Dropbox Sync Not Working

Hi! I’ve uploaded a Scrivener project to Dropbox from my Mac. I installed Scrivener on my iPad and did the Dropbox Link. Created the folder in Dropbox, which is where I uploaded the project from my Mac. When I click the Sync icon on the iPad the app does sync and then I see the message “Dropbox is up to date.” But my project does NOT appear in the Dropbox section under Projects in iOS. What am I missing? I’ve made several attempts. And yes, the file in Dropbox shows green with a check mark so I know it’s uploaded. I appreciate guidance on this. Thanks!


Have you set up the iOS app so that it points to the correct folder in Dropbox where your project is stored?

You should simply Save the project in the correct folder, from within your desktop Scrivener, the way you always save your projects.

To upload your project to Dropbox, just use ‘Save as…’ from the file menu, and save it in the Dropbox folder you’re syncing to. Or move it to that Dropbox folder from wherever it lives on your hard drive, via the Finder or whatever the equivalent is on Windows (sorry, Mac person here.) Close your project. Then (and this is important) wait for Dropbox to finish uploading your entire project. Check the Dropbox menu bar item or the system tray item (see, I do know a Windows thing or two…) and don’t try to use your project on iOS until you see “Up To Date” on Mac/Windows.

Maybe Upload isn’t the correct verbiage. I’m a Mac User, by the way. Anyway I save my projects to a Scrivener Projects folder on my desktop. I DRAGGED the project from that folder on my desktop to the App/Scrivener folder in Dropbox. I waited while it loaded. The file turned green with a check mark next to it in the App/Scrivener folder in Dropbox. I attached a file showing Dropbox. (Dropbox.jpg) I closed the project on my desktop. I clicked the sync icon in iOS and got the message “Dropbox is up to date.” But the project does not appear on iOS.

Your file seems zipped. You don’t need to zip the file, it should end in .scriv only. Are you maybe uploading a backup file in error?

Dropbox added the .zip extension to the filename. The file in my Scrivener Folder ends in .scriv only.

From your first screenshot, it appears you are trying to upload the Scrivener project to Dropbox via the web. You shouldn’t have to do this – everything should be done in Finder on your Mac.

I posted the step-by-step setup I used to get my Scrivener projects up and running on the iOS app (along with screenshots): https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/comparison-to-other-word-processors-and-writing-tools/68/1. Take a look and see if this is how you set up your project in Dropbox. :slight_smile:

After spending a lot of he day figuring out how to get files where they belong without having to move them manually, now my iPad hangs up when it syncs and never finishes the last couple of files.

Weary from dealing with the syncing issues.

I’m returning to my old method - writing everything in Pages scene by scene and then importing them into Scrivener when I want to compile the manuscript. All my Pages files sync just fine on iCloud that way and I can work any where and from all of my devices.

Looking forward to when things sync easily with Scrivener. I will try back in a few months.

Megan M.,

I guess I’m not very savvy with this whole Dropbox process as I’ve never saved my Scriv files to Dropbox. In your screenshots I see the Dropbox icon under Favorites. On my computer I don’t have the Dropbox icon under Favorites. How do I get it to show up there? What I did is log into Dropbox from the web. Should I download the Dropbox app from the App Store? I’m sorry to be so dense. Thanks for your help.

You absolutely need the Dropbox app on your desktop for sync to work smoothly. Once you have that installed, you should be able to add it to favourites in the Finder sidebar through Finder preferences, if it doesn’t automatically do so. You can then add the scrivener project to the relevant Dropbox folder using the Finder. Adding it via the web causes the problems you’re having.

Once you have he Dropbox app installed on the desktop, go through Megan M’s very helpful guide (posted above) to make sure you have all steps completed.

Yes, you do need to have the Dropbox app installed on your computer. (I don’t think it’s on the Mac App Store, but you can download the app from Dropbox’s website.) When it installs, it’ll put a special Dropbox folder on your computer (you can also access this folder by clicking on the little Dropbox icon on the top of your screen near your battery icon). You then need to create a folder within the Dropbox folder to place your Scrivener project – and then you should be good to go! :slight_smile:

Edit: Looks like I was typing too slowly on my iPhone – thanks, Kinsey!

Yes! I did download Dropbox to my desktop. I was able to Save As to Dropbox and then I synced in iOS and all is well. Thank you so much for your assistance! :smiley:

You’re welcome, and thanks to Keith, Megan M and others who have posted great guides and help for syncing all day.

Wow, now my who Scrivener project is empty. No tex at all. Nothing. I’m deleting the app from my iPad and going to proceed with life as if it never existed. Thank goodness all my scenes are in Pages. UGH! What a day.

Just a note guys, things should be intuitive and easy. That means intuitive to the larger percentage of the population, not to the beta testers or people who are extremely savvy.

All my research is gone, simply gone. All of my backups are empty shells with just the titles of the scenes. I’m not at all sure what happened here.

Have you been in touch with Lit & Lat support directly? Surely that is a better option than giving up after less than 24 hours usage. Anyway, hope you get it sorted.

I had the same problem the OP had, and this post (thanks lunk!) is what helped me. I thought I had to use the “Sync with External Folders” window in the File menu and that not being the case is confusing when the iOS version uses Dropbox for syncing with the OS X/Windows versions. This also leaves me what the purpose of “Sync With External Folders” is if syncing from one OS version of Scrivener to another merely requires saving the “Scrivening” to the same Dropbox folder. Is this option for using Scrivener only two desktop machines? If that’s the case is the sync with mobile a completely different system? That would seem odd to me. What is the purpose of the options under “Options” in the “Sync with External Folder” window?


‘Sync with external folder’ was what you were forced to use before yesterday if wanted to edit on an iDevice, and still is if you want to efit on Android. It creates rtf files which you can edit in some text edit app, and then sync back to desktop Scrivener.

With the iOS Scrivener there is no need for that. The iOS Scrivener works with Scrivener projects, just like the OSX and Windows Scrivener. :slight_smile:

Splendid. Thanks again.

My Dropbox sync from iPad Pro (11.4) was working until the last couple of projects that I added. Now it syncs from 200+ files down to 42 and hangs. Repeated several times and stops at 42. I’ve got plenty of room on my Dropbox account. I have to do a [Cancel] to get back to my work, but it has a red triangle exclamation point on the files that didn’t sync. I’m away from my desktop, but when I get back is there something I can do to fix this? Thanks.