External backup for Scrivener iOS files?

Is there a way to do this? I don’t like the idea of dropbox because I heard if the files get corrupted, they do so through all platforms…
I have an external hard drive for my Mac, wanted to try to get the iOS version of scrivener for versatility.
Also, will iOS eventually be updated with the new 3 features?

No. The only way to do it is to copy the files from Dropbox to somewhere else.
But Dropbox is a very stable system and unless you doing something wrong yourself it works very well.

The iOS version already works with the version 3 format and did so from the start.

Dropbox is for syncing and sharing files. It is not dependable as a backup medium—too many things a user can do to screw up, frankly.

Going back to syncing through Dropbox, make sure that you do so. Keep regular backups of your Mac or PC files and you’re fine.

There are those who insist on keeping their backups solely on Dropbox. They write about it in chat boards. Then later you read their tale of woe how they lost this chapter or that project due to operator error—but, nooooo, backing up onl to Dropbox wasn’t the problem, you see…

There is a better way of creating backups in my opinion. If you go to the main project screen and tap the Edit button you’ll find a gear button along the bottom. Tap that, and then select the project you wish to back up and “share” it. This will present a few options based on your configuration. I have an app called “FileApp” (which I think is free) that serves as a general file storage utility. I can stash zipped copies of the project there. But I believe you might also be able to use Apple’s new Files app for that as well. At the least you could email yourself a copy.

I believe the fundamental downside to this is that all of these methods are one-way backups. You can’t actually restore a zipped backup back into Scrivener using nothing but iOS, owing to limitations in the operating system itself. Some utilities (like FileApp) can unzip, but the result is a folder of files that iOS lacks the infrastructure to send as a whole unit to another app. (It’s a bit of a curious limitation, since you can readily send folder/package formats to iOS from a Mac with AirDrop, so it’s not like this is impossible for Apple to implement, they already have—it’s just not allowed.)

But that aside, it is a safer way of keeping redundant copies completely outside of any cloud mechanisms and the Scrivener app storage area.

I use FileApp and backup zips just as you do. However, you can import them back to Scrivener:

Tap to unzip
Tap to open folder
Long press on the .scriv file
Choose “Actions” from the menu
Choose “Open in Scrivener”

I’ve used this to go back to a previous version of my work, but doing this may overide the existing project so use with caution. :neutral_face:

Oh great to hear! That wasn’t working at all the last time I tried it, but come to think of it, I haven’t tried since iOS 11. Perhaps Apple has finally updated the sharing infrastructure to handle package/folder formats now that they have their own file management interface.

I will have to check out that app! Your a lifesaver! Does that app use your iPads memory or is it like a cloud storage? And does one have to backup that way manually every time?

Thank you for providing those instructions!

For keeping zipped copies of the project Apple’s new Files app works fine, and I find it an easier and smoother process than using FileApp. I store the zips in a designated Scrivener back up folder at iCloud Drive, where I can easily reach them on my Mac. The downside of course is that I can’t open the backed up project on my iPad or iPhone, for that I suppose FileApp is the solution.

I am now able to use apple iCloud file for scrivener on my Mac, but not on iOS 12… I read something you said about zip not being allowed to unzip? Basically, it won’t load from iCloud file storage in my iPad, but it will into my Mac?? Any work around as iOS 13 is even on the horizon now.

In order to get a zipped Scrivener project from iCloud into iOS Scrivener:

  • On your iOS device, open the Files app and find your zipped project.
  • Send your zipped project from the Files app to FileApp (different—free!—utility. Here’s the app store link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fileapp-file-manager/id297804694?mt=8
  • Once you’ve gotten the project into FileApp, unzip it there.
  • Still in FileApp, drill down into the unzipped project until you find a folder that has an extension of .scriv (very important!)
  • Long press on that .scriv folder, and open it in Scrivener.

Here’s the thread that this process is drawn from:

If you want to unzip natively on iOS you can make a Shortcut to do it. It takes about five minutes with Apples free Shortcuts app.

Once downloaded from the App Store, you create a new Shortcut, drag in the ‘Extract Archive’ and ‘Save File’ actions, and turn on the ‘Ask Where To Save’ button.

Click on the Shortcut settings (top right button) and turn on the ‘Show in Share Sheet’ option (give it a name and a unique icon while you’re there, too).

From then on, all you have to do is long press a zip file and choose Share> Shortcuts>Your Shortcut to unzip a file wherever you want (I tend to use the Scrivener folder on my iPad).