Installing Scrivener or Scapple for Windows

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

Whether you are installing the trial version of Scrivener for Windows or you have already purchased the program, please follow these installation instructions. Note that if you already have the Scrivener for Windows trial installed, you do not need to install the program again after purchasing. Instead, use the Help > Buy Now... menu command within the program, then skip to step 5 in this article.

  1. Download the software's installer by clicking the DOWNLOAD button on our Scrivener or Scapple download page. Alternatively, click the link in the confirmation email you received upon purchase. (If you require a 32-bit version of Scrivener, you can select it by clicking the downward arrow next to "Windows 64-bit". For 32-bit versions of Scapple, see our Legacy Downloads page.)

    Screenshot of the download page on and the Scrivener-installer.exe file in the browser's download list

  2. Your download will begin immediately. When it's finished, you can open the "Scrivener-installer.exe" file from your browser's download list as shown in the screenshot above, or from your Downloads folder in File Explorer.

  3. Follow the setup wizard instructions, which will include accepting the license agreement. When asked where to install Scrivener, it's best to keep the default location of C:\Program Files\Scrivener3.

  4. Once installation is complete, you can find a shortcut to Scrivener on your desktop (if you selected that option at the end of the setup wizard), or you can open Scrivener from its installation folder in Program Files.

  5. Upon opening the program, you will be prompted with a message stating that you are in trial mode (or that your trial has expired, if you've already run through your 30 day limit).

    Screenshot of the trial mode message in Scrivener

  • If you would like to activate your license right away, click the "Enter License..." button on this message. Then, enter your email address and the license code that was sent to you by email upon purchase.
  • If you do not yet have a license, you can try out Scrivener by clicking the "Continue Trial" button. The trial version is exactly the same as the full version, except it expires after 30 days of use.
  • If you would like to purchase a license, click the "Buy Now" button on the trial message to open the purchase wizard. Scrivener will use your new license to unlock the program automatically when you complete your purchase.

That's it! If your license was not accepted in step 5, please see this knowledge base article for help. If you run into any other problems during installation, contact technical support.