After syncing on dropbox, it *always* scrambles the order of folders and chapters - please Help :D

Every time I sync between my desktop and laptop using Dropbox it will completely randomize the order of chapters, folders and the tiered structure of all files on the left hand bar.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there a ‘View’ setting to click to see the same view that I had meticulously organized? The only thing that it is doing correctly is saving the most recent files added–but they are just RNG sorted into a whole mess, like an automatic card deck shuffler at a casino table.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance!!!

Are you sure you’re looking at the binder, and not a collection (such as the one created when file changes are synced from iOS to desktop Scrivener)?

How are you syncing via Dropbox? What exact steps are you taking?

I click on the little “x” in the bottom right corner of the left-bar after syncing. To be sure, what are the steps to go to the Binder?


I followed online instructions several months ago to setup automatic syncing “Export to folder” and then checked the boxes so it syncs upon opening and closing. I make it a point to remember to close down Scrivener on my laptop before opening it on my desktop (and vice versa)

That’ll be the problem then. The external folder sync feature is for syncing with other programs, not for syncing two different projects together (even if they seem alike, two copies of the same project are technically different projects—witness the confusion that erupts because file A over here is actually file D internally over there). You should have been strongly warned not to do this with dialogue boxes, when setting this up, but maybe you inadvertantly found a way around that somehow.

At any rate, if you want to sync a project between two computers using Dropbox, you don’t need a medium in the middle: just put the project in Dropbox (Dropbox is the medium). Now both computers can open and work with the “same” copy. There are a few guidelines to pay heed to, but they are all pretty straightforward and easy to adhere to. You’ve got the right idea to make sure it is closed before switching computers, and on top of that you just have to make sure Dropbox always finishes copying the project up/down, before shutting down the computer or opening the project on the other end. Always stick to those rules and you shouldn’t run into any issues.

I do also recommend keeping your automatic backup folders outside of Dropbox if you use this method. It can mean worlds of pain if you keep everything in one system and that system fails you. Just spoke with someone in tech support that was cleaning up their cloud drive and forgot they had everything stored there relating to Scrivener, backups, live projects and all. Seconds later all of their equipment updated to the deletion request from the server and it was all gone. Keep those eggs in separate baskets. (To be fair, it is a lot harder to do this with Dropbox than what they were using, since Dropbox has an undelete feature, but I think it is still a good policy.)

Hello AmberV,

Thanks so much for your reply, i really appreciate it. So you’re saying that to use dropbox i would simply manually drop saves in there when i wanted to sync. The issue i have is that i set it up to be an automatic “Export to folder”?

I solve this by removing that and simply dragging and dropping each time. Then i would be manually Opening a .scriv project from dropbox when i change computers?

Is there a guide or video of someone showing this?


Your project should live in your Dropbox folder, not elsewhere. By moving it there on one computer, and archiving all other copies that are outside the Dropbox folder on all of your computers, you will get what you need without further intervention.

Here’s how they outline setting it up for the first time using Dropbox; you might want to start over with your most recent copy, from whatever computer has that version. … c-services

This method is fully automatic, even more so than what you’re currently doing. Dropbox handles all of the hard work of uploading your work (it will even do so while you are working, continuously), and downloading it to the other computer automatically as well (again continuously if it is on). So much so that if you’re on a fast connection, you can close the project on one machine and by the time you have the other opened up it’s ready to go—no syncing is done by you or by Scrivener. All of that is done by Dropbox.

Perhaps think of it more simply if it helps: if you save a .docx file to a Dropbox folder then when you switch computers that same .docx is all downloaded and ready to go. You edit it, and then when you get back to the other machine the edits are all ready on your computer. Scrivener is a little more complicated in that its projects has dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands of little files and folders—but it’s the same basic principle that keeps your whole Dropbox folder in sync.

Yup. You could also keep things set up so the project loads automatically when you launch Scrivener—but if you do that just be a little more mindful of waiting for Dropbox to finish downloading the updated version of the project before launching Scrivener. Personally I would just handle it manually, but keep in mind that isn’t too difficult with the “recent projects” list in your file menu or on the template chooser window.