Why won't the program accept my license?

Here are a few things to check if you are receiving an error upon trying to activate Scrivener or Scapple with your license code.

Are you running the correct version of the software? (Scrivener only*)

Check that the version of the software you have installed is the one for which you have a license. For major upgrades, we require that users obtain a new license. So if you have a license for Scrivener 2 for Mac, that code will not work to activate Scrivener 3 for Mac. Likewise, a Scrivener 1 for Windows license will not work to activate Scrivener 3 for Windows. If you still have your purchase confirmation email, check which version of the software is listed there. Alternatively, you can fill out our Lost License Recovery form to be sent a record of all of your licenses.

To check what version of Scrivener you're running, use the Check for Updates... command (under the Help menu in Windows or the Scrivener menu in Mac). If you find you are require an older version of the software, you can download it from our Legacy Downloads page and use your existing license code to activate. Alternatively, learn how to upgrade to Scrivener 3 at a discount for Mac or Windows.

*This doesn't (yet) apply to Scapple, as the current version is still 1.x for both platforms.

Are there any spaces or typos in your license code? Did you include the hyphens?

When entering your license code, ensure you are not omitting the hyphens or adding any spaces before or after the code. This can happen especially when copying and pasting the code into the text field, so it's a good idea to check. You'll want to carefully compare the code with the one on your purchase confirmation email to ensure you haven't made any mistakes when typing it in.

Did you purchase a license for the correct operating system?

We've often run into cases where users have accidentally purchased a license for the wrong operating system. A Scrivener/Scapple for Mac license will not work to activate Scrivener/Scapple for Windows, and vice versa, so please check your purchase confirmation email carefully to make sure you've purchased the correct license. If you notice you've made this mistake, please contact us and we'll get it sorted for you.

Do you have the right system requirements to run Scrivener/Scapple?

You'll notice on our store pages for Scrivener and Scapple that we have included the system requirements for running our software beneath the "Buy Now" buttons. These requirements are as follows (note that the "+" symbol here means "or newer"):

  • Scrivener for Mac: macOS 10.13+
  • Scapple for Mac: macOS 10.15+
  • Scrivener for Windows: Windows 8+ (32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Scapple for Windows: Windows 10+ (64-bit)

Also on Windows, please ensure you are running .NET Framework 4.6.2+ as this is required for license activation.

If you are running an older operating system and you have a license for an older, compatible version of Scrivener, visit our Legacy Downloads page to download previous versions of the software. (The exception to the license rule is Scrivener 2.9 for Mac, which is free to run without a license on macOS 10.11 and older.) You will also find a download link for Scapple 1.2.6 on this page, which is the last version of Scapple compatible with Windows 8+ and 32-bit systems.

Do you have an internet connection? Are you running any VPNs or proxies?

Scrivener and Scapple don't require an internet connection to run, but they do require an internet connection for license activation. Unfortunately, we have no way of circumventing this.

If you are running any VPNs or proxies, try temporarily disabling those while you activate Scrivener and Scapple to ensure the software is able to connect to the licensing servers. Once you've successfully activated, you can turn those back on and/or disable your internet access (if you prefer to write sans wifi).

Have you checked all of the above but you're still running into problems?

So we can investigate further, please contact us with a screenshot of what you are entering in the email/license fields and the error message you are receiving afterwards. Be sure to also let us know what you have already tried in an attempt to fix the issue.