Scrivener Keeps Freezing or Crashing? Here is the Real Fix

September 25, 2023 1.7K views

Scrivener is an overall efficient and useful tool for writers and researchers, but sometimes Scrivener keeps freezing and crashing. This problem frustrates writers, thereby hampering their productivity and causing data loss. While some users may be able to solve the problems, others cannot without a proper troubleshooting guide. We are here to provide you with that in the article below. Keep reading to find useful information.

Part 1: Known Issues for Scrivener Crashes & Solutions

1. Crashes when opening large projects

Crashes when opening large projects in Scrivener refer to instances where the Scrivener software unexpectedly closes or becomes unresponsive when attempting to open a project that contains a significant amount of data. This can be frustrating for users, as it disrupts their workflow and potentially puts their work at risk.

Several factors can contribute to these crashes. These include:

  • Resource Limitations: Large projects with numerous documents, images, and media files may exceed the memory or processing capabilities of the user's computer, causing Scrivener to crash.

  • Outdated Software: Using an outdated version of Scrivener might result in compatibility issues with newer operating systems or hardware configurations.

  • Corrupted Project Files: If the project files become corrupted, it can cause Scrivener to crash when attempting to open them.

  • System Settings or Configuration Issues: Certain system settings or configurations can affect Scrivener's performance, especially when dealing with large projects.

  • Network or External Drive Issues: If the project is stored on a network drive or external storage device, issues with connectivity or access permissions can lead to crashes.

Possible solutions:

  • Update Scrivener:

Ensure you have the latest version of Scrivener installed. Developers often release updates to fix bugs and improve performance. If you think your Scrivener software is out of date, you can update it from within the program by going to the upper menu > Help > Check for Updates.

It will automatically check any available updates and will install them on your PC.

When it is done installing updates, it will show a pop-up, as shown in the below screenshot. After the process has been completed, you will no longer face the problem of Scrivener keeps freezing.

  • Check System Requirements:

Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements for running Scrivener. You can find this information on the Scrivener website.

  • Check Project Size:

Large projects can be resource-intensive. If your project is very large (with numerous documents and media files), it may be pushing the limits of your system's capabilities.

  • Backup and Rebuild Project:

Before attempting this, make sure you have a backup of your project. In Scrivener, go to File > Back Up > Back Up To...

The program will ask you where you want to back up your project and files. Choose a location on your PC and continue with the process. It will back up your project.

After backing up, try creating a new project and importing the documents from your large project.

  • Clean Up Unused Files:

Go through your project and remove any unused or unnecessary files, such as duplicate documents or media files you no longer need.

  • Split the Project:

If possible, consider breaking up the project into smaller, more manageable sections. You can then work on each section separately and compile them together when needed.

  • Disable Non-Essential Background Processes:

Close any unnecessary applications or processes that might be using up system resources. You can do this by going to the Task Manager on your PC and then selecting and ending tasks you no longer need to be running in the background.

  • Contact Scrivener Support:

If none of the above steps work, reach out to Scrivener's official support channels. They may have specific advice or solutions for your particular issue. You can contact Scrivener support from within the program.

All you have to do is go to Help > Support, and it will open the Scrivener support forum on your web browser, where you can consult several resources about your problem and can also talk to support personnel.

  • Check User Forums:

If you can’t find your problem listed on the Scrivener forum, check if other Scrivener users have experienced similar issues on official forums or community sites. They may have found a solution or workaround.

2. Crashes when loading fonts

Crashes of Scrivener when loading fonts typically refer to situations where the Scrivener software unexpectedly closes or becomes unresponsive while attempting to use or access specific fonts that are not normally used by writers. This issue can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Corrupted Font Files: If one or more of the font files on your system are corrupted, it can lead to crashes when Scrivener tries to load or use them.

  • Incompatible Fonts: Some fonts may not be compatible with Scrivener, especially if they have specific features or attributes that the software does not support.

  • Font Cache Issues: Problems with the font cache, which is a database that stores information about available fonts on your system, can lead to crashes.

  • Insufficient System Resources: If your computer is low on memory (RAM) or processing power, it may struggle to handle certain fonts, leading to crashes.

Possible solutions:

To address crashes related to loading fonts in Scrivener, you can try the following steps:

  • Update Fonts:

Ensure that the fonts you're using are up-to-date. Outdated or poorly designed fonts may cause issues.

  • Clear Font Cache:

Clearing the font cache on your system can sometimes resolve font-related issues. The process for doing this can vary depending on your operating system.

  • Reinstall Problematic Fonts:

If you suspect a specific font is causing the issue, try reinstalling it from a reliable source.

  • Use System Fonts:

If possible, try using system default fonts instead of custom or downloaded fonts to see if the issue persists.

  • Update Scrivener:

Ensure that you have the latest version of Scrivener installed, as updates may include fixes for font-related issues.

3. Crashes when working on a compile format

Crashes in Scrivener when working on a compile format occur when the Scrivener software unexpectedly closes or becomes unresponsive while the user is trying to format and export their writing project into a specific file format (e.g., PDF, Word document, eBook, etc.).

This usually happens when you are trying to export bigger files that have images and multiple fonts in them. This causes Scrivener to use multiple computer resources, which then causes the program to crash, and this is the reason Scrivener keeps freezing during compilation.

This can happen due to:

  • Corrupted Project Files: If the project files become corrupted or there are inconsistencies in the project's structure, it can cause Scrivener to crash during the compilation process.

