"Scrivener/Scapple can't be updated" error

If you run into an error when trying to update Scrivener or Scapple via the Help ▸ Check for Updates… command or the automatic update dialogue, we would suggest updating manually with a simple "overwrite" install. However, if the update dialogue box indicates that a full reinstall of the software is recommended, please proceed to the next section of this article.

To begin an overwrite install, first head to our Downloads page to download a fresh copy of Scrivener or Scapple for Windows.

Run the executable (.exe) file and follow the prompts to install the program (see Installing Scrivener or Scapple for Windows for more detailed instructions). This will overwrite your current copy of Scrivener or Scapple with the newest version of the program.

That's it! You should be good to go, but should this method fail, please follow the instructions in the next section to fully reinstall the software.

Uninstalling and Reinstalling

To uninstall your existing copy of Scrivener or Scapple, locate the uninstall.exe file in the program’s installation folder, which will typically be under C:\Program Files\Scrivener3 or C:\Program Files\Scapple.

Next, run the uninstall.exe file and follow the prompts (Note for Scrivener users: Before you run the uninstaller, you may want to back up your program settings using the instructions in the next section, as this process will reset Options to default.)

Once the program has been uninstalled, clear any existing executable files from your Downloads folder and download a fresh installer from our Downloads page. Run the installer and follow the prompts to install the latest version of the program.

If upon opening the program you are told you are in trial mode, simply click the Enter License... button on the trial message, then enter your email address and your license code to activate. If you have lost your license code, you can retrieve it using our Lost License Recovery page.

Backing Up Scrivener Settings

  1. Navigate to File ▸ Options… and click the Manage… dropdown menu at the bottom of the window.
  2. Select Save Options to File… from the Manage menu and choose a save location for the .prefs file.
  3. When the program is reinstalled, follow step 1 again.
  4. From the Manage menu, choose Load Options from File… and select the .prefs file you previously saved to re-import your settings.