"Windows could not find "Scrivener.exe" - Scriv3

Hi, I’m not sure what’s happened. This morning I tried to run scrivener and all of a sudden I get this error message saying that “Windows is trying to locate Scrivener.exe” and giving me the option to locate it myself. I’ve tried to, however, I can’t see a Scrivener.exe in the scrivener folder, unless it’s under a different name.

Does anyone know the cause/solution for this?

I have yet to try to reinstall the program, since I’m unsure wether my writen documents would be safe or not.

Your work is stored separately from the Scrivener application.

The most likely cause of this problem is that your antivirus software has quarantined Scrivener. Please whitelist and try again.


I’m actually having a very similar issue. When I click on the Scrivener Windows 3 shortcut I get an error message saying exactly “The item “scrivener.exe” that this shortcut refers to has been changed or moved, so this shortcut will no longer work properly. Do you want to delete this shortcut?”

(I just opened Scrivener 3 a couple days ago without any issue, have not modified and changed anything at all so it shouldn’t be moved or deleted…?)

So I open my documents and try to click on the exact project I want to work on and I’m stopped by another error that says exactly: “This file does not have an app associated with it for performing this action. Please install an app or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Apps Settings page.”

(Again, just opened this app a few days ago without any issues. I have NOT uninstalled it. And it doesn’t show as being uninstalled in my apps folder, and it’s never before had an issue opening when I click directly on a project… so what gives?)

I’m really confused on how to fix this. :neutral_face: Sigh

Edited to add: Scrivener is whitelisted on my virus/firewall protection apps so that isn’t the issue. Weird. And I’m nervous about losing stuff if I uninstall and reinstall.

I had the same problem. My antivirus software has quarantined Scrivener 3 because it says it detected malicious software. I don’t want to whitelist it unless I am sure there is no actual threat. Can you explain why this happened?

I think the answer here has to reference the word, ‘community’ – twice.

The reason your antivirus fails and makes a false positive on Scrivener is that tries to understand by algorithms only the difference between bad behavior, and what could be a moment in a program that could look somewhat similar, and isn’t at all.

Nobody is that clever, that they can make foolproof algorithms like this.

A much more sound approach is to do what Norton does: make clever algorithms, but then check them – against reality. They do this by collecting results from most users of their software worldwide and in real time (if you agree – you always are asked to agree), so that they have a community picture of whether a software actually contains problems or not…

This works. And whatever problems Norton had more than a decade ago, simply haven’t existed since that time.

The other ‘community’ is right here, available for your reference. Outside of persons using known problematic virus software, there are no issues whatever with Scrivener. And there are many, many persons in this community.

I am confident that the Scrivener team uses best methods to assure they release only clean software. And I am confident that our community, besides my own internet protection (viruses are not the only, or largest problem these days) indicates that they are doing it ‘right’.

Hope this explanation helps the concern. Nothing is perfect in the world, and we can’t all afford to trace all the details of each thing either…maybe that community word would come in again, for enjoying what you have…best wishes

If you downloaded Scrivener from this site, there is no threat. Obviously we can’t vouch for downloads from other sources.

You should ask your antivirus vendor for an explanation: we have no control over their algorithms,


Thank you for such a full explanation. That makes sense.

Indeed, the anitivirus had quarantined a scrivener file:

IDP.Generic - QtWebEngineProcess.exe

Posting this just in case it helps the devs or anyone else suffering this “bug”.

There are several anti-virus suites that really seem to not like Qt files, which is really odd given how popular the Qt framework is among developers.

I would expect AV vendors to put the work in to find ways to avoid such common false positives, especially if they are going to charge end-users money for their product.