Any plans to move to iCloud sync?

Dropbox seems so precarious, and nowhere near as seamless as iCloud.

Does anyone know if it will eventually move to iCloud? And why it doesn’t have an iCloud sync option already?

If you search the forum you will find several explanations why iCloud Drive can’t be used at present, and there is also info in the knowledge base if you search there. Apple has so far not provided an API that can ha dle the complex file structure of Scrivener projects. So for the near future, the answer is no.

Surely it is possible? I have both Scrivener and Ulysses on my iPad. Ulysses is very similar to Scrivener, and syncs like a dream on iCloud.

They’re similar but quite different. See sections #13-15 in the following kb article: … g-with-ios

Also see the developer’s (KB) recent forum post here:

Thanks for the links. It’s still a bit confusing, though.

On Ulysses, the sync does bring up conflicted copies in the rare event that there are conflicts.

The major argument is usually that a Scrivener project is not a single file but a folder containing both subfolders and a more or less infinite number of files in these. The cloud service must make sure that an exact copy of all of it is present on both the computer, the dropbox server and the iDevice. With iCloud Drive there is an option not to download everything from the server but only the files the system think you need, and this is the default setting. For a Scrivener project this could create disaster.

Worth noting what the developer wrote in one of those threads listed above:

" I do have plans to make it so that our iOS version can open and desktop sync projects using iCloud Drive too, and I think I have a solution for this. However, it will take some care on the part of the user, and there is a lot of work involved on my end to get this working (I’ve been going back and forth with Apple over a solution for this for months, picking apart the technical details–the Apple engineer also points out how iCloud and the general frameworks aren’t designed around the sort of thing Scrivener does). So, this won’t see the light of day until sometime later on in 2018. It’s being investigated, though."

Also - although I guess there’s always a first time and I risk tempting the Fates - I’ve used Mac/iPad syncing via Dropbox for months and never had a single issue.

I’ve used since iOS Scrivener was released and have never had any problems or issues. And I have used Dropbox for years before that, without a single problem.

But Ulysses is exactly the same in this sense: groups, sub groups, files of infinite variety.

No, not from what I understand when I search their support. I am not talking about the structure you see in the Binder in Ulysses and Scrivener but the way all the text is saved, behind the scene. In Scrivener, every single document in the Binder within a project, and every entry in the Research area, is a single file, residing within a subfolder under the project main folder. The settings in Preferences, the settings you have in Compile, etc, it’s all separate files in the Finder file system, which means that even if all hell break lose and the project is severely corrupted, the text you have written will most likely be possible to salvage as it is only a lot of .rtf files.

Isolated from the whole post, I can see how the clause “…At this point, because iCloud (unlike Dropbox) doesn’t make conflicted copies…” and its paragraph can be a cause for confusion. I’m sure KB meant that to be read with the context of the entire post in mind. In other words, it’s not that iCloud can’t make conflicted copies (of this, we can trust that KB is intimately aware) but that the tools available to accomplish that are unreliable and/or unusable for Scrivener’s coding/design. Again, although similar, Ulysses and Pages (in example) are quite different from Scrivener.

I’m not a coder, so it took several reads and bouts of research for me to somewhat understand the topic. Using an easier (for me) route, I’d already accepted L&L’s explanation at face value before trying to understand the “why not” of iCloud. I asked myself this after doing research regarding KB and the L&L team, and subsequently using Scrivener–Does it make any sense that he/they would avoid using iCloud without good reason? That was an easy one for me to answer. The reputation for KB’s and L&L’s coding prowess, products, trustworthiness and support is easily found.

Side note: I don’t use Dropbox and wouldn’t use iCloud if it were available. I use iTunes to transfer between desktop and iOS devices. It works well.

One does suspect that someone who has been deeply immersed in the Mac OS development environment for more than 10 years at this point might have a pretty good idea what it can and can’t do.


Maybe this issue could be addressed in a pinned FAQ - it seems like every week or two there’s a forum post from someone who hasn’t done their homework complaining that they can’t use iCloud/Google Drive/ Drive/private WebDAV server/sftp etc. etc.

This actually saved my bacon once, the one time I had the weirdest error on mobile. I had written about 500 more words on a scene that already had about 500 words written earlier.

Suddenly it all disappeared - all ~1000 words, the old and the new. The scene was blank. I searched for that text everywhere. Trash, other locations, you name it. It was 100% gone. I was using the Apple iPad keyboard and the only combination I could think to do this kind of a wipe would be Select All then hit the Spacebar (which I absolutely didn’t do). The whole scene was gone.

So I quit Scrivener iOS without syncing, and managed to navigate to the rtf on Dropbox, and was at least able to retrieve my first 500 words (which had been synced and saved).

Very weird loss, it hasn’t thankfully happened before or since, but at least I only lost 50% of my scene.

Can’t find a way to post a new topic. :blush: Question: I’ve followed instructions for syncing, and am wondering is “sync” just storing main files on dropbox? I mostly want to sync between laptop and desktop. But don’t’ like leaving files on DB.

Thank you.

In the topic list there is a big orange “New Topic” button right above the topic listings. Believe it or not, it is surprisingly easy to miss – was in the old forum setup as well. :slight_smile:

Syncing for PC/Mac to another PC/Mac is precisely just that – both computers have the Dropbox client, set to sync a specific folder to both machines, and you save your project within the local filesystem in those synced folders. Scrivener doesn’t even know because it’s interacting with the local filesystem. The Dropbox client is doing all the heavy lifting. In this scenario, try to make sure you have the project closed on one computer and fully synced up to Dropbox and back down before opening and editing it on the second.

Adding sync in iOS is only a little bit more complicated, because of the application sandboxing iOS does. It means having the Dropbox client on the iOS device, establishing your link to Dropbox in the iOS Scrivener client, and then explicit sync steps. The L&L guide walks through the steps you need to perform.

I recommend if you are using Dropbox with Scrivener at all, you use the Apps\Scrivener folder under Dropbox. This is the default for iOS Scrivener and it means that if you add mobile to the mix later, everything is all looking in the same place.

Do make sure, if your project files are saving the Dropbox on the PC/Mac versions, you change your backup folders on each machine to point somewhere different (preferably NOT on Dropbox so your live project files AND backups aren’t all lost if something happened to your Dropbox account). I personally keep my backups in my OneDrive folder so that I have my protection synced on all my devices across two separate cloud services, but your mileage may vary.

If you use Dropbox to transfer data between systems, then the Dropbox server will have a copy. That’s how that particular system works.


Yes, copies of your projects will be stored in the cloud service you are using, in this case Dropbox (which is the only cloud service currently recommended by L&L)

If you don’t like leaving your files on Dropbox, you should not use it

I am writing my first book. I have found Scrivener 3 to be a fantastic product to get me up and going with the process.

My book is a technical subject on Engineering and Deploying Machine Learning software. So I know software.

In these days of cloud computing, it is a given that we should be able to sync to multiple services including iCloud.

Please consider implementing at least the major players like iCloud (a given as it is native to Apple!), Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and of course DropBox (as you already have done!).

You can sync macOS devices using iCloud.

Support for iOS devices is planned.