is incompatible with 3🥺

Thank you for the link, it is helpful! Unfortunately, that article doesn’t address how to move all the images and reference docs that don’t ‘live’ in the scrivener file.

Try and test an experiment. Move them from the old to new and make the target folder names “exactly” the same. My hunch without me trying is that Scrivener stores full path folder names. If this not true someone can speak up.

This is basics macOS stuff.

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You’ll want to check Microsoft Support for guidance on migrating your files from one PC to another. Particularly if you’re changing from one version of Windows on the old machine to a different version within that process.

That’s beyond the scope of our forum and well into Microsoft’s migration tools and best practices.

Thank you @rms. That was what I was thinking. I hope I can re-create the path in WIN11, but I think everything was on a C drive. Eek.

I’m not migrating everything from the old system, just the Scrivener related stuff. I think dropping the external photos and research folders on an external drive then dropping them in a same-named location on the new computer might work?

If not, It looks like I’ll have to work on a global search and replace for the first few waypoints. If that doesn’t work. I’ll have to edit over a thousand links… :woman_facepalming:

I’ll certainly experiment with a sample project first!

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Thank you for all your help @RuthS! Your links will be followed closely. They were just what I needed re: updating my old Scrivener to a new Scrivener in my new computer with Win 11. :smile:

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get very familiar with where the files are now.

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