Dropbox Consensus?

I would appreciate a confirmation of my approach to using Dropbox with Scrivener. From reading the threads I understand that rather than place my Scrivener file within Dropbox, it’s better to use the “Back Up To…” function with Dropbox. And that’s because Dropbox doesn’t handle Scrivener files properly. Of course I would prefer to have my Scrivener file synced to the “cloud” automatically, but if there’s a possibility (repeat that) of corruption of that primary file I’ll avoid placing my .scriv file within Dropbox.

Thank you.

The consensus is to use DropBox as the destination for Backups (you can set these backups to run automatically and keep a certain number of older backups before deleting the oldest ones).

You will find people who edit their Scrivener projects directly on the folder that dropbox syncs to, and who insist that having never had trouble before means they will not have trouble in the future. These people generally maintain a very strict regime that follows the pattern:

Finish writing, close Scrivener.
Monitor DropBox and wait for it to finish syncing.
Sleep or shut down computer.

Start up other machine, wait for DropBox to finish syncing.
Open Scrivner & project on DropBox.


My thought is that there will come a time when you forget to quit out of one Scrivener session and then you open it on another machine. At some point, you will save and exit, only to have DropBox completely hose your writing through a combination of complex timing issues that can’t be helped with regards to DropBox.

Remember, though, that if you do forget to close your project, when you try to open it on another machine you will receive a warning telling you so, and you will be given the option to make a copy of the project to work on instead. I work on some projects in Dropbox myself - it is generally safe. My recommendation would be that if you really want to work directly off Dropbox, ensure you have automatic backups turned on with the zip option, so that a zipped backup of your project is created either when it is opened or closed (or both). That way, if anything does go horribly wrong (which is unlikely, but “blameth nat me” etc), you have a recent backup. And just for good luck, make a manual backup once a session via File > Backup To, and create the backup on your local drive so that not everything is in Dropbox.

Do I follow my own advice? No. And I work on projects that I open directly from Dropbox fairly often. As long as you take note of any warnings Scrivener gives you when you go to open the project, you should be fine. But our official advice is to work out of the Dropbox folder and make zipped backups into it, just to cover our backs, really. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Thank you. I’ll now add a local save-to backup to my Dropbox backup.

Blasphemer! How dare you say that KB is … wait. What was a thinking about again? It’s so hard without a head.

What happens if keep a symlink (symbolic link) to the folder where your scriv file is in Dropbox?

The scenario:

  1. Scrivener project file–a scriv file–is stored on local disk in folder “Project”

  2. A symbolic link is created of “Project”

  3. That symbolic link is copied to Dropbox.

  4. Every time I make a change to my scriv file, the symbolic link is automatically updated.

  5. I can work with that scriv file on another computer that is linked to that symbolic link ?