Looking for step by step help to sync Scrivener!

After carefully reviewing the Dropbox syncing with iOS and the Quick troubleshooting for iOS guides I have been unable to successfully resolve my issue and cannot transfer my Macbooks Scrivener content to Windows (issues with formatting and disappearing content) and iOS (can’t get any content to sync to my iphone). I’m hoping that someone may be able to walk me through troubleshooting my issues as I’m unable to do this myself.

Please do this:

  • Create a brand new project on the Mac with a couple of text files. Save it in the Dropbox folder.

  • Allow Dropbox to sync. Login to your account at dropbox.com. Is the project there?

  • If so, allow the Windows machine to synchronize. Does the project appear? If so, add a few lines of text, save it, and allow Dropbox to synchronize again.

  • Allow the iOS device to synchronize. Does the project appear? Does it have the lines you added on the Windows machine? If so, add a few more lines and synchronize again.

  • Synchronize the Windows machine, see if the iOS changes appear.

  • Synchronize the Mac. See if both the Windows and the iOS changes appear.

If you got this far, synchronization is configured correctly. If not, what step failed?


Thank you for your response, the first issue I seem to have is that my 2011 Macbook Pro is too old to utilize the latest Dropbox updates and is therefore unable to sync through it, my only solution to this was to transfer the Scrivener files through a USB flash drive, will this cause an issue or can I continue with these steps with the flash drive method?

Using a flash drive is not true synchronization: you’ll be transferring a complete copy of the project, and it will be up to you to keep track of which version is current.

With that in mind, you can use the flash drive to copy from the Mac to the PC, and then iTunes from either machine to transfer to the iOS device. Or you can use Dropbox to sync between the PC and the iOS device, and the flash drive to transfer between the Mac and the PC. The best approach probably depends on which device you use most often, and the physical proximity between them. (For instance if the PC is a work machine that you only have access to while at your office.)

In any case, the steps for testing Dropbox between the PC and the iOS device are the same: create a project on one side, make sure it transfers, then make some changes and make sure they transfer back.


I see, so should I expect any complications from not using true synchronization? Is their any way to get dropbox syncing on my macbook considering that I can’t download the latest version of dropbox on it due to it being outdated? All devices are located locally at my home, I will go ahead and follow your steps using the flash drive.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I no longer plan on writing on my Macbook due to it being outdated and have another Windows laptop that will be my primary device in addition to my iphone and windows pc, would this make the flash drive method non problematic?

I wouldn’t say that using the flash drive is “problematic.” Scrivener doesn’t care one way or the other. It’s just that, with synchronization, you have software in the background making sure that the project on Computer A exactly matches the copy of the project on the server. With a flash drive, Computer A has “MyProject22Oct” and “MyProject20Oct,” and it’s up to you to make sure that you only work on MyProject22Oct, copy that version back to the flash drive, and so on.

You would need to talk to Dropbox support about the alternatives for the MacBook.

If you are using a Windows laptop that runs Scrivener and supports the latest version of Dropbox, then you can synchronize it via Dropbox just as you do the Windows PC. Refer back to my previous post on how to test to make sure it is working correctly.


Using the steps you provided I was able to successfully sync my Scrivener project from Mac to my PC and then to iOS, my issue seemed to be dragging the incorrect .scriv project file from the flash drive but once I dragged the correct one I now see the project throughout all devices, my gratitude for your assistance!