What Macbook Air machines will run Scrivener

Hi, new to the forum.

I’m thinking of purchasing scrivener, but have questions about running it on a Mac laptop.

I want to purchase a refurbished old Macbook Air, but am a bit bamboozled by which model I get that will competently run Scriv. A lot of refurbed models I can afford are from roughly 2017-2020, and they don’t seem to have Mac OS 10.14 on them.

Will I be able to run Scriv on an older model and, presumbly, be able to upgrade to a newer version of Mac OS in order to do so?

Sorry- bit of a PC-tech question more than a Scriv one, I guess…


Absolutely no problem. Any of those would be fine. You don’t need Ventura to run Scrivener.


@xiamenese is absolutely right, of course.

The one thing I would add is that you should buy an M1 Macbook Air (that would be the late 2020 model) if there is a way for you to afford it. It’s a much better machine than its Intel predecessors. Not necessary to run Scrivener, but better overall.

And watch out for RAM and SSD, as you can’t upgrade them.

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The latest version of Scrivener (3.3.1) will run with any version of Mac OS from 10.13 forward.

The thing to watch for is the upgradeability of the operating system. Obviously the older the machine, the sooner it will reach Apple’s “end of life” and stop being supported by future Mac OS versions. Once that happens, we will eventually be unable to support it with new versions of Scrivener. For example, people with machines that will only run Mac OS 10.12 are “stuck” with the previous version (3.2.3) of Scrivener due to a change in the supporting frameworks we use.

A 2020-era machine may not ship with Ventura (Mac OS 13), but should be able to run it just fine. Mac OS 14 (Sonoma) is still in beta at this point, so you won’t find it on any newly purchased hardware. (Unless the vendor hates you.)

(Note that Mac OS 10.13 and Mac OS 13.x are NOT the same. Apple changed their numbering scheme when they added Apple Silicon support.)

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seconding @suavito’s comment. the M! MacBook Air that I bought (secondhand which I got a great deal on) runs around 40% faster than the early 2020 MacBook Air I had before. but you don’t need it. just nice to have.

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I run a second hand MacBook Air, M1, 8GB. The basic entry level version, and scrivener zips along on it.

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@synapse56: I have the same. it doesn’t feel entry level to me. so much better than the one I had before. (note: I always buy my laptops secondhand, so it doesn’t faze me to use technology from a few years ago. I expect I’ll use this one until 2025, when its AppleCare will runs out.)

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