iCloud Sync

For another half-turn of the dragon’s tail, it looks to me like Scrivener V3 projects inside DevonThink databases work fine. I even made a DevonThink template out of an empty Scrivener project, so I don’t even have to leave DevonThink to start a new Scrivener file/project/Polynesian moai.

Of course, the question of why in Bartleby’s name one would want to do that is left as an exercise for the enterprising scrivener. For my part, I feel life is often too safe and assured. In this case, I don’t think it’s that risky since everything in a DevonThink database is stored in good old MacOS folders. They are inside a package, for a hint of mystery, but otherwise, everything is stored in regular OS subdirectories.

I would go into further detail, but stalwart Rocinante stamps his impatience and giants are at the gates!

Trust your muse, but keep current backups. Not necessarily in that order.

Still, the ability of syncing using iCloud is very very important.
As a Chinese user, when I am in China, there is no way to access Dropbox smoothly but there is no problem for connecting iCloud.

If you are only wanting to sync projects between Macs, between Windows PCs, or between platforms, have a look at Sync, https://www.sync.com. It is accessible in China, works just like Dropbox, though I have a suspicion it is very slightly slower than Dropbox, but it’s much quicker and better with Scrivener than iCloud. Just like Dropbox, you need to check that sync’ing is complete before shutting down/putting to sleep your computer. I use it with my collaborators in China.

If you’re talking about Mac <—> iOS, then for the moment you’ll need Dropbox and a VPN.



Thanks to this thread understand why Scrivener only ‘syncs’ properly with Dropbox. I just wanted to say that I hope this issue gets resolved some time. I share the OP’s concern about DropBox over the longer term. IAWriter stopped working with it recently. It’s pretty invasive with the access it requires to your system and what it wants to modify. Scrivener is the ONLY reason I have Dropbox running on all my machines. It’s another cloud service, on top of Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive that I have running, but the one I have no use for apart from Scrivener.

I’m in the same situation, I only recently decided to return to Scrivener for a major project and was hugely disappointed to discover I had to re-subscribe to Dropbox (LONG ago abandoned) just to use the iOS version of Scrivener. I have my fingers crossed that an iCloud solution might appear in 2018.

This is not accurate. You don’t need Dropbox to use iOS Scrivener, just to synchronize with other platforms. We have customers who use iOS Scrivener as a standalone application, and others who use iTunes file sharing to transfer data back and forth.


Another vote for an alternative to Dropbox syncing, preferably iCloud. As venerable tech publication Macworld says in their May 29, 2018 roundup of cloud storage services:

There you have it: Dropbox is no longer regarded by mainstream tech publications as a best-of-breed solution in 2018.

Scrivener is literally the only app I use that still has a dependency on Dropbox for sync. Every time I’m stuck waiting on a Dropbox sync while opening or closing a Scrivener project, I start thinking about migrating to other writing tools. And as someone who’s bouncing back and forth between an iMac and an iPad all day, that adds up to a lot of staring at the Dropbox syncing progress meter.

That doesn’t really matter from a developmental point of view, if the majority of users are using that over other synchronization services. Dropbox has half a billion registered users. If even 25% of those accounts are active, it is an enormous number of users.

It is unlikely that a different cloud solution would resolve this specific issue. Synchronization works the way it does in order to minimize the risk of synchronization conflicts and data loss when working between devices. Any other solution would require the exact same approach from our end, and in fact the difficulty of implementing that approach with other services is why Dropbox was chosen in the first place.


The technical difficulties have been discussed at length before, including in this very thread:


I’m saddened that we still don’t have iCloud sync, although I understand that there’s technical difficulties with it and so on. I just discovered that as of last month, Dropbox is now limiting free users to syncing with only three devices. I currently use four devices to manage my Scrivener projects, and now I’m going to have to ditch one of them. I also won’t be able to link anything else with Dropbox unless I pay them ten dollars a month.

So, it looks like I may have to consider using something else to write with, or haul my laptop everywhere I go. :cry:

I have the same problem — Scrivener on more than 3 devices. If it weren’t for Scrivener, I’d have considered dropping Dropbox, but all the alternatives are risk and/or clunky and in the end I’ve just upgraded the storage for an easier life. I consoled myself by thinking I’ve been using Dropbox free for several thousand years (ie can’t remember exactly, but it’s a long time) so it’s going to work out about 10p a month for quite a while yet overall…

Just registered to weigh in here as well now that Dropbox has their 3 device link limit, I’m stuck with $120/year if I want all my devices to be able to synchronize.

You’re only stuck with $120 if you want to add devices additional to those already connected.

Hello every scrivener-users,

with one desktop, one laptop, one iPad and one iPhone, the dropbox limit has been a serious problem, meaning “should i throw dropbox, scrivener, both or should i pay more than 100€ for an extra-activity that earns me approx. nothing ?” - i don’t what to explain too much, but the dropbox fee would be around 1/10 of the annual income i make with my writing.

In short : Scrivener is a really efficient tool, Dropbox works flawless, but the things i write in are not worth the prize.

My solution is : my main scrivener document is in a folder inside my dropbox folder. I have created an another free dropbox account and shared the scrivener’s folder with the new account - and the laptop is connected to dropbox with this new account. Not an ideal solution, but it seems to work, ans as my use of the laptop is for unusual situations, i think i could live with that for a while.

If this could help some of you…
… by the way, sorry for the mistakes, typos and wrong english as my main langages is french and/or python, not royal english :slight_smile:

I’ve been thinking about this, and I’m still pretty unhappy about it, but there is a sort-of solution…I’ve been thinking of setting up a second Dropbox account for syncing additional devices in the future.

I am really unhappy with the way Dropbox did this, and with the measly three device limit. I love Scrivener too much to give it up totally, and since I’m grandfathered in, I can at least use my devices for now.

Just a reminder. If you already have more than 3 devices linked to your Dropbox account nothing changes as long as you don’t wish to change any or add any more.
I am a little annoyed as I have 5 devices and typically upgrade the iOS ones each year. Win and Mac computers every 3-5 years. Was thinking if the rumoured 17” MacBook turns out to be true I’d swap my few month old 15” ASAP, but then I’d run in to the 3 device issue.

i’d love some clear instructions as to how to manage using dropbox so i can work on my desktop and then work via my laptop ?

updating found my answer; https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/using-scrivener-with-dropbox/11295/1

Hi Keith et al at L&L,

I am sure that you’re still snowed [under?!], but I just wanted to give this topic a bump and ask if there is anything more on the status of iCloud syncing?

Let’s hope that there is interesting stuff in the announcement of iOS 13 at WWDC 2019 (the Keynote is the 3rd of June) that makes iCloud Drive a possibility for Scrivener iOS Syncing. I know Keith wants it to happen, but he doesn’t want to compromise on Scrivener’s special package format (and I don’t want him as the developer to do that as well, the Scrivener package is one of the reasons we have most of those typical Scrivener-advantages that no other software has). On the other hand, I’m not going to lie, I’m really thinking of trying to quit Dropbox as much as I can, and going to iCloud Drive and it has already made me use Highland 2 more as a screenwriting package. (Both Scrivener and Highland 2 are great software packages that can work in tandem and both have different advantages and disadvantages)