How to access Scrivener project from a diff comp with Scrivener?

I’ve been using Scrivener for over a year and I love it. I’ve even convinced a few other writing friends to use it. But, I have a small concern on the backup basis.

I have all my projects saved to my Gdrive. My friend has Scrivner on his computer. I tried to use his computer and Scrivner to work on my projects by pulling from my cloud. The project opened, all the folders and files were there and named. All of them are blank. Nothing. No other data, none of the pictures.

So I need to know how to have all my files and such saved on my Gdrive and able to be retrieved from a different computer cuz my current computer is old and may go to the great laptop in the sky any day and I NEED to know my work is safe.

Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

Hi Creslix,

You mention “backup” in your post, but you really seem to be about asking about storing and syncing your projects from the cloud.

You should use DropBox to share Scrivener projects across computers or iOS devices. It is the only current cloud service that can handle Scrivener’s multi-file design. (Other users had good experience with Cubby, but apparently that service is going away.) Download & install the DropBox app to your PC, move your Scrivener projects to the DropBox folder, and you are in business. Read this post for more details: [url]]

And see the L&L Knowledgebase article on Cloud Sync for further details:

As far as backups go, read this post: [url]]

Hope that info helps,

Would this be the same reason my Research folder keeps randomly deleting files when I switch between my desktop and laptop computers? I’ve been keeping the project folder on Google Drive. I thought it was to do with one computer being Windows 7 and the other Windows 10.

Suppose this isn’t about backup or synch. Let’s say the user is just trying to maintain a Scrivener project natively out in the cloud, on logical drive K:.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. Seems to me the earlier releases of WinScriv were engineered to load the binder on launch, and active docs only as needed in the editors. Thus we’d get a fast project launch and light memory footprint, but risk an outdated index, and a lockup on Scrivenings, loading too many docs at once.

These days Scriv uses a memory-intensive loading algorithm, for a slow launch, a reliable index, and snappy Scrivenings and outliner views. But if a large project is on a logical drive in the cloud, I can see how the i/o demands would make it nearly impossible to load, and how timeout settings, for example, might cause it to load incompletely, as in Creslix’s case.

I think maintaining a project on a remote logical drive is a reasonable and typical thing to do, but would probably require a retro light footprint mode, to load documents only as needed and perhaps lock out Scrivenings and whatever other functions don’t fit the capabilities of the moment. This would enable Scrivener to manage a much larger remote project than it can at present.

Rgds – Jerome

I have no idea if this is the cause of your problem or not, but I do know that Google Drive does not work well with Scrivener. Move to DropBox or use some other type of sharing technology (E.g., USB drive) or you risk corrupting your project.

Frankly, I don’t have a clue about Scrivener’s loading algorithm. But I do know that Scrivener runs perfectly in the DropBox cloud, as long as the user allows changes to sync completely before launching Scrivener and after closing it.

This not correct. Scrivener, both Mac and Windows, only loads the active documents into the editor. That is now and has always been the case. (And, as noted, can cause some delays when loading a large Scrivenings session.)

HOWEVER, Scrivener has always expected that the entire project is accessible via the local computer’s file system. (And therefore that the local computer has room for it.) It is not now and has never been designed to download component files from the cloud on an as-needed basis. This is for both performance and data security reasons. There is a fair amount of metadata associated with each component file of a Scrivener project: imagine that nightmare that could ensue if the document was updated but the metadata wasn’t due to a lost internet connection.

(It’s theoretically possible to use your computer’s operating system to lie to Scrivener, causing it to believe that network and cloud drives are in fact locally connected. This is not recommended and is entirely at the user’s own risk.)

(Note also that a “remote logical drive” is not really how most cloud services work. When they allow you to access your files through the local computer’s file system, they generally do it by maintaining copies of your files on the local system. Services that don’t do this have known reliability problems, see this article for example: … e-advisory)


As noted upthread, Google Drive specifically is not reliable and not recommended for use with live Scrivener projects. If you are seeing files randomly appear and disappear, it is extremely likely that inconsistent synchronization via Google Drive is a contributing factor.


Katherine, thanks for the clarification.

Rgds – Jerome

FWIW, I work on all of my files locally and then sync them to the cloud, Onedrive in my case, using a program called FreeFileSync. At the end of a work session, I check to see what files are going to be copied, overwritten or deleted within the comparison window of FreeFileSync, then do the sync. I have to make sure that Onedrive completes its business before shutting down and vice versa when I am writing from another computer. I’ve never lost anything this way and it relieves my mind of the worry that I might do something stupid while writing that propagates within the cloud before I know what I’ve done. I keep all of my documents in the same folder on a secondary drive and use this method with other writing application so that a single sync at the end of the day keeps everything up to date.

The only caveat is to remember to do this process before and after each session. I’ve forgotten a few times, but since I check what’s going to be synced before allowing it to happen, it’s only been an inconvenience. You can automate this process, but I like to have the last say in what is going to be synced.


Hi Gina,

Prior to acquiring my iPad/iOS Scrivener and signing up with DropBox, I used OneDrive to share Scrivener projects between multiple Windows PCs.

The way I did this was that my OneDrive folder on all machines was designated as Scrivener’s backup folder.

Whenever Scrivener closed, it would zip the project and store it on OneDrive. If I wanted to work on it from another machine, I would pull the project from OneDrive, unzip it, do my work, and then when done Scrivener would zip the revised project and store it again on OneDrive.

The advantage of this method is you only have to deal with one zip file being copied to the cloud, so less chance for issues. The disadvantage is you have to unzip the project at both ends.

I still store my Scrivener zipped backups on OneDrive, but DropBox is rock solid as a Scrivener project repository, so no need to use OneDrive for that anymore.

I’m curious - any particular reason why you’re not using DropBox for sharing?


Hi Jim:

I’ve used Dropbox in the past but the same way I use Onedrive now. I switched to Onedrive when I subscribed to Office365 and got 1 TB of space. I’ve since stopped using Dropbox completely. As to my method, I feel more in control saving to a local drive and moving it from there. Before I switched to the Cloud, I transferred my files to a USB key the same way and carried the key around with me. Basically, I’m old fashioned and sometimes still consider writing with a computer word processing program as just using a fancy typewriter. In fact, I do my early drafts in Scrivener using full screen view and a typewriter font. :slight_smile:


This is one of the most pervasive misunderstandings of how Dropbox works–that it somehow keeps the only copy of your files in the “cloud”. While you’re of course free to use your own methods of synchronization, please understand that when you use the synchronization software from Dropbox on your computer, your files are local. That software just uploads changes to those files and folders to the dropbox servers, and downloads changes synchronized from other locations.

Your Dropbox files are always local if you have that software installed.


I understand very well how cloud services work; I know my data is stored locally and I can even find the folder all on my own. (I’ve been using PC’s since 1985 and I still use Wordstar key mappings.) The decision to do what I do is not based on ignorance but preference. I keep my files stored on a local drive that is not the OS drive and sync from there. It’s fine to disagree with me but please don’t make these kinds of assumptions. I know you had good intentions, as I’ve seen you help many people on these forums over the years, but you missed the mark this time. :wink:


I’m sorry I misinterpreted your words, Gina.

No problem, Robert.

One of the advantages to doing it the way Gina is doing is that you have full control over when the sync happens and your source documents are in a steady state during the sync. Fewer chances to have the devil dance with your data in the pale moonlight.