cannot open .scrivx file in DropBox or Scrivener after syncing from iOs

I’m doing NaNoWriMo and had been writing my novel in Scrivener on my iPhone and wanted to sync it to DropBox so I could open the project on my iPad, so I hit the sync icon, and nothing seemed to happen except a new, empty folder appeared in DropBox by the same name as my project. I deleted the empty folder so as to not confuse myself, leaving the WIP project in Scrivener on my phone, and I then hit “sync.”

Now there’s a folder in my Apps folder in DropBox under Scrivener with my project name and the file extension “.scrivx” but neither DropBox nor Scrivener is willing to open this folder. I have tried opening it on my iPhone, my iPad and now my desktop computer which is a Mac.

Please advise; I’m trying to remain calm. Thank you!


So, to be clear is this all true, or if not, which part isn’t?

  1. On the iOS version of Scrivener (iScriv for short), you configured it to sync with Dropbox
  2. You had a project in that section of your projects list on iScriv (as oposed to the “on my iPad/iPhone” section)
  3. You had the Dropbox software installed on your Mac
  4. On iScriv, you tapped the sync icon for the first time, and it had never done a sync before.
  5. On your Mac, you navigated to your Dropbox folder, and then to the iScriv sync folder (I’m assuming Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener*), where you found a “your project name here”.scriv folder (not ending in .scrivx, but .scriv) – this is odd, because Scrivener projects look like a single file on Mac, but internally, they’re a folder that ends in .scriv with files and other folders inside it. Mac OS hides all those details from you.
  6. You noted that the Dropbox icon in the menu bar was in its inactive state (no whirling arrows overlay indicating that it was still syncing).
  7. You did not see any contents to the .scriv folder after waiting a minute, so on your Mac you deleted it.
  8. You now have a folder that is named “your project name here”.scrivx (not .scriv) in your Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener now.
  9. The “your project name here”.scrivx folder contains nothing

If all of the above is true, then I’m not sure what happened. If the Dropbox software had been running (its icon would be showing in the Mac’s menu bar) when you created the project in the first place and synced, then the whole project would already have been on your Mac. If you had just installed the Dropbox sync software on your mac, or if you hadn’t booted your Mac since before you created and synced your project on iScriv, then it might have been in the process of downloading the project when you deleted its top-level folder.

Let’s assume you had synced the project a while ago while working on iScriv: Go to in your web browser and navigate to your Apps folder (assuming Scrivener projects are in Apps/Scrivener here; adjust the instructions if you chose another location). Right-click** on the Scrivener folder and choose “Show Deleted Files”. Now click into the Scrivener folder. You should find a “your project name here”.scriv folder (not the .scrivx folder!). Right-click on the “Deleted” word to the right of the folder in that list, and choose “Restore”. The website will prompt you that all files in that folder that have ever been deleted will be restored; hopefully, that won’t cause any oddness***.

Now boot up your Mac, and (assuming you do have your Dropbox sync software installed), watch for the icon to go to an inactive state. Click on the icon to be sure it tells you that all files are up to date. You should see your project in your Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder, possibly with a .scriv (not .scrivx!) extension, possibly without the extension. Double-click on that, and Scrivener on your Mac should open it. Examine the contents to make sure nothing is missing. Look for any “recovered” or similarly named new folders for duplicate content of other binder entries. Then, when you’re satisfied that your project has been properly recovered, close Scrivener on your Mac and let Dropbox do one last sync.

Go back to iScriv and do a sync. When that’s done, you should have your recovered project and that errant “.scrivx” thing that won’t open. Verify you can open the real project, then in the Projects list, tap Edit and delete that “.scrivx” folder/thing. If it won’t let you, delete it from your Mac instead and do another iScriv sync.

Hopefully, that helps. If not, please note where your situation differs from my assumptions above–hopefully that will prove illuminating.

  • I’m assuming Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener is where your project is syncing to. If you chose somewhere else, mentally substitute your sync location whenever you see that path.

** On Macs, if you don’t have an external mouse with buttons, you can simulate a right-click with, I think, CMD-clicking on something.

*** If you emptied your Scrivener project’s trash folder at some point, it might resurrect some of those files, or cause “conflicted” files to appear, but it’s better to have a conflict than to be missing vital file contents.

Actually, it’s Control-Click.



… or tapping with two fingers on the track pad. :slight_smile:

Funny how I can do something without thinking, but as soon as I think about how to do it… :unamused: