Computer Follies 2: Scrivener Crash-Fixes for El Capitan

Last night, Scrivener started acting up again, particularly when I put it in full-screen mode. It would crash on entry into full-screen and, after that, crash on launch.

At the end of my own capabilities, I put in a ticket with Literature & Latte to try to get the matter resolved. This morning, I got a response that suggested I try the fixes I’d already tried. But fortunately, the message also contained another email address for escalating the problem if the quick-fix didn’t solve it.

I heard back promptly from the second email account, from a wonderful soul by the name of Astrid.

As it happens, the alternative fix she suggested in light of the full-screen crashes solved my problems, as near as I can tell, so I thought I’d share it here in case anyone else is having the same trouble.

Hi Lisa,

It sounds as though your project may be affected by a different problem in Mac OS X.  There appears to be a problem in Mac OS X 10.11.x, in which Apple’s full screen mode has become noticeably less reliable on some systems (causing problems in multiple applications, not just Scrivener).  When you close a project, Scrivener remembers whether it was in full screen mode at the time — if so, then when you re-open the project it returns to full screen mode, which triggers the crash again.

Please make sure that you have a backup of your project in its current state (creating a copy of it in Finder, or creating a zip file of it), and close Scrivener.  Right-click on the problem project in Finder and select “Show Package Contents” from the contextual menu. Drill down into the “Settings” sub-folder, and drag the file called “ui.plist” from there to a temporary location such as the Desktop. That will remove the settings that were in place when you last closed the project.  After you have done that, double-click on the project to load it, and you should find that it opens successfully.

You will need to avoid using full screen mode (or, at least, closing a project while in full screen mode) until Apple fixes the problem, as I’m afraid that the underlying issue is something beyond our control.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

If you continue to have problems after trying the workaround above, please do let us know, and include the crash log with your reply so that we can see what is happening.

Thank you for your interest in Scrivener.


So there’s that. Now I can finally, after a bit of fiddling, get back into my current projects. Hopefully if you’ve found your way here with the same problem, this fix will help you, too. If not, try emailing Literature & Latte’s customer service. Maybe Astrid or another such wizard can help you out.

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