[Dropbox setup] MacOS Ventura 13.0.2: projects not loading after update

Last night I updated to Ventura 13.0.1. Now I can no longer create new projects or more terrifying access existing projects. I received the following error message when I opened the software: "The project at “/Users/fredbucher/Dropbox/Fred’s Folder/Novel #3.scriv” seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.

Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup."

The instructions were confusing. My Scrivener backup file looks intact but when I click on it still don’t get results. Really appreciate any assistance. Thanks in advance.

FIrst guess is that you have an incomplete Dropbox sync and/or your Dropbox files are “online” and they need to be fully “offline” to work with Scrivener.

Also you are still out of date with macOS and Dropbox.

Thanks RMS. So do you think I should download the files from Dropbox to my hard drive? I will attempt to update my OS and DropBox.

I think you should configure DropBox to have your Scrivener folder (and maybe others) set to be “offline” and not “online”. Read Dropbox help about “online” and “offline”.

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Dropbox files are already on your hard drive, but smart sync leaves some of them in the cloud only (online only) to save disk space. That feature can be disabled entirely, or it can be disabled for individual files or folders (a project at a time or the folder where you keep your projects). Right click on the file or folder and select make available offline, or words to that effect.

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Thanks, much appreciated. I reconfigured and followed some tips I received from another use and was able to access my files. Phew!!!

That means Scrivener couldn’t find some of the necessary files, but binder.scrivproj is a red herring, only relevant for older formats. The problem is in the online-only feature that suddenly became default recently — a Dropbox setting, nothing to do with Scrivener itself.

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More information from us: Dropbox Troubleshooting (macOS Monterey) / Cloud Syncing / Knowledge Base - Literature and Latte Support

More information from Dropbox: Make your Dropbox files available offline - Dropbox Help

Also, the latest version of Mac OS is 13.1. Not a bad idea to update if that isn’t what you have.

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I was unable to open my projects via Spotlight or even the dock. The fix worked for me; simply to have that one selection. thanks!!

Literature & Latte should use their newsletter to notify everyone of this problem and solution. It’s nuts that we’re seeing it every single day in the forum.

(I’ve seen only two or three newsletters in more than ten years.)

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Also seems like there should be a startup check in Scrivener to confirm Dropbox is set for “offline” and if not fix it for the user or give a URL with instructions, or something.

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Yes. Anything but the nonsense we’re seeing presently.

As a person dealing with these support requests, I think that’s a brilliant idea.

I’m not sure how possible it is, though. Scrivener doesn’t currently “know” whether a project is stored with a cloud service at all. It asks the file system for a file, and the file system delivers. And meanwhile the whole point of cloud services is that the application shouldn’t need to know about them, normal file access commands should just work. Until they don’t, because the cloud service decided it needed to provide (and you needed to pay for) more “advanced” services.

I was thinking (but have no way to check or work it out) that the Dropbox API might have a call that exposes that. Or some property of the file(s). Somehow or another Dropbox app and/or MacOS knows.

My two cents… If the path name to the project contains the string “Dropbox” and there are errors opening the project, the error message can suggest setting the project to offline status.

It’s not perfect but should get a lot of the low hanging fruit.

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Finder displays whether files are online only or not (in the context menu), so it doesn’t seem impossible for Scrivener to find out.

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Hi, I finished a novel a couple of years ago. I can’t open it now. I keep getting this message. I checked on my backup file and it "don’"t exist. HELP!!!

Please refer to the advice given above on how to correctly set up Dropbox.

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Thank you! You guys must remember that we are just nerdy, stupid writers with no real Technical skills! I barley know how to move the mouse! It’s working now. Thanks again. BTW: with the trouble we’re having with Dropbox, would it be better to use Icloud instead?

I’m afraid iCloud has its own set of issues, up to and including simply refusing to synchronize with no indication that there’s even a problem.