Mobile folder in project folder

I mainly use the Windows version of Scrivener on my laptop and my desktop. I store my projects on my Synology NAS, so I can access them easily with both devices, and I make backups to Dropbox. Sometimes, when I’m on the road, I use the iOS version. Unfortunately the iOS version can’t tap directly into the NAS (can it?), so I use the most recent backup in Dropbox (I always backup on closing the Windows version). Then, when I want to continue in Windows again, I just copy-paste the updated backup from Dropbox to my Diskstation, delete the original project folder, and rename the one I copy-pasted. It’s a bit of hassle, and I would prefer being able to access my Synology NAS directly from the iOS version, but it seems to work.

I’ve noticed there is a Mobile folder in the project folder that came from iOS. I don’t see that folder in the project folders that originated from and stayed in Windows. It’s probably nothing, but I just wanted to check if this Mobile folder influences the project folder, once it’s been transferred back to Windows.

EDIT: It’s seems to have resolved itself. Once the project is opened within Windows a notification about ‘rebuilding indices’ appears and the Mobile folder disappears.

I think you might have this backwards. Use the Dropbox folders to sync your Scrivener projects, and let Scrivener handle the syncing between devices. Don’t work on the same project at the same time on more than one device,though, and let Dropbox have time to sync. Use your Synology NAS to store the backups. Perhaps have another look at the Scrivener manual.

I direct Scrivener 25 backups to the local computer (~/Backups folder) and then I also instruct the Synology Backup utility to backup this and all other important folders to Synology. Thus have a couple copies of backups, along with versioning.

The way Dropbox works, it’s a poor backup as any errors/corruption that gets created in a project simply replicates across to Dropbox and, since you may or may not notice—well, bad things may happen.

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Correct. iOS Scrivener puts its changes in the Mobile folder. When the project is opened in Windows (or Mac) Scrivener, the contents of the Mobile folder are incorporated into the main body of the project.

This is done in part to facilitate conflict resolution.

Yeah, I’m with @rms on this @Repelstale. If you store your live projects on Dropbox, you’ll be able to access them directly from your laptop and desktop AND the iOS version, without jumping through the hoops you’re currently jumping through with iOS access.

I suspect you already know this, so it makes me wonder what your reasoning is with your current process. What problem do you perceive with storing the live projects on Dropbox?


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Hi Jim and rms,

I totally get what you’re saying. My aversion to use Dropbox as storage location for the work in progress probably stems from bad experiences with Dropbox in the past. Things going south because of syncing problems, because the syncing didn’t go in the direction I had anticipated, or indeed because projects were accidentally opened on more than one device. I’d be the first to agree that most of it could probably be attributed to my limited tech skills, although I did do the tutorial(s) and the upgrade guide like any good citizen. I just found my NAS more reliable. I put my ‘milestone backups’ on there as well, meaning the updated scripts after each chapter. I only use Dropbox for ‘calamity backups’, the ones I generate upon closing, or using the ‘backup now’ command, five of them in total.
But maybe I should reconsider my ways. Thanks for your reply.

Kind regards,


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Crystal clear, kewms, thanks for your reply!

Probably a good idea.

At this point, my best advice is as above when using Dropbox:

  • Work on a project on one device at a time.

  • Let Scrivener and Dropbox do their thing. (You seem to be doing it for them with your manual process).

  • Save and sync often. I do that by simply closing the project, getting up and walk around, stretch, re-fill coffee cup, etc. after a writing session. Give time for the device to sync (depends on network, device capability, etc.)

  • Don’t think of it as “saving in Dropbox”. It’s not like the folders you are using on your NAS. Best to remember that when you put the files into your local folder called “Dropbox”, that it is resident on your device(s). The Dropbox app syncs that folder up to their server, and down to all the devices that you have connected to that folder in Dropbox.

  • setup a more rigorous backup regime for all your devices, including the NAS (where that is only where the files reside with no syncing). It needs a backup regime also. Synology provides the tools to do this.

To the advice @rms gave you, I’ll add what I think are the MOST important steps in sync management, none of them having to do with sync services.

  1. Set Scrivener to make zip backups, at least ten.
  2. Put them (the backups) in the safest location you can think of.
  3. Notice immediately if something went wrong since the last editing session.
  4. Know where your zip backups are and know how to retrieve from them.

Any cloud service is fine for #4. Sync glitches happen for projects because it’s a structure with moving parts being modified by Scrivener at the same time that a sync service can be up- or downloading them.

The NAS is also good for #4, but it doesn’t give you offsite backup.

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It is recommended by L&L and others that you in fact use a different cloud service to store your backups than where you store your live projects. This keeps you from having all your eggs in one basket.

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Not a bad idea. I’d use something free for that extra protection, though. It’s not likely Dropbox will lose my zip files.

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It’s more the risk of something locking you out of Dropbox/Dropbox having a service issue. I use OneDrive to store my ZIP backups, others use Google or iCloud – something ubiquitous that we can get to from practically anywhere if we need to.

99% of the time, projects and zip files on my hard drive will be fine. 99% of the time, Time Machine will be fine, and 99% of the time, Dropbox will be fine. If I put the zip files in iCloud (which is free), that’s fine 90% of the time, but it hardly changes the probability of all avenues failing.

Anyway, you suggested free services, same as me.

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Well, those 90-99% statistics are exactly why I’ve stuck with my trusty NAS instead of Dropbox.
But I do appreciate the advice, people.

I started this thread because I had a question about the Mobile folder, before it became about online storage services.

I just wanted to add that I would appreciate it if the iOS version would be able to open files on my NAS via WebDAV or something similar.

You may be able to work around this by making use of the Files app. Some of the sync methods IOS users already use involve the Files app to move projects in and out of Scrivener’s file storage for upload/download with sync engines other than DropBox.

This web post seems to talk about a way to get full WebDAV integration into Files:
Solved: ioS Files App full integration to Synology NAS (WebDAV + BoxCryptor) | Synology Community

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Ah, thanks, devinganger!