Scrivener won't accept my serial number. What do I do?

If you purchase Scrivener to register it beyond the 30-day trial period, you will receive a serial number which must be entered into Scrivener to unlock it. The instructions on how to do this are contained in the receipt e-mail and also in Scrivener's Help file. If you have followed these instructions and you receive the "Invalid serial number or user name" error message (below), then hopefully the following information will help you troubleshoot the problem and get Scrivener up and running.



The serial number and name are tied together
Before continuing, it is important to understand that the serial number and the serial number name are tied together. When you purchase Scrivener, the serial number is generated using the name that you enter. This means that if you enter a different name when entering the serial number into Scrivener, or a variation on the name, then the serial number won't be recognised and you will receive the "invalid serial number" error message. For instance, if you buy using the name "Robert Smith" so that the serial number is generated against that name, if you then enter "Rob Smith" or "R. Smith" when entering the serial number into Scrivener, it won't be recognised.

If you receive the "invalid serial number" message, there are three things to try:

1. Check the Serial Number Name
Double-check that the serial number name you are entering into Scrivener appears exactly as it does in the order confirmation e-mail you received. If you find that you made an error when buying Scrivener so that the name does not appear in the confirmation e-mail as you expected it, e-mail Sales.

2. Check the Serial Number
If you are definitely entering the name exactly as it appears in the confirmation e-mail, check the serial number. It is usually best to copy and paste the serial number directly from your confirmation e-mail into the serial number text field in Scrivener. However, it is important to be careful when copying and pasting, because extra whitespace characters can sometimes get carried along, which can in itself invalidate the serial number - see below.

3. Check Whitespace When Copying and Pasting
The current version of Scrivener is rather fussy about the way a serial number gets entered. If there is any blank whitespace (such as a return, tab or space character) at either end of the serial number, then it won't be accepted, and you may encounter the "invalid serial number" message. Sometimes it is not obvious that any extra whitespace has been entered which can cause confusion. The next update of Scrivener will be more lenient in this regard, but for now you need to be extra careful when copying and pasting. Before copying, when selecting the serial number in the confirmation e-mail make sure that the selection does not extend beyond the last character. If it does, the return character that follows the serial number also gets copied, which will mean that it won't be recognised by Scrivener:


Make sure that the selection contains only the serial number before copying and pasting.


If the selection extends to the end of the line when you copy, the serial number will not be recognised by Scrivener.


If you are still experiencing problems even after making sure that you are doing all of the above, contact Sales.