Has anyone tested sharing Scrivener projects between MacBook and iPad using AirDrop?

I’m now talking about sharing the actual Scrivener projects, which are package files, not about the zipped backup files. There is no file size limit, and it transfers files as fast as the individual devices will allow, but does it also copy the entire Scrivener project structure correctly? Testing proved that it took tens of seconds to transfer a one gigabyte file from a Mac Mini to a MacBook Pro with AirDrop. I just used AirDrop to move a 500MB Scrivener project from a MacBook to an iPad, and it worked perfectly on the iPad. But does AirDrop employ any form of verification to ensure the integrity of the file during transfer? - AirDrop will be of no use if its behavior is unpredictable.

I’ve personally never run into any issues with it, and for a long time it was the main way that I transitioned between devices. I can’t speak to the internal workings of it, as probably nobody other than the Apple engineers who worked on it could, but it would surprise me if they are just blindly copying data without any kind of “OK” type response after each packet. That would be some MS-DOS levels of ineptitude.


I thank you for your comment. Could you please let me know what way you’re using to share Scrivener projects, other than AirDrop? Dropbox? Zipped Backup Files on iCloud? Something else?

I haven’t checked in a while, because Apple messed up the ability to associate .scriv projects with Scrivener, meaning that in order to AirDrop you would need to send to Files.app, and then switch over to that and move the project into Scrivener’s storage folder in Files. So it made more sense to me to just switch to using something that puts it directly into Files since I’m going to have to go there anyway.

What I do is use the File ▸ Back Up ▸ Back Up To… command to create a zipped copy of the project in a sync folder. From there I can move the .zip over to Scrivener folder in Files, and tap on it to decompress. Then I’m good to go.

For the return trip I use the Edit button in the project manager screen to send the updated .zip back, via sync as well.

I use Zip because it’s a lot faster to sync one file than hundreds.

But it’s worth trying AirDrop again since it’s been a few years since I messed with it. If upon receipt on the device you get the option to load it in Scrivener, then that’s the most convenient approach.


Thank you! I’ve now run an experiment of AirDrop from Mac to iPad, and it functions very fast, but it insists on my saving the project to the iPads Files folder first. With the iPad → Mac transfer, using AirDrop, it sent the project to the Download folder, from which you must move it to the Scriveners Home Folder. The transition of Scrivener projects would otherwise seem to be problem-free. I will probably make use of Scrivener’s project transfer via zipped files and iCloud in the future. I would prefer not to use Dropbox simply for Scrivener in order to avoid having too many cloud services for my Mac.


All right, it sounds like they have not improved anything then, which is too bad. It’s so silly, they essentially just do not recognise that “.scriv” is a format we can make use of, even though we declare it properly.

Well, as to the other method, I shared some tips on streamlining it a while back. The main ingredient is putting your automatic project backup folder into your preferred sync service’s folder, so that those .zip files from the Mac are always there when you need them. That leaves only having to remember to export from Scrivener when putting down the mobile device. For me that is the limitation, because I primarily use Linux which has no Finder with which to attach to the device over the local network. In your case, you could just load the device from your Finder sidebar and pull the latest project down from the mobile device directly if you forget to .zip.

I do think zipping is preferable though, because it means having all of your editing stages stored in one place in chronological order, giving you a lot of safety net to work with.

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Thanks a lot. Your guidance has been extremely helpful.