Dropbox not correctly syncing with iOS

Hi all, I’m having a syncing issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I’m using Yosemite on a MacBook Pro and just updated to 10.0.2 on the iPhone 6s. However the sync has not been working for what appears to be a few days. The last successful sync happened sometime mid-way through a writing session on 20 September.

I’ve tried these things to no effect:

  • pressing sync a bunch of times (iOS and Mac)
  • clearing the dropbox sync cache (iOS)
  • Updating to 10.0.2 (not knowing that it might cause more problems) (iOS)
  • Re-installing. (iOS)
  • Edits in iOS sync to Mac perfectly; Edits made in Mac do not sync to iOS.

Not sure where to go from here; any ideas welcomed! <3

More details/ what I’ve tried:
File = doc/ page/ scene. I created another file the scrivener project in mac and am checking to see if it appears on iOS. The below is listed in chronological order of what I tried:
Initial Sync Issue
Edits in files on the mac don’t show up in iOS.
Message in iOS: “Dropbox is updated.”
Computer message: “No mobile changes were found”.

If you physically look at it, there is a file on the mac that does not shot up on iOS, no matter how many times I sync it. I think this is the problem.

2. Clear Dropbox Sync Cache
On iOS: In Settings> Scrivener> Reset Scrivener> turned on Clear Dropbox Sync Cache.
Restarted iOS app, resynced. No changes detected.

I realized here that this seems to have been the case for a few days, not just today.

3. Dropbox
I tried reducing the amount of stuff on my dropbox. Opening files (on mac) from the dropbox worked perfectly fine. Unless dropbox needs more free space to run properly, I don’t think it’s a computer-dropbox problem.

Downloaded dropbox app on phone. Apparently the last update (according to dropbox on iOS) was “2 months and 1 week ago”

I think the last successful update was 20 September 2016. Prior to this, everything had worked flawlessly the way it was set up. I had done nothing other than the usual editing at this time.

4. Conflicts
I deleted a few files in the Conflicts folder (on iOS). Mac version says there are updates. It syncs, but there is no discernible change in the .scriv project. Not even the newly deleted Conflict copies have been deleted.

5. Update and Reinstall
iOS updated to 10.0.2. No changes discerned in either iOS files or mac files.

iOS app deleted and re-installed. Dropbox settings checked and set up according to the guidelines in the dropbox-sync file provided on the technical support forum. Nothing has changed.

Updated after I posted this thread for the first time:
6. Something works!
I edited in iOS and synced (on iOS) like normal. Mac version automatically detected this and prompted syncing --> newly edited files (made in iOS) show up perfectly on the Mac. Previous edits (the ones that started the problem, made on mac) still do not show up in iOS.

Checked “Sync to External Files” option (mac)–no, it is using the Sync to mobile option.

I also went to iTunes > Apps > File Sharing > Scrivener > Add, and added the dropbox folder the files are in. (Although there is a dropbox file already there.) Nothing has changed.

I tried re-installing again too. Nothing has changed.

So…Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! I’m really confused how this happened and not sure where to go from here. Many thanks, and sorry for the text wall.

(Moved from the other thread and edited to be more clear.)

This sounds like the Mac versions don’t sync to Dropbox. Is the project located currently in a folder monitored by Dropbox AND the same the iOS version sees? Double check that, cause it took me a while when I first started using Dropbox for Scrivener, since my projects were scattered all over the place in 3-4 different versions each. I used to make the mistake of opening my project from the recent files list of Scrivener, but no info on location is shown there so occasionally I would be opening a non syncing version and would be worried I lost parts of my draft. Try to open the project from the Dropbox folder directly.

Hope some of that helps.

(my bold above)

The file did not appear… where?


Sorry, I had created a few new pages/ docs, whatever you call them. These newly created docs did not appear in the binder on the iOS.

Update: Also, I think it’s a computer --> iOS problem because I tried editing on the iOS and it synced perfectly fine (as was usual before a few days ago…) I’m also not using the “Sync to External Files” option either… :X

It’s difficult to follow what you are saying as you are jumping back and forth between Mac and iPhone, not being clear where you did what and in what order. But I’ll make a try anyhow.

If your iPhone is not detecting any changes on the Dropbox server, then there was nothing new on the Dropbox server and thus no need to syn, i.e. Download changes.

If your Mac didn’t find any changes on the Dropbox server, then there were no changes on the Dropbox server and hence no reason to doenload any changes.

I would guess that there is some issue with your Dropbox app on your Mac.

Sorry about that. I was trying to provide as much detail as possible. That kinda failed >.<"

I’ll edit it when I get home then and maybe that will be clearer…:frowning:
[Edit]: Updated now. Hopefully that’s clearer.

Thanks for trying.

  1. The suggestion to open the project directly in the Finder from your Dropbox folder is a good one and the thing I would do first. That will make sure you are actually working in the very same project on mac and ios.

  2. Something you said suggests you are leaving your project open on your Mac while you are off editing the project on your phone. For good measure, don’t do that. Close the project and give Dropbox a minute to autosync the little things Scriv saves to disk when closing a project.

  3. If on your mac you open a project that is in your dropbox folder, then hit the Sync to Mobile button, you should expect that to do nothing and for it to report as much. That is because Dropbox will ordinarily have run its autosync routine and already brought your project file up to date before you have opened it.


One way of checking if the uploading to Dropbox works as expected is to log in to your Dropbox folder on the server, via the web interface, and compare the content with what you see in your own Dropbox folder in Finder.

Hi all! Success!

I’m not exactly sure what happened, but it seems to be working perfectly fine now. :smiley: Thanks!

For completeness, this is what I did:
I first checked the web-dropbox version and the one in finder as recommended by peskat and lunk, and the version was the same. To double check, I made an edit on one of the first-listed files/ pages/ docs, saved, closed, and then refreshed the web-dropbox page. It updated immediately.

Then, with the mac version still closed, I synced on iOS. It was a much larger change/ sync than usual, and when it finished, it worked! :smiley: Everything, even the stuff causing the problem from before, was successfully synced :smiley: :smiley: Yayy

What is kinda confusing me now is that I had tried to sync the proper way (close the project in Mac when syncing on my phone) this morning and found no change. I’d tried the other way too (close iOS when syncing to mac) and that change anything either. Also, the sync had always worked before even if the mac version was open during phone sync. :angry:

But either way, it seems to be working fine now. Thank you everyone! <3 <3 <3

Glad you got things ironed out.

Yes, it is too bad that getting sorted didn’t lead you to an actual diagnosis of what was getting you into that trouble in the first place. But happy result anyway!

Another dumb question from me, I’m afraid. Supposing dropbox had a catastrophic loss and everything went down. (V v unlikely, I realise.) Would the files in our PC/Mac/iphones terminals still exist? Or would they vanish with a dropbox data wipe?

What you have on your desktop is on your desktop.