Downloading, Installing, and Registering Scrivener 3

If you don't already have Scrivener 3 on your Mac, you'll need to download and install it. To do that, you have two choices: Installing it from the Mac App Store, or installing it directly from Literature & Latte's website.

Choosing Where to Get Scrivener: App Store vs. Literature & Latte

While Apple makes installing from the App Store very easy, it forces you to take extra steps to get upgrade discounts, doesn't allow access to the 30-use free trial, may prevent certain features from working, and sometimes delays Scrivener updates. (For more info, check out this post on Literature & Latte's support site.) Installing Scrivener directly from Literature & Latte's website is not quite a simple as installing via the App Store, but I think it's worth it, especially since it means Literature & Latte keeps more of the purchase price. (And for a fantastic app at such a good price, I think they should get to keep it all.) NOTE: If you currently have Scrivener 2 installed, Literature & Latte recommends that you delete Scrivener 2 before downloading Scrivener 3. This will not delete your Scrivener projects. If you want to run both versions side by side (maybe to finish up a current project in version 2), or import your Scrivener 2 preferences (many, but not all, of them will copy over), check out L&L's upgrade guide.

Installing via the Mac App Store

Downloading Scrivener through the Mac App store is easier, but Apple has no way of providing the upgrade discount for those who purchased Scrivener 2 through the app store. Nor does it share purchaser info with Literature & Latte (the company behind Scrivener), so they can’t automatically send you a coupon. To get the upgrade discount, you can email L&L with proof of purchase for a previous version of Scrivener and they’ll send you a coupon to purchase Scrivener 3 through them directly at the reduced rate (see “Downloading (and Optionally) Purchasing the Scrivener Software” below). To add Scrivener through the Mac App Store, do the following.
  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Search for Scrivener. Make sure the developer is Literature & Latte. There are some look-alikes out there trying to trick you.
  3. Click the button to purchase Scrivener. The App Store handles downloading, installing, and registering Scrivener.
If you’re installing Scrivener through the Mac App store, you can skip the remainder of this lesson.

Downloading (and Optionally) Purchasing the Scrivener Software

The free trial of Scrivener is the full version of the software, but it expires after 30 uses if you don't provide a serial number as proof of purchase. You can either download the software to try before you buy (as outlined below), or go directly to purchase (step 5) to buy your serial number. If you haven’t done it already, here’s how to download the Scrivener software to your computer.
  1. Go to
  2. Click the Buy Now button if you’re ready to buy, or the Download Free Trial button if you want to wait and try it out first. If you’re waiting to purchase, skip to step 5. Literature and Latte home page
  3. For those purchasing, if you’re an existing Scrivener user, click the “Upgrade from an older version” link to get the software for $25. You’ll need the email address you used to purchase your previous version of Scrivener in order to confirm the discount. If you’re new to Scrivener, click Add to Basket. Purchase buttons on Literature and Latte purchase page
  4. Once the purchase goes though, you’ll receive a confirmation page and an email with the link to download the free trial, and the serial number to use to remove the expiration date.
  5. Click the link to download the file. The Scrivener.dmg file downloads to your computer, most likely to your Downloads folder.

Installing Scrivener

Here’s how to install Scrivener once you’ve downloaded the file.
  1. Click the Scrivener.dmg file in your Downloads folder in the Dock, or double-click it from a Finder window. Scrivener.dmg file displayed in Downloads in Dock
  2. Read through the license agreement and click Agree if you want to continue to install.
  3. Drag the Scrivener icon onto the Applications folder icon. Scrivener installs. Scrivener install window
  4. You can now open Scrivener from the Dock if an icon appeared there, from the Applications folder in Finder, or from Launchpad.

Registering/Paying for Scrivener

The free trial gives you 30 uses (opening and closing the software = 1 use) before it expires. When you're ready to commit—and to stop getting that pesky warning message when you first open the software—you'll need to purchase a registration code as shown in the steps below. Upon payment, you’ll receive a registration code via email with your unique serial number in the following format: SCRIV3MAC001-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX TIP: Save the serial number and name you registered under in a safe place. You’ll need both again if you install Scrivener on an additional computer in your household (which must also be a Mac), or if you have to reinstall after a hard drive failure, etc. To register your copy, do the following.
  1. Open Scrivener. You should get a “Scrivener is unregistered!” text box prompting you to pay and register. (If not, go to Scrivener>Registration.) If you let it go to the end of the free trial, you’ll receive a notice that the trial has expired and you must purchase the software to continue using it. Scrivener Trial expired window
  2. If you’ve already purchased Scrivener, click Enter License. Otherwise, click Buy Online and go through steps 2-4 in “Downloading (and Optionally) Purchasing the Scrivener Software” above.
  3. In the Serial Number text box, enter the serial number (or copy and paste from your confirmation email).
  4. Click Register. Once your information is authenticated, you can begin using Scrivener immediately, and you won’t receive the prompt to register anymore.

Video Review – 2:27 mins