How to Transfer an Old Scrivener Project to Scrivener 3 (Windows)

If you’ve recently gotten a new Windows PC and upgraded to the latest version of Scrivener, as I have, you’ll need to make sure you use the proper set of steps when transferring your old Scrivener projects to ensure that all the data is copied as it should be. If you copy just the file you can click to open on your old PC, it will not open on your new one. Likewise, if you try to copy over the rest of the contents within the folder where this file resides and make a mistake, you may end up with a project that opens but has data missing, like chapters with no text inside. Luckily, I found a way that’s easy as long as you follow the steps below.

First, find the file location for the project you want to transfer. If you’re not sure, open your old version of Scrivener, open the project, and go to File, then Save As. This should pull up a window that shows you the file location at the top.

Scrivener Save As window, showing a file in a location
Here you can see that the location for this file is Documents under “This PC”

Now the important thing to know is that you need this entire folder, not just the file(s) inside it. My suggestion is that you use Microsoft OneDrive, which will let you easily transfer the files across multiple computers. Just click and drag or copy and paste the folder over there.

A window showing OneDrive with a freshly copied folder inside

Then, go to your new PC, open OneDrive, and click into that folder. At this point, you should click on the file within that folder and open it. At this point, Scrivener should open a window that gives you the option to have the project updated to the new format.

A window giving the option to update a Scrivener project

Click Ok here and on the next window, and you’re good to go!

6 thoughts on “How to Transfer an Old Scrivener Project to Scrivener 3 (Windows)

    1. Sadly, I’ve been too busy writing lately to really dive into it as much as I’d like! When I get time, I’m planning to do a post comparing this version to the old one. As of now, though, I can say that making scenes and chapters and taking snapshots works the same. That’s all I’ve done so far! We’ll see how the compile goes when it’s time for that.

      I will say I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could upgrade for free. That’s really nice of them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve created a new “character template for Scrivener” that would benefit from a thorough test on a Windows PC. It’s not your run-of-the-mill profile. Instead, it’s a comprehensive platform for dynamic character development. If that’s of interest, when time permits, let me know and I’ll share a free copy for your feedback.


      2. It’s a work in progress. This is version 4.0, so that suggests time is less important than getting it right. Thanks, Shannon!


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