  • Resource Limitations: The compilation process can be resource-intensive, especially for large projects with complex formatting requirements. If the computer lacks sufficient memory (RAM) or processing power, it may struggle to handle the compilation task.

  • Conflicting Compile Settings: Certain combinations of compile settings or customizations may lead to unexpected behavior or crashes. It's important to review and test compile settings carefully.

  • Incompatible or Outdated Plugins: Third-party plugins or extensions used in conjunction with Scrivener's compile function may not be compatible or may need updates.

Possible solutions:

  • Update Scrivener:

Make sure you have the latest version of Scrivener installed, as updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements.

  • Backup Your Project:

Always create a backup of your project before attempting to compile. This way, you can easily restore your work if something goes wrong.

  • Check Compile Settings:

Review and test your compile settings to ensure they are configured correctly and do not conflict with each other. To update your compiler settings, you will have to go to the File option on the menu.

In the file option, you will see Compile. Click on it.

On the next screen, click the Gear icon and click Edit Format. From here, you can update the settings of your compiler so you can solve the problem of your Scrivener keeps freezing.

  • Limit Resource Usage:

Close any unnecessary applications or processes to free up system resources during the compilation process. You can also temporarily disable any third-party plugins or extensions to see if they may be contributing to the issue.

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Part 2: Where Do I Report Bugs to Developers

If the readers encounter bugs that are not included in the known issues, you should guide them to report bugs to the developers. To report these bugs to developers, you can visit the official Scrivener website and then report the issue following the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Visit the Bug Reporting Page

Go to the official Literature & Latte website's bug reporting page by following this URL. The URL for the bug reporting page is typically provided by the developer on their official website or in the software's documentation.

Step 2: Provide Detailed Information

You will see a form available on this page where you can report your bug by providing all the details that are asked. When reporting a bug, it's crucial to be as detailed as possible. Refer to the screenshot below to see which information you will need to provide.

Step 3: Submit the Bug Report

Once you've filled out all the necessary information, submit the bug report through the provided form on the bug reporting page. Click the Submit button to submit this report.

Step 4: Follow Up

If the developers require further information or have a solution, they may contact you via the email address you provided in the bug report.

Keep in mind that the bug-reporting process may vary depending on the developer's policies and procedures. Additionally, you can check for any updates or announcements on their official website or forums.

Part 3: Tips for Using Scrivener and Preventing Crashing

Whether you are working on a bigger project or just a short story, you can prevent all the crashes and freezing from happening. All you have to do is follow some of the valuable tips mentioned below:

1. Regularly Update Scrivener  

Before you start your project on it, make sure you have the latest version of Scrivener installed. Developers release updates to address bugs and improve stability, which will automatically help you prevent the Scrivener keeps freezing.  

2. Optimize Project Size

If you notice that your project is getting bigger and bigger and might cause issues with Scrivener, make sure to break it up into smaller sections or use Scrivener's tools to organize and manage your content effectively.

3. Use Compact Mode  

When working on a specific document, use Scrivener's Compact Mode to reduce the load on system resources. This mode will utilize minimum computer resources to help you work on Scrivener without getting distracted by crashes.

4. Avoid Excessive Formatting

While Scrivener supports rich formatting with multiple formatting options available, try your best to avoid overloading your documents with excessive styles or complex formatting.

5. Manage Images and Media

Media and image files are the biggest reason your Scrivener will start freezing and crashing. So, be sure to optimize images and media files before importing them into your project to reduce strain on system resources.

6. Regularly Back Up Your Projects

Create backups of your projects at regular intervals. Backing up your project ensures you have a safe copy in case of unexpected crashes.

Part 4: A Free and Stable Writing Tool - WPS Office

While Scrivener can be one of the best programs to manage writing projects, it can cause problems such as the ones mentioned above. It takes up multiple computer resources at a time, which results in the Scrivener keeps freezing and crashing.

To eliminate this problem, we will recommend you use a way better alternative to Scrivener Writer. This software tool is WPS Office Suite. WPS Office is a completely free and stable writing tool used for writing, managing data, and creating presentations. In short, it’s an all-in-one office tool, just like Microsoft Office.

You can use WPS Writer to write and manage your writing projects efficiently. Here are some of the pros WPS Office has to offer as compared to Scrivener.

Pros of WPS Office:

  • Free download and free to use Word, Excel, and PPT. Powerful PDF toolkit

  • Rich template store

  • Rich functions and features

  • Lightweight software suite

  • Supports online documents

  • Free download and use

  • Compatibility with multiple file formats

  • User-friendly and easy to use interface


1. Where can I find additional support and resources for using Scrivener?

Visit the official Scrivener website for tutorials, user forums, and customer support to get assistance and tips. Remember that Scrivener has a learning curve, but investing time in understanding its features can significantly enhance your writing process.

2. Can I compile my Scrivener project into different formats for publishing?

Yes, the "Compile" feature allows you to customize the formatting and structure of your work for various output formats.

Scrivener Keeps Freezing – Solved

Scrivener can be the best software program to manage writing projects. Many writers, journalists, and bloggers are comfortable using it during writing. The only problem it faces is crashes and freezing. We have already mentioned multiple ways you can handle this problem on your own.

However, it can be frustrating for some users, especially when they are so invested in their work and the crash occurs. To avoid this, as mentioned earlier, you can use a way better software tool named WPS Office. This software suite can be helpful in managing writing tasks.

The best part about this software is that it is completely free to use and takes up the minimum possible PC resources because of its lightweight nature. Therefore, it can be the best alternative to Scrivener if your Scrivener keeps freezing.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.