Cannot sync, cannot import, cannot export (Migrating to Scrivener 3)

I’ve just upgraded to Scrivener 3 and I’m thinking I should just give up and ask for a refund and go back to Scrivener 2. I cannot access the Sync or Import functionality. This information is probably hidden somewhere in the Help files but I have read through them and I cannot find it.

The steps I took to get here:

  1. I upgrade to Scrivener 3.
  2. I try to access the Dropbox files I have in Scrivener 2 format
  3. I go to Import or Sync and the options are grayed out.
  4. I gnash my teeth in frustration and re install to make sure I have not made a mis step in the install
  5. I try to find the answer in the Help files and make a mental note to send the L&L people the contact information of some of my tech writer friends who are looking for work. (I’ve been a technical writer for over 20 years and please God someone help whoever wrote the user manual.)
  6. I uninstall and reinstall Scrivener 3.
  7. I write this note to Technical Support.

File -> Open…

You are over-complicating things.
You simply open the files. Scrivener will then ask you if you want to upgrade the format to the new v 3 format. You click Ok, Scrivener renames the old project so you will know that it’s an older version, opens it and saves it with the new format and the original name.

There are actually various studies in psychology that show that experience can be a barrier to learning, not a help, because people tend to carry assumptions with them that may turn out to be unwarranted. This has caught me out a number of times, even though I’m aware of the problem.

There have been a few rare but serious reports of problems when the Mac project format is changed while the iOS copy has unsynced changes. To avoid this, before opening the project in Scrivener 3, make sure the project is fully synchronized and then open it in Scrivener 2. That will ensure that changes from iOS Scrivener have been incorporated into the main project. (They are temporarily stored in a Mobile folder to facilitate conflict resolution.)

But other than that, what Lunk said. Just open the project like you normally would.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our upgrade guide for Scrivener 2 users, as Scrivener 3 has some very significant changes. You can find it here: … date-guide


I go to File > Sync
Every option is grayed out.
I cannot sync with Dropbox therefore I cannot open the file.

But you don’t need to go File>Sync. Dropbox should have created a folder on your local hard drive in which you have your Scrivener projects. You just open them from that local folder. Dropbox does the sync, not Scrivener. Scrivener just opens the project from the local folder. I take it you have the Dropbox app installed and running.

MB, thank you. That gives me a direction to search in. It sounds as if the problem is with Dropbox then. I can go look research in that direction.
Thank you.

It may help you to understand better how syncing between iOS and Mac versions of Scrivener using Dropbox works. Take a look at Lit & Lat’s guide to clarify how it’s all supposed to work: … c-services

Go to File > Open !
You open the file in just the same way that you did before. You don’t import or sync or anything. Just open the project, in the same way you would have done with version 2. Nothing has changed.