[Dropbox Smart Sync] Projects will update between iPad and iPhone, but MacOS Claims project files are corrupts


I’ve been using Scrivener for several years now and the last month I’ve been using iOS almost exclusively. My projects update flawlessly between my iPhone and iPad, both updated to the newest versions of iOS/iPadOS, and updated to the latest versions of the software. All the software and OS versions on my MacBook are also up to date.

The problem happens when I try to switch to my MacBook Pro, and find that my projects have not updated with all the changes I have made. I tried downloading the .scriv files to my Mac, and when I try to load them, I get a message saying that these files have been corrupted and are not able to load.

I have been able to copy/paste the text itself into the Pages app, just to make sure that I don’t lose anything else, but I’m definitely not a fan of Pages, and that’s just a band-aid solution anyway.

It’s all, obviously, been extremely frustrating and confusing, especially because I need to reformat the texts into .epub files, and I haven’t figured out how to do that on the mobile versions.

Please help me.


What syncing service are you using? Same sync service ID on all three devices? Downloaded the Scrivener folder from where (it is actually a package with lots of files)? Somehow or another not all the files are reaching the Mac.

I’m using Dropbox, and I have no idea about the sync service ID. I’ve never run into that. I found the .scriv file in Dropbox—> Apps —> Scrivener, then Airdropped the .scriv file from my iPhone to my MacBook. It seemed like the most straightforward way to try out the .scriv file and see what the issue is.

I’ve never run into this issue before so as far as I know, I’ve never changed the locations or tweaked any of the files in the Dropbox location. I’ve always only used Dropbox with Scrivener, though after this I’m beginning to wonder if I should use Google Drive to back stuff up.

Check to make sure Dropbox’s SmartSync is turned off for the folder(s) where you are storing your Scrivener projects. This makes sure that the complete project is downloaded and kept in sync on your computer. (Dropbox has recently changed the default for this setting.)

Also, a Scrivener project is much more than just the .scriv file. It is the folder and everything underneath it. As @rms said, the project is a MacOS Package - a special folder with a bunch of files and subfolders in it. Scrivener needs all of that local in order to access your project.

Okay I turned off SmartSync, though I could only find a setting to turn it off for everything, not for that specific folder.

I suppose I try re-syncing the Scrivener files I’ve been working with now? Why is this setting screwing up the exact thing it’s supposed to make better? Ugh. Stupid Dropbox.

It worked! Synced between my MacBook and iPhone! Finally! Thank you @scarlock! Life is better again!

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Happy to help and I’m glad we’ve resolved your issue.

I think you can right click on the folder and turn off SmartSync for an individual folder (my personal usage has it turned completely off).