Backup takes a long time

I’m using S2.7 on a Macintosh 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 20 GB, 1066 MHz DDR3, OS X 10.11.3 that uses a 1TB SSD to hold my files. My .scriv file is 2.6 GB in size, and contains a lot of pdfs and images. Automatic creation of a backup files takes a long time (>>5 min), so generally I just leave my office and come back the next day. The problem is this creates Dropbox sync problems when I get home and start working on the same file on my laptop. I’ve researched this topic in the L and L forums but have not found an adequate answer to the question of why this occurs. What should one expect with respect to backup times given this information?

Backing up a project is by default a two-step process of first duplicating a full copy of the project to a temporary location, and then archiving and compressing the project into a single file using Zip. These steps can be tested yourself using Finder, with a simple Duplicate command followed by Compress, from the File menu. It’s pretty much the same exact thing when Scrivener does it, so this test should be a good way to manage expectations.

You can disable the compression phase in the Backup preference pane—it might be worth doing that if you’re working with a very large project like that. Duplicating 2.6gb will take some time, but not nearly as long as zipping all of that will.

I’m not following how we got from A to Z here, I might need a little more background information on what you are using Dropbox for. Are you saying you have your automatic backups going to Dropbox? That would mean you’re uploading 2.6gb every day, which probably takes a long time. That shouldn’t be causing any sync problems though—at least not a technical sense. Sure if it hasn’t finished uploading by the time you get home then you have to wait, but that’s not really something you can optimise short of using a much higher bandwidth mechanism for moving data from one place to another, like a portable hard drive.

You might consider saving your backup locally – which might mean a local USB drive if you don’t want to store it on your work computer – and using Dropbox for the live copy.

The backup is created all in one go, while the live copy saves continuously while you work. Generally speaking, this means that it will take less time for the live copy to save and synchronize to Dropbox when you leave for the day.

Note that I do NOT recommend saving both the live copy and your backups to Dropbox, because then both will be at risk if there’s any kind of Dropbox error.