Data corruption on External Folder Sync

I’ve set up Scrivener to sync with a folder on my HD that contains the text files that make up my project. When syncing, the text files are either getting corrupted or erased altogether. A 500-word article I’m working on, for example, comes in looking like this:

Luckily, I’m good with backups, so I’ve yet to lose any data permanently, but I no longer trust Scrivener with my files, which is a lousy feeling indeed.

Oddly enough, I’m using the same sync setup with another project and it seems to be working just fine, though I admit I’m waiting for the day at all comes crashing down. :frowning:

The reason I have things set up this way, incidentally, is that I write on both my Mac and my iPad and sync the articles through DropBox. For the iPad, I use a plain text editor and MarkDown, since my output is eventually for the web. I should point out, however, that I’m getting this sync issue even when I’ve not done any edits on the iPad at all.

Anyone have any ideas on what might be going wrong?


Hi Jeff,

That looks very strange, to say the least. Could you open the console (~/Applications/Utilities/ and see if there are any strange messages relating to Scrivener there? What happens if you quit Scrivener and restart it - are the text files still messed up? Can you reproduce the bug in a fresh project by following any particular sequence? Also, are you using the latest version of Scrivener (2.0.4)?

Thanks and all the best,


Nothing in the Console at all. And this issue continues even after a restart. Also, yes, using the latest version of Scrivener.

I actually just started the project again from scratch to see if there was maybe something corrupted in the project file. So far, it seems to be working just fine. Fingers crossed and I’ll let you know. It’s only been an hour… :slight_smile:

One thing: when I created the wonky project, I did so by copying another, renaming it then reconfiguring the settings and sync inside. Do you think that might have had something to do with it?


Did you reconfigure to sync with the same folder you’d been syncing with from the original project, or set it up with a new folder?

Not sure which file you are talking about, so I’ll cover both cases:

Case #1: Today
When I created the new project file from scratch a few hours ago, I pointed it at the same folder that had the TXT files in it. However, before I did that, I restored from the backup I had so that I could get my writing back, AND I renamed the files to remove the “- ## -” numbering that Scrivener adds. Figured this way, Scrivener had less of a chance of getting “confused.”

Case #2: The original, corrupted file I created by making a copy of another project
Once I opened the copy, I went into the sync and pointed it at a new folder.

Well, I thought rebuilding the file from scratch was going to do the truck, but alas, no. Moments ago, I took a look at a few of the documents inside my project, only to discover that the corruption was back and that I’d lost yet more data.

Any advice, folks?

One thing to note is that, as I mentioned in my first post, I am storing the files in my DropBox. Might that be related?

Let me add one more incredibly strange thing…

I just noticed the corruption inside Scrivener, exited the app (and the sync ran again since that is how I have it set up), and came here to add my last post.

Then I went back to the text folder and started moving them to a new location, since I can’t afford to lose any more data and I’m afraid I’m giving up on Scrivener for now.

Except, none of the linked TXT files are missing any data. Everything is still there, at least for now.

Scrivener shows missing data. And previously, the linked files (eventually?) got corrupted and had the text disappear. But for now, at least, after only one or two syncs, all of the data is still there.


You’re syncing to a folder that contains the text files? Does that mean you’re syncing to a folder that already had content in it, and not files that were put there by Scrivener during the sync?

If so, then I think that’s likely your issue. You should set up sync to an empty folder, and let Scrivener put the files there.

Maybe I’m on the wrong track, it’s a bit confusing to follow what you’ve done, but my gut feeling is it’s a work flow issue somewhere.

Likewise, removing the -#- tags is just going to cause more chaos, because Scrivener adds those to ID the files in order to recognize which files to sync where. The numbers correspond to the internal IDs Scrivener uses for your documents, so Scrivener knows that “6.rtf” in the project file is the same as “This is my scene -6-.txt” and should be updated accordingly when you run the sync. You really don’t want to change the file names in the external folder if you can help it, and definitely don’t want to change the number. Without the ID, Scrivener assumes the file is something new you’ve created and will pull it in as such, assigning it a new ID, so it won’t overwrite the old version in the Binder.

Interesting. I’ll have to check this out. I had been editing my docs in Scrivener on my Mac and on my iPad using a text editor, so set up an empty Scrivener project, pointed it at the folder with all of the text files and let it sync and suck them in. Maybe I’ll create them in Scrivener first and sync to an empty folder as you suggest.

Thanks. I actually only started removing the -#- tags once I decided to not use Scrivener anymore. I know that these little bits of data are important, so I never touched the filenames in the sync folder once it was set up.