Dropbox backup not working

Hi, for the last week scrivener does not save to dropbox on project close. I have been backing up this way for a long time and it suddenly doesn’t work.

If I change backup location to desktop the backup is successful. If I switch back to dropbox scrivener closes without the backing up popup appearing and nothing gets added to dropbox.

Backup on open works for dropbox, so the problem seems to be specifically about saving to dropbox on project close.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I could solve this issue or what may be wrong?

Thank you

Unless hou have activated Smart sync for your Dropbox account and made your Backup folder Online Only, Dropbox is just a folder on your hard drive. So you’re, not saving to Dropbox, but to a folder on your HD that happens to be named Dropbox (and monitored by the Dropbox app on your Mac).
So, did you activte Smart sync?


Thank you for the quick reply. I should’ve clarified, I am saving to the dropbox folder on my hard drive.

Have you avtivated Dropbox’ Smart sync on that folder?

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I have not activated smart sync

if not done already, reboot?

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I have turned my laptop off and on everyday since this started

Check your backup options. Scrivener → Preferences → Backups. Also check the project-specific setting, Project → Project Settings → Backups.

What specifically is not working? Creation of the backup? Upload to the Dropbox server? If the file is created locally, but not uploaded, that’s a Dropbox issue and outside of Scrivener’s control.

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The backup settings are set to backup on close. Project backup settings haven’t been touched and there isn’t a custom backup folder set.

The creation of the backup is not working. Before this issue, a popup would appear saying that a backup is currently happening. When I close scrivener it just closes straight away now without this popup showing. No new file is created in the drop box folder.

Do you get an error message, or does it just fail to create the backup?

Before closing, do you routinely do a manual save or anything like that?

Also, could you tell me which version of Scrivener you have, please, and with which version of Mac OS?

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I get no error message, scrivener just closes. I manual save using ‘cmd + S’ frequently.

Mac: 10.15.7
Scrivener: 3.2.2

MacOS version may or may not be the issue, but it is old compared to current version 11.5. 10.15.7 is from October 2019.

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If you create a manual backup with the File → Backup Now command, does it go to the Dropbox folder?


I have no idea what I’ve done, but it seems to have started to work again. I think toggling the backup options described here off and on and off and on over the days has done the trick. Thank you everyone very much for the help and I’ll respond here again if it stops working again

It sounds like you’ve got it sorted, if accidentally, but I wanted to clarify a couple of things…

You claim that you haven’t set your backups to anything custom, and yet…

In order for your scrivener backups to be created in your Dropbox folder, you have to have customized the location of the backups folder. Scrivener does not, by default, have the settings in Preferences->Backup set to your Dropbox/ folder… not everybody uses Dropbox or even has that folder, so they set it to save backups to your home folder’s Library/ folder by default.

So if your backups are/were being created in the Dropbox folder, that’s a setting you (or someone using your computer) had to have changed. Can you post what the path to your backups is, according to Scrivener’s Preferences? That should help clarify what’s going on.

Backups are not created for a project if that project is located in your backups folder. Did you happen to open up one of your backed-up copies? Because that would explain it. And if you then opened up the version that isn’t in your backups folder, then that would explain why it started creating backups again. If this is what happened, then be sure you don’t have any missing work in the version you’re editing.


Sorry if I was unclear, I was referring to the project backup settings described in the last sentence of this comment by kewms. I have only changed the global backup settings and not the project specific settings.

In response to your last paragraph, I have only worked from one file and never from the backups. But this was a good thought though