IOS version cannot open Scrivener 3 files


I am new to this forum, but not new to Scrivener. Though I have been using the IOS for some time, due to certain issues, now that I finally came back to the desktop version, I see that Scrivener 3 updates the files when I open them on my iMac. Once they are updated and got back to IOS, I did it just to check on them, the IOS version said “Invalid project”. It cannot be opened because it does not contain a valid binder structure file.

The projects have been fully updated on Dropbox and I can open them no problem on my iMac, it is just that any time I try to open a file that I worked mostly from IOS, it updates it but then it cannot be opened on the IOS version.

Thanks for your help

To push aside any myriad variables that come along with sync, have you verified that the projects actually cannot be opened on iOS by copying them to your device more traditionally? With macOS 10.15 and above you can do this straight from Finder if the device is in WiFi range (I do think you have to set up WiFi sync with the cable first, if you haven’t), by going into file management, drilling into Scrivener and dragging the project into its storage area (not the Dropbox subfolder). On older Macs, use iTunes.

If they do actually work fine, then it sounds to me as though sync isn’t completing on the device. You may want to relink the sync folder (removing local copies on the device when doing so) and let it start fresh. As always, when doing things like this, make sure you have backups of anything that might be located on only one device.

That’s interesting. Is that the folder the user chooses for backup?

That is where Scrivener for iOS manages Dropbox synced projects. So if one were to drag a project from the Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder on their Mac into the Dropbox subfolder on their tablet, it would not result in the kind of test I was interested in seeing the results of: whether the project opens fine without any kind of sync technology getting in the way.

There is no automatic backup folder on iOS though. Backups are manually saved, using one of the techniques linked to from my previous post.

I guess 'm asking where the project storage area folder is.

If you’re at the iOS Scrivener Projects screen, where all your projects are listed, the list is divided into two groups, DROPBOX and ON MY IPHONE/IPAD.

The projects in the DROPBOX group are in DropBox, and those in the ON MY IPHONE/IPAD group are local to your device. You can drag & drop projects from one group to the other.

By “storage area”, AmberV is referring to the ON MY IPHONE/IPAD project group.


Ah! I thought we were speaking of a folder!

It undoubtedly is a folder, but Apple doesn’t want you to know where it physically resides.

There is nothing secret about it.
Open the app Files. In the left column you find various locations, one being On My iPad. Tap on it and you come to a list of folders connected with different apps. One of them is called Scrivener. Tap on it and you will find a folder named Dropbox, which holds all your projects synced to the Dropbox server, a folder called Tutorial which obviously contains the tutorial, and the different projects which are only stored On My iPad (not synced with the Dropbox server).

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A detail. All projects are stored on your iPad. The only difference is that the projects listed under Dropbox are also stored on the Dropbox server. That’s what the syncing does. It copies those projects to the Dropbox server so you have them both on your iPad and on the Dropbox server HD.


To clarify, any project stored at the root level of Scrivener’s storage area will show up in the “On My iPad” section (which is, yes, a bit of a misnomer). So when I suggested dragging the project into Scrivener’s storage area, but not into the Dropbox folder, that is what I mean, into the “top level” area. If that isn’t clear, one can create a quick temporary blank project “on the device” and see where it ends up when viewed on the Mac.