When I click on Scrivener link being asked to first confirm. Only opens doc on 2nd try

When I click on a link to a Scrivener document from an outside app, the first time I click I am asked to confirm. I don’t need to click on confirm. I can just cancel exit and if I click on the link a second time the document will open. This happens with many documents/links. It’s not just a question of one corrupted link.
I checked System Preferences and Scrivener has full disk access and file and folder access. I unclicked and reclicked both.
thanks in advance for your time and help

What does the link in those external documents look like? Can you post a copy here?

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thank you for your reply

The link does work the second time, so it’s not broken.


Thanks for that. I think knowing the format of the link is essential for those who know the details of links should look need to know. Frankly, I don’t.

What you post looks like what I see when I use Scrivener to create a link to a document, e.g.


When that link is in Apple Notes, and I click on it in two cases (Scrivener running, and Scrivener not running) it works as expected by opening the document with one click of the mouse.

I didn’t try other external apps. What external app you using? Not sure it matters, but asking none-the-less. Does that app have full disk access?

I’m noticing some “flakiness” with System Accessibility which seem repaired on reboot. Does the same thing happen after a re-boot?

Many other apps like DevonThink, Bear. Yes, they all have full disk access and all links in all apps work fine (for example Bear to DevonThink). It’s just the Scrivener request for confirmation

thank you

Other than to check the actual macOS permissions on the linked document, I’m outa ideas.

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Perhaps one of the “Behavior” settings in Preferences makes a difference. The Manual might elaborate on each option.

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OK, thank for for giving it some thought

Without knowing the precise wording and origination of the confirmation message, it is hard to say. But if I had to guess, it sounds like macOS is having troubles remembering that you want X program to “control” Scrivener, or something along those lines?

If so, there isn’t anything Scrivener can do about that, because until you get past that confirmation, Scrivener will be entirely unaware of the link event—otherwise this so-called security feature would be without purpose. It is also, to my knowledge, not a setting for the target application but the originator. I think these kinds of “control” events fall under the scope of “Automation”, in the privacy & security system preference pane.

One thing you might double-check is to make sure Scrivener is installed correctly. If it is not, then each time it launches it does so in a sort of “sandbox” that is randomised every time, meaning it’s never the same program twice from the standpoint of stuff like authorisation.


I don’t see Scrivener in the automation section of sys pref security and privacy. It is not present as either a stand-alone app or in any of the lists of apps that other apps can access.
thank you

All right, well I personally have never seen an automation confirmation on an x-scrivener-item link, so I don’t even know if that’s the problem. Like I say we’re kind of just firing shotguns off into the void without knowing what error/dialogue you are actually looking at.

thank you.

This is the finder window that opens. It seems that this happens when Scrivener is not already running. Otherwise no problem.

To make the link functional again

  • i click on EITHER confirm or cancel
  • I re-click on the link

Are you using the version that Apple sells, that has limitations imposed upon it so that it is not allowed to use the file system without dialogue box approval?

If so, first try the Scrivener ▸ Authorize Folder Access... menu command, and add any degree of blanket authorisation you’re comfortable with. For example, I find the concept of sandboxing unnecessarily paranoid, so my comfort level would be to choose the entire disk and never bother with issues like this again.

Secondly you could download and install the direct-sale version, which may detect your MAS receipt automatically and unlock. If that’s preferable overall, this knowledge base article on migrating to the direct-sale version will help you get your settings, templates and stuff copied to the right location.

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thank you @AmberV
I tried Scrivener ▸ Authorize Folder Access… although the parent folder was already included.
I think it’s the direct sale version. That’s always my choice so the developer gets all the income.

@AmberV Is there not a way to tell difference licence basis?

It’s definitely not the direct-sale version if you can even see that menu command. It is only present in the sandboxed version. Another tell is whether the main Scrivener menu contains commands for registration and checking for manual updates, two things which will not appear in the Apple store version.

Is there not a way to tell difference licence basis?

Not as reliably as with the above described commands in the main Scrivener menu. Yes, the precise build version will be different in the About box, and maybe sometimes the official release number, but as these change constantly it is easier to just see whether or not your software has sandboxing vs registration and update checking.

Look in the Apple App store and see if purchased?

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If I go to the app store, I see “open” which I presume means it’s an app store version. I don’t see any registration or update menu item.
Terribly sorry for having misled you @AmberV and @rms
I will install the direct sales version and hopefully no problems because I have a lot of work to finish with Scrivener
thank you both very much

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Okay, hopefully that explains the problem. Perhaps the authorisation override only works if the software is already running, which could explain why once you click any button at all it works fine. Otherwise clicking Cancel and having it work fine the second time wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

If I go to the app store, I see “open” which I presume means it’s an app store version.

Unfortunately that isn’t a reliable indicator as the button just blindly looks for something called “/Applications/Scrivener.app” on the disk.

The manual update and registration menu commands being missing are confirmation enough. Apple would in fact reject the software if we left all of the Paddle and automatic updater code in.

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I am VERY surprised I would have the apple version for the reasons mentioned above.
Update and Registration should under Scrivener or Help, right ? I am confused: I see a “keep up to date menu item”.