Backup Preferences issue with Applications folder

My apps are active when I go directly to the app folder but when I tried to change a back up preference in Scriv, DropBox (and almost all apps) were dimmed out. I’ve tried restarting, can’t find the answer via a search and wonder if anyone can help?

I’m running Yosemite 10.10.5 on an iMac.

What are you trying to do exactly? It is not clear from what you wrote where you are seeing this dimmed-out-ness.

But I will offer this on a wild hunch:

The only thing in Scriv prefs that opens a Finder dialog box is Backup Location: Choose… If the resulting Finder dialog box is “looking down on” your Applications folder when it comes up, then all the apps there will certainly be dimmed and unselectable, because you can’t backup TO an app! You can back up TO a /folder/. So, that dialog box is to allow you to change what folder Scriv puts your backups into. You can navigate to anywhere in that dialog box and select a folder, but that is all there is to do there.

fellow scrivener user

Also, as a followup to GR’s comment, putting your project backups in your Applications folder is probably not a good idea anyway.

The default location is inside Scrivener’s Application Support folder, which is okay. An external drive or cloud location would also be okay. (Although I wouldn’t put my backups and the live projects in the same cloud location.) But the main Applications folder is really not intended for user data storage.


CR and Katherine, thank you for taking the time to reply. I apologize for my lack of clarity. Let me try again.

I went to Scriv Prefs in order to back up to a new, yet to be created folder in Dropbox. When I select Choose in Pref, almost all apps are dimmed in the window that appears and there are no folders in DB (or anywhere else that I can find) available for me to choose from, not even folders that I know already exist in DB. The column that should show folders is empty.

If I choose the New Folder button on the bottom left, there is nowhere to put the new folder because all the apps are dimmed.

Does that help clarify?

It still sounds to me like the Choose dialog box is showing you your Applications folder – which is undoubtedly NOT where your existing Dropbox folder is located. Your Dropbox folder is not located in the Dropbox application. Once you are in that Choose dialog box, you need to navigate to where your Dropbox folder is.* Then do your magic.

If you are unsure where your Dropbox folder is located on your harddrive: (Assuming you are on Mac:) Go to the Finder and open your dropbox folder. In that Finder window, Command-click on the title of the Dropbox folder, to reveal a menu showing your where that folder is located on your harddrive. This will help determine how to navigate there.


  • If you have an alias/shortcut to your Dropbox folder in the Sidebar of Finder windows, that will be available in the Choose dialog box, so use that to get there.

In order for Dropbox to interact with Scrivener, you first need to run the Dropbox application and input your username and password so that it creates and begins to monitor a “Dropbox” folder on your computer. That folder is completely separate from the application itself.

If you already set up your Dropbox app on your Mac, then there should be a Dropbox icon (looks like a cardboard box with all the flaps folded out) in your menu bar. Clicking on that should reveal a mini window with a folder icon to the upper left. Clicking on that icon should open your Finder to your Dropbox folder, which should be in your /Users/yourmacuserid/ folder.

That’s the folder you should be navigating to when you change your Scrivener backup preferences.

GR and rdale, thank you both for step-by-stepping me through the solution. Problem solved and I much appreciate your help and patience. Your replies are now in Evernote for future reference! :slight_smile: