Fixing "Not Responding" with Compatibility Settings

Although Scrivener and Scapple for Windows is compatible with all versions of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 10, some systems may require enabling "compatibility mode" due to specific conditions on those machines. On these machines, you may find that the software begins to launch but then shows "Not Responding."

Changing the compatibility settings for the application is fairly easy, but may require a little trial and error.

Screenshots in this article show Windows 10, but the process is the same for all versions of Windows.

UPDATE: This article addresses the matter of not responding when starting up. However, several users have recently reported it may lock up (show "Not Responding") at random times after the program successfully launches, and that would be a different problem.

In most cases this seems to be caused by a recent update to Avast anti-virus software. If you are running Avast and experiencing this problem, we recommend adding Scrivener or Scapple's installation directory to the list of exclusions in Avast. For Scrivener specifically, we also recommend excluding any directories on your hard drive that contain Scrivener projects, as Avast may be scanning those projects while they are open, resulting in the lockup. We are continuing to investigate this issue.

Open the Installation Directory

The first thing you will need to do is to use the system's file browser (called Windows Explorer) to navigate to the Scrivener or Scapple installation directory. On 32-bit systems, the installation directory is "C:\Program Files\Scrivener" or "C:\Program Files\Scapple". On 64-bit systems, the installation directory is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Scrivener" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\Scapple".

Open the Application's File Properties

Once you locate the installation directory, open it and find the Scrivener.exe or Scapple.exe file. It may not be showing the ".exe" extension, as the default settings in some versions of Windows hide known file extensions. But you will recognize the .exe file because it will have the application icon on it.

Right-click on the file and select "Properties."


Use the Compatibility Tab

Switch to the "Compatibility" tab of the properties dialog. Enable "Run this program in compatibility mode for." If the drop-down box just below the checkbox contains an option for your current operating system (for example, if you are running Windows 7, and the box contains an option for Windows 7), use this option. Otherwise, use whatever the top option is. Click "Apply" and then try launching the application.


If the software still does not launch, repeat the steps above, but choose a different operating system under the "Compatibility Mode" options. Continue until you have tried all of the available options. You can also try enabling "Run this program as an administrator.

If, after exhausting all of the options, the software still shows "Not Responding" when you attempt to launch it, try re-installing the application from a fresh download. If the problem persists, contact us as