Installing on Additional Computers

To check that you can install Scrivener or Scapple on another Mac without purchasing an additional licence, please review the terms of the End User Licence Agreement. If you purchased from Apple's Mac App Store, you will need to review their EULA. Our licences are only valid for a single platform, so if you have a licence for the Mac version, it cannot be used to install Scrivener on a Windows computer.

Mac App Store Version

If you purchased Scrivener or Scapple from Apple through the App Store then you will need to install the software on the additional Mac via the App Store app. You will need to be signed in to the store with the same Apple ID. You can view your account and click on the download icon next the application that you want to install. For more detailed instructions, see Installing Scrivener for macOS (Mac App Store Edition).


If you purchased from our website, all you need to do is download Scrivener or Scapple, install it as described in our installation instructions article, then use your email address and your existing licence code to activate. If you have lost your registration details for either program, you can retrieve them using our Lost Licence Recovery page.

After you install the application on the second Mac, it will open in trial mode until you click on Enter Licence to input your registration details. Alternatively you can go to Scrivener/Scapple ▸ Enter Licence.

Deactivating the Old Machine

If you are moving from one computer to another (rather than expanding to owning two computers) it is a good idea to deactivate Scrivener or Scapple on the old Mac (this does not apply to App Store purchases). Simply go to Scrivener/Scapple ▸ Deactivate Licence. Once deactivated the application will revert to trial mode.

Transferring Scrivener's Preferences

To transfer your Scrivener Preferences to the new Mac, follow the steps below:

  1. On the first computer, launch Scrivener and go to Scrivener ▸ Settings...
  2. At the bottom of the preferences window, click on the Manage… drop-down menu and then select Save Preferences to File.
  3. Save the file and move it to your second computer using whichever method you prefer.
  4. Next, use Scrivener ▸ Reveal Support Folder to locate your Scrivener application support folder on both computers. Once you have the folder open quit Scrivener on both Macs. Copy the contents of the original support folder onto the new Mac, and into the same location. It might take a while to complete the transfer, particularly if you have not changed the default backup location and your backups are stored there.
  5. Launch Scrivener on the second computer. Go to Scrivener ▸ Settings…, click the Manage… dropdown and select Load Preferences from File. Find the file you created in step 2. You may discard the file once this is finished.

Transferring Files

Your Scrivener projects and Scapple boards are stored separately from your applications. If they are not stored on a cloud-sync service then you will have to transfer them to your new Mac, just as you would any other files. To find all the Scrivener projects on your Mac go to File ▸ Find All Projects in Spotlight, or if you purchased from the Mac App Store and that menu item is not there then you can type “kind:Scrivener Project” (or "kind:Scapple Board") into Spotlight to quickly find all of your files. For Scrivener you can also transfer your existing back up files, if they are not located in your application support folder. To locate where your backups are stored go to Scrivener ▸ Settings... ▸ Backup then click Open backup folder…

Scratchpad: If you wish to copy Scrivener's Scratchpad note files, go to Scrivener ▸ Settings... ▸ General and choose Scratchpad from the list. By default they will be in a folder called "~/Documents/Scrivener Scratchpad Notes". If you use cloud-sync sharing you might consider setting your Scratchpad location to your cloud folder on all computers, so that you can share notes automatically.

That’s it! You should now have both Macs set up identically.