Backup from iMac to Dropbox and open in MacBook Pro

Help Please~!
I am going on vacation for 3 months starting early Saturday 5/7/22. I need to work on my book project on my MacBook Pro. I have been working on my iMac. I’ve backed up to my Dropbox folder from my iMac, but when I try to open the file on my MacBook, Scrivener says no file and can’t open it.

Show us the error message. I’ll bet it doesn’t say “no file”.

In addition to the question from @drmajorbob instead of doing a backup, why not setup a sync with Dropbox as explained in the Scrivener Manual? And have you let Dropbox finish the sync?

Save your projects to Dropbox on the iMac and pick them up on the MacBook Pro. I do this with Mac mini and MacBook Pro. No need to “synch” other than to make sure that Dropbox has completed its own synch and you have downloaded ithem from Dropbox before you leave for yoiur vacation. Then do the reverse when you get home.

Depending on how good a network connection you get on vaccation you could also put your backups on Dropbox. Personally I’d let the backups accumulate on the MacBook Pro and only worry about where they are on returning home as the ones on the iMac will be way out of date. Especially if you don’t have any network connection at your destination or like me find yourself stuck in a deep tunnel on the London Underground where there is no network coverage at all!

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Hello drmajorbob,
I have the same version of Scrivener on each computer. I’ve tried opening earlier versions of my project, to no avail. I’m very confused. Please advise. Thank you,

Charles T.
Here is the error message:

The project at “/Users/CMTECCA/Dropbox/AA Documents from iCloud/AA Family Project/AA Scrivner Files/Vacation 2022/Taylor Family History 2022-05-05 21-06.scriv” seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.

Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup.


  • identify which computer where you can open the scrivener project successfully.
  • close scrivener.
  • with Finder copy (not move) that scrivener project (actually a macOS “package” with a lot of hidden files in hidden subfolders) into a new Dropbox folder. say ~/Dropbox/Scrivener
  • allow Dropbox to completely sync up to their server
  • on other computer allow Dropbox to completely sync down
  • with Scrivener open the project in the new location.

also make sure you have Dropbox set to have all files available offline. (if not offline now this could be the root cause of your issue as all the files not downloaded and available to Scrivener)

Duplicate posts deleted. This is a forum, so everyone can see everything posted.

That error is most often due to incomplete synchronization: the master index used to build the Binder hasn’t downloaded to the local system.

Is the Dropbox application installed and running on both systems?

As an alternative, since your trip is imminent, do this:
On the iMac, open the project and use the File → Backup → Backup To command. Check the box to create a ZIP backup.

Transfer the file to the MacBook Pro by email, USB stick, or any other convenient method.

Unzip by double-clicking in Finder, then open in Scrivener as normal.

This seems to be a problem with DropBox. I’m on Monterey 12.3.1 and Dropbox says there is a problem that they haven’t solved. So I’m going to a store to get another flash drive to follow KEWMS’ suggestion.

The Dropbox problem concerns online-only files. Offline files should be fine. But yes, using a flash drive lets you simply avoid the whole situation.