Installing on Additional Computers

For whether the additional computer is eligible for installation without purchasing an additional licence, please review the terms of the user licence agreement. If you purchased from Apple, you will need to review their licence for purchased software. (Please note that a licence is 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 machine.)

The procedure depends on whether you purchased from us, or Apple through the Mac App Store. But either way, it is generally easier (and sometimes necessary) to just install it on the new computer, rather than bother with trying to transfer it from one to the other. But if your Internet connection is spotty, you could try dragging it from one Applications folder to another after hooking the computers together in some fashion. For the MAS version this is impossible. You must always re-download the program on the computer you wish to install it on. You cannot archive MAS applications for backup on any computer but the one you originally downloaded them on.


For the standard version, all you need to do is download the application and install it, just like you did the first time, using the registration information and instructions that were sent to you in the invoice. So have that handy. Here is the download link, and full installation instructions.

After you install Scrivener on the second machine, run the program once to enter your serial number, which you can find in the original invoice email that was sent to you at the time of purchase (unnecessary for Mac App Store customers).

For the Mac App Store, you will need to use Apple's software. Here are the full instructions

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 from the old machine (for the standard non-Apple version). You can do this in the main Scrivener > Registration... menu. Once deactivated it will revert to demo mode.


To transfer your settings, follow the below steps:

  1. Quit Scrivener on the second computer.
  2. On the first computer, load up Scrivener if necessary, and
    access the general application preferences (Cmd-,)
  3. At the bottom of the preferences palette, you will see a
    drop-down menu title “Manage…”. Click this and select “Save All Preferences…”
  4. Move the file to your second computer using whatever method
    you prefer
  5. Next, use the Scrivener > Reveal Support Folder in Finder menu command to locate your Scrivener Application Support folder on both computers. Copy the contents of the original support folder onto the new Mac into the same location. This should be done with Scrivener closed on both machines. It might take a while to complete the transfer, particularly if you have many backups.
  6. With the above folder copied over, start Scrivener on the
    second computer and access Preferences on it. Using the “Manage…” menu, select “Load All Preferences…” and choose the file you generated in step 3 above. You may discard the file once this is finished.

Scratch Pad: If you wish to copy our Scratch Pad note files, their location will be indicated in the General preferences pane, under "Notes location". By default they will be in a folder called "~/Documents/Scrivener Scratch Pad Notes". Dropbox savvy users might consider pointing their Scratch Pad location to Dropbox on all computers, so that they can share notes automatically.

That’s it! You should now have both computers set up identically. If you wish to copy over your existing projects, you will have to use the Finder to find them and move them, as they are just ordinary files on your machine. If you never paid attention to where they went, they are most likely all located in your Documents folder.

It is not advisable to simply drag your preferences file between machines, from the ~/Library/Preferences folder. In addition to your preferences, it also stores data which is specific to each computer. While it probably will not hurt anything to do so, you’ll most likely end up with a larger preference file than you require.