Big big problem with folder sync

Not so long ago I bought a Laptop and installed Scrivener on it.
As recommended, my scrivener project is stored in the cloud (Dropbox), and it syncs like a charm between my PC and the Laptop.
In addition I use folder sync with another Dropbox folder which I access with my smartphone and an android tablet. This has been working for years without any problems.
Now I have been on a short holiday trip. I took my laptop with me and was working on my project. Eventually I found some scenes missing from the project, but I didn’t think too much about that. I thought, that I did something wrong and managed to recover them directly out of the screenshot folder.
When back home, I started working on my project on the PC again. It did a lot of syncing when starting for the first time after my holiday, what I thought was okay. But right after that, a lot of my scenes were doubled while others were completely gone.
I think, this happened because of some changes in my file structure while I was on holiday. It “foldersynced” into the Sync folder, but the PC had no information about structure changes, so when syncing from the folder, it overwrote some of the files with the wrong ones.
This is because the setting of “folder sync” cannot be set different for Laptop and PC, although it gives a strong warning doing so!
I have no chance syncing Laptop and PC into different folders, or to sync only one of them. Whatever changes I make in one Scrivener installation, it will affect the other one too (together with column widths and other settings, what is very annoying as well).

Perhaps I am just missing the possibility to save these options into a local directory instead of into the project directory, which is shared between two Scrivener installations? I didn’t find that.
If not, this is obviously a very nasty bug and should be repaired as soon as possible.

Hi austriaka,

I’m sorry to hear you experienced trouble with your syncing. If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you email tech support at so they can try to help you recover your work.

What do you mean by “folder sync”?
Exactly what are you doing? Saving the projects in an ordinary Dropbox folder, or using “Sync with external folder”?

I do both.
I have my Scrivener project in an ordinary Dropbox folder, als you call it, and share it between desktop computer and laptop.
Additionally I do “Sync with external folder”, since this is the only way to have the files at hand with my Android devices.
It is strongly recommended not to share the external folder between two Scrivener installations. But if I share a Scrivener Project between two machines (what should be okay as far as I understood), the settings for the external folder are shared as well, so auto sync writes into the same external folder, what leads to data loss (as proven).
In my eyes this is kind of a bug. Settings for “sync with external folder” should not be shared between two Scrivener installations.

A bug is something that doesn’t work as intended. If you decide to set up a “sync with external folder” and don’t un-click the box for automatic syncing, knowing that you are advised not to have automatic syncing with an external folder when two different Scriv installations are accessing the same project, then it is hardly a bug.

Scrivener doesn’t know that the project is sometimes opened on one device and sometimes on another, using Dropbox as a bridge between them. Scrivener doesn’t know that you are syncing the live project via Dropbox, nor that the “sync with external folder” is alternating between two different devices.

“Sync with external folder” can’t be a installation (Preferences) setting. It has to be per project. So the only reasonable solution should be that you stop the automatic syncing and do it manually, and only from one device.

Yes, this is what I am doing now, and I see your point.
Problem is, that you can’t see which settings are per project and which ones are global. Most of the settings seem to be per project, an not everything makes sense. And trial and error is a bad way to find it out.

Tools -> Options should be Global and what you have under File is Project settings.

It is clearer in Mac OS because there is a menu with the software name itself, so in Mac Scrivener there is a Scrivener menu which has a Preferences sub-menu where you set global Scrivener settings.

The settings for the “sync with external folder” are within the sync menu, so you can only guess.
For me it would make more sense, if I could turn on/off autosync based on the machine and not on the project.

As the settings for the binder and inspector width, which is done by mousedrag and not within options: this is kept with the project and I have to adjust them whenever I switch the machine …