Blank Drafts - Backup Files Safe

My files in some projects are opening blank. I use Scrivener on my iPhone and Windows laptop (version 1.9.7 on Windows 10), and back up with Dropbox. I probably opened or closed without backing up properly.

The files are all safe in Dropbox, so I didn’t lose my work. But when I try to open the project in Scrivener (both on my iPhone and laptop), some pages under Drafts are blank. Is there a way to point Scrivener to the files?

Stop! Are you possibly confusing two different things? What do you mean with “back up with Dropbox”? If you use both iOS and Windows Scrivener you have to use Dropbox for your live project, but that is not a backup. The backup you create when closing Windows Scrivener should be somewhere else.

I made this rough sketch in answer to another thread (and probably should refine it a bit) to clarify the difference:

If you have the backups and the live project in the same folder you may run into trouble.

I meant the live files are in Dropbox. The backup files are on my hard drive.

To my knowledge iPhone (iOS) version of Scrivener and the current stable version for windows (1.9.7.0) are NOT compatible, and you shouldn’t try to use them on the same project.

But I may be wrong.

Windows Scrivener 1.97 & iOS Scrivener are absolutely compatible. My son uses both regularly. In the iOS forums this sort of symptom can mean the iOS device caches somehow got out of sync.

The brute force way to resolve this is:

  • First be sure that your live project is indeed intact in Windows Scrivener.
  • With Windows Explorer (if that’s still what it’s called :blush: ) move the project OUT of Dropbox to some other place on your hard drive. Wait until Dropbox finishes syncing.
  • Sync iOS Scrivener. This will delete the project from iOS. If it doesn’t (unlikely) delete it manually from iOS and sync again. Both Windows & iOS Scrivener should agree that the project is not in Dropbox.
  • In Explorer or equivalent on Windows, move a good copy of the project back to Dropbox and wait for sync to finish.
  • Now sync iOS with Dropbox.

This should get you a fresh copy on iOS with all the caches up to date.

Just wanted to say that this works on Mac, too! I had a last-minute NaNoWriMo panic yesterday when, despite numerous syncs, all of my documents that I’d created that day in iOS were blank, yet had text in the desktop version. I made sure I had an up-to-date backup and then moved the project out of Dropbox and back in again as instructed. Worked like a charm!

THANK YOU!