Does anyone use Scrivener cross OS? I just got my first MacBook and installed Scrivener, but then because it's a newer version (3) it wants to update the Scrivener files. Which would be fine, but I still intend to use my Windows desktop to write when at home.

I can reach out to their support directly, but if any one here is already doing this; it seems to fall under writing software.

Can I upgrade my current project's file on my Mac and still use it with an earlier version of Scrivener on Windows?

3 Answers 3


No, it won’t work. There are workarounds (you can export to 2.0 format which would be compatible) but it’s not ideal.

You’re better off either not upgrading and staying on Mac 2.9 or moving your workflow to the MacBook.

I’d recommend the latter as there are some sweet features on version 3. Also Windows version is supposed to be released at some point in Q2 2019.

  • Thanks. Found a download for the v2 of scrivener. At this point, I can't switch fully to Mac. So I won't upgrade, I'll use the old version of scrivener until the new one is released for Windows. Q2 isn't promised. They expected it to be done in 18 originally. 6 months delay is not a good sign.
    – Kirk
    Feb 10, 2019 at 14:49
  • @Kirk You can also try out the current beta of v3 for Windows. (After backing everything up.) If that Windows version works for you, you could then use both OSs at the most recent versions. The Windows beta has been worked on for a year now, so it's relatively stable at this point. Feb 10, 2019 at 16:16
  • Still, they warn people not to. I've got my own software in beta, and I wouldn't put anything in it I wanted to be sure was safe. But it's good to know that exists.
    – Kirk
    Feb 10, 2019 at 19:35
  • Update for whoever might stumble upon this. Latest version of Mac won't run the old version 2 of scrivener. You have to pick a platform.
    – Kirk
    Oct 22, 2019 at 18:37

I would suggest backing up your project before attempting this. Here's a guide that explains how to sync between devices using Dropbox. Dropbox also has a recovery option in case something goes wrong. But don't bet your backup on Dropbox.


There's also the option to use the Windows Beta version of Scrivener 3. The beta is getting close to release and they're mostly working on bug fixes and the compiler.

As mentioned in the linked post, compiling is still a work in progress, so it's probably best to do all the compiling on Mac, but the beta should be fine for editing. Make sure to take frequent backups, just in case!

A few issues to be aware of in the current v12 beta
We still have aspects of the Compiler back-end to hook-up; however, the Compiler interface is now complete. So, feel free to post Compiler bugs as we'll be looking to close these out pretty quickly in the coming weeks. Then our focus will be on closing out on remaining reported bugs.

I use this version myself and have only run into a few very minor issues.

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