Installing Scrivener or Scapple for macOS (Mac App Store Edition)

Note: For the sake of concision, we use the term "Scrivener" throughout this article, but note that these instructions apply equally to the Mac App Store version of Scapple for macOS unless otherwise stated.

If you purchased directly from us, please refer to the instructions for installing the web store version. This article refers to purchasing and installing from Apple's Mac App Store.

First, if you have been using the trial version of Scrivener for a time, and have decided to purchase the software via the Mac App Store, you will need to uninstall the trial copy you have already installed. This is because the App Store software is smart enough to know you have a copy of Scrivener installed, but not smart enough to know that it is a trial copy. It won't let you install a purchased version so long as the trial is on your computer. To uninstall the trial copy, close Scrivener and drag the Scrivener icon from your Applications folder to the Trash icon in the Dock, and empty the trash before you proceed (you may also need to restart your App Store software). Since your work is stored on your hard drive and not within the Scrivener application itself, this is always safe to do.

If you haven't tried out the software yet, we encourage you to download our free trial prior to making your purchase decision. The trial version is exactly the same as the full version, except it expires after 30 days of use.

Purchasing and Installing from the Mac App Store

  1. Purchase Scrivener by clicking on the buy button in the Mac App Store interface, which will appear as the price of the product (note that the price is in $CAD in the following screenshot -- the price will of course vary depending on what currency your country uses):

    Screenshot of the buy button below the Scrivener app in the Mac App Store

  2. After confirming your purchase, the Scrivener icon will load in your Launchpad. There will be a progress bar beneath the icon while it is installing -- you will need to wait until the software completely downloads before you can run it.

  3. Once the progress bar disappears, you can now click on the icon in Launchpad to load the program (and feel free to drag it to your Dock first if you'd prefer to have it there).

That's it! Your copy is fully registered and activated on this one machine.

Reinstalling or Installing Scrivener on Additional Macs

If you ever need to reinstall the software you may do so using the "Purchased" section in the App Store software. Sometimes this will involve deleting the existing version from your Applications folder first. If you are having difficulties getting the install button next to the Scrivener icon to light up, try emptying your Mac's Trash, logging out of your App Store account, restarting the App Store software, and then logging back in.

To install Scrivener on your other Macs, you will need to use the Mac App Store software on those machines to do so. Make sure you are logged in to the same Apple ID you used to purchase the application, then click on your Apple ID in the bottom left corner of the App Store screen to access the "Purchased" section of the store. Click the install button next to the Scrivener icon (it may look like a cloud with a little downward arrow on it, if you already had Scrivener downloaded on this computer at one point).

Installing Scrivener 2 (Not Applicable to Scapple)

Long time users may have noticed that Scrivener 2 is no longer available in the Mac App Store. This is because this version was superseded by Scrivener 3 back in November 2017, in part because Apple discontinued support for 32-bit applications like Scrivener 2 with its Catalina update. Therefore, for Mac App Store users with systems incapable of being updated to the minimum operating system for running Scrivener 3 (macOS 10.12), we have made Scrivener 2 available for free from our Legacy Downloads page.

If you are a Mac App Store user running macOS 10.12 or newer, you will need to upgrade to Scrivener 3. See our blog post on upgrading to Scrivener 3 at a discount for more information.