How to Get Files Off of iPad

I remember with the early versions of iOS you could bring up your purchased apps and find the files there. This no longer seems to be the case, when I sync the iPad there is no entry for apps.

According to an article here, you can copy files back and forth from the iPad to iTunes. I see many references to Dropbox, but I can’t/don’t want to use Dropbox. How can I access my files created in iPad Scrivener?

Did you sync the Scrivener files with Dropbox? If not, then a pity as it would be simple. Try the “Files” app on iOS and look for them?

Dropbox? One of the intriguing issues that users have with Dropbox is finding files that do not belong to them there. One of my clients was charged with a felony for files that were not his and that “somehow” got into his Dropbox folders. There are dozens of cases of people making these kind of complaints.

However, I did find a hidden iTunes setting that opens up access to iPad files. In the graphic below, next to the “Music” radio box, there is another box that, at least initially, makes no reference to the mounted iPad. Click on it though, and it will bring up your files on iPad and from there you can drag them to the Desktop.

Hardly intuitive, but not Scrivener’s fault. Apparently in MacOS 10.15 and later this is easier because the iPad mounts directly. But I need my 32 bit apps and so am running Mojave.

Screen Shot 2021-12-19 at 9.01.08 PM

Well, it’s not that difficult, but I guess it is for you. As I presume you are an attorney, perhaps you have resources at your disposal who can do this for you?

This is the first I’ve heard of it in over ten years using Scrivener with Dropbox and managing a group of over 14,000 users. It’s impossible to prove, but I’d bet a million $ those files were placed there by user error (if not deliberately).

Even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t be shocking for the same thing to happen with any sharing method from stone tablets to CIA servers.

Or open the Files app on your iPad, go to On My iPad▸Scrivener, find the project, and share it.


iOS Scrivener’s way of exporting projects off a device is via the Export (or “share”) feature.

From the Projects screen, click Edit. Select a project. Click the “share” button (rectangle with up arrow). Pick a destination, could be email, cloud service, etc.

This will create a zipped folder of the project, in exactly the same fashion as desktop Scrivener automatic backups.


1 Like

Yes, the forum here is an excellent resource.


I wonder if there is a word for the kind of hidden knowledge that is common knowledge amongst the cognoscenti. You think you have a unique problem only to figure out that there is a subculture around that problem, e.g., want to put a desktop shortcut on a Ubuntu installation? Read the threads and weep. The a/c evaporator on a Chysler 300 will rust and leak. New owners find this out 2-3 years down the road, but it is a known problem among mechanics. What happened to network troubleshooting on Mac? You’re not the only one who longs for the network status tool.

So when I google the issue and find dozens of complaints, it all of a sudden becomes quite possible, at least in the world of beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt, that the files he said were not his were not his. Otherwise, why are all these Dropbox users complaining? And those are the ones who publicized their complaints by looking for solutions; my guess is that Dropbox’s internal files show many more.

But if it only happened 1/14000 times, at the scale of the Internet that would be a lot of instances: 71 per million, more or less. That’s 710 per ten million. Imagine if 710 people shared the same points of comparison as those seen on your fingerprints.

But all of this is a digression. You can believe it or not.

1 Like

It can’t be proven either way, without seeing it happen. I’m just telling you what I’d bet. I’ve seen thousands, maybe millions of Dropbox complaints. Just not that one: files in Dropbox the user didn’t put there.

1 Like

It seems a bit of a tradition around here that if someone asks how to manage their files directly because they don’t want to use Dropbox, you get a bunch of posts questioning why you don’t want to use Dropbox. :laughing: Folks, some people don’t like it, can’t use it, or just simply prefer other approaches. Let 'em, and offer the good routes that exist as alternatives, because there are several (a number of them are listed in this knowledge base article, which although is aimed at keeping things backed up—for obvious reasons there is a lot of overlap in backing things up and copying projects around easily).

Hardly intuitive, but not Scrivener’s fault. Apparently in MacOS 10.15 and later this is easier because the iPad mounts directly. But I need my 32 bit apps and so am running Mojave.

They made it slightly better, in that the file management tool was relocated to a more logical place: Finder instead of a bloated music player. They still use the weird and poorly designed interface though, from what was inside iTunes. I don’t know why they don’t just mount it to /Volumes/NameOfDevice and provide simple, basic file system access. I suppose that would be too obvious and not “innovative” enough.

For bulk management that’s still the best approach (however you get to it). For one-offs and actual workflow related transfer: AirDrop remains my favourite. It’s super convenient.


@pseingalt Actually, that was wonderful storytellling, in addition to being lawyerese :slight_smile:

Much enjoyed it. Yes, computers and their users make mistakes. It has ever been so. Your statistics are also not unreasonable.

Showing good spirit, which I enjoy most of all :slight_smile:

@AmberV Great replies, the lot of them. Dropbox a) does work, esp. for Scrivener b) has always been and continues to be much of a mess, with all their ‘helpful’ pushing of themselves, listing of endless ‘recent’ files so that you can’t see the actual folders without long skipping through, etc. etc…

I am sure AirDrop is great. Unfortunately, not a thing on Windows for from my iPad, or anyone elses, so far as I know :slight_smile:

Nice holidays, however you have them, Ioa…

Google is restricting Google Docs files (Google Workspace Updates: New notifications when Drive content violates abuse program policies). This will be driven by an algorithm, a human being will not review your files. You may appeal, and a human might–though probably not (in such situations Google merely checks if the algo is working properly) examine your files and if they feel there are words which violate their ToS, the files will be restricted.

If you were to write a history of censorship and referenced the actions of a certain European country in and after 1933, you could find your files restricted. An extended discussion here (Google Drive may restrict files identified as violating ToS | Hacker News) suggests that Dropbox has been doing this for a long time. And it took two seconds to find this (Photographs that are NOT mine in Dropbox - and NOT... - Dropbox Community)

Writers are especially at risk for this sort of thing. If you write murder mysteries, you have to know how to kill a person. Writers might research poisons and all sorts of other types of mayhem. In my world, to defend crime you have to know how it is committed. A spark plug is a harmless car part unless it’s used to break into automobiles. If methamphetamine manufacture requires a three-neck flask for complex distillation, how are kids brewing “shake and bake” meth using 1.5 liter Mountain Dew bottles in the back seat of cars? I would hate to have appellate briefs deleted by Google because they addressed these or other sensitive subjects.