No desktop & no laptop

Hi. I have an iPad Mini 2. Software version 12.4.8
I have the Scrivener app on this iPad mini 2.
I have contacted Scrivener, who tell me that there are no specific tutorials for people in my position.
I understand and accept that the app has limitations and can not perform all functions and I am fine with that.
I am having incredible difficulty syncing with Dropbox. I have looked at the step-by-step guide, but if I understand it correctly, I need a desktop or laptop. Have I got that right or is there a section of the tutorial that I have missed?
I am sure that it is possible to sync without a laptop or desktop, if only I could find the instructions .
If anyone would be willing to work with me on a step by step basis I would be so grateful.
Many thanks.

There are two steps to “syncing.” First the iOS device uploads to the Dropbox server, then the laptop/desktop downloads from the server.

The two are completely independent, so there’s no need to have a laptop in order to upload from the iOS device to Dropbox.

The “Setting up Dropbox Sync” section of this article explains what to do: … g-with-ios

What’s the specific issue you’re having problems with?


Hi Katherine, thanks for replying. When I follow the link, my eye is drawn to the line that says “Edit on your Mac” and I don’t get further than that. I admit to being flummoxed by technology - and wonder if I am mis-interpreting this line?

I have taken screenshots of each stage of my attempt to sync - would you like to see them? I would be so grateful for some feedback.

Thanks. (

There is no line that says “Edit on your Mac” in the section I referenced. Here’s the direct link to it: … opbox-sync

Yes, I’d be happy to look at a screenshot.

I’m sure Alex – who was handling your note to our support team – would be, too.


Yes there is Katherine. The first bullet point says ”Edit on your Mac or Windows machine, and wait for the changes to be synced by the Dropbox desktop client. ”.

The point here is not that these instructions won’t work for Fizz, rather they contain more information than s/he needs. If you only have an iPad then you are really using Dropbox as a kind of backup service, because (if I understand you correctly) you actually have nothing to sync to.

You only need read the parts that tell you how to set up and sync with Dropbox.

Hope this helps.

The section I referenced (twice) says, in its entirety:


Thank you all. I will go and give it a whirl and will let you know how it goes.







Hi All
I have taken screenshots. I think I am following the correct process. I have done the process quite a few times over the last week or so, each time I get the same error message.

Any ideas, please? (I am working on an iPad 2 mini. I do not have a laptop or a desktop.)

Are you able to open the projects from Scrivener’s own Projects screen?

You can’t open them from the Dropbox app, because Dropbox doesn’t know what to do with them.


Hi Katherine

Yes, I can open them from Sciverner’s own projects screen.

Is there a solution, please?

Are you trying to open the project on a second iOS device? As in, you have the project on your iPad but want to open it with your iPhone? (or vice-versa?) That you can do, but not the way you’re trying.

If that’s the case, here’s what you do on your second iOS device:

  • In Scrivener, on your Projects screen, tap the “Edit” button at the top right of the Projects list (sidebar in your screenshot)
  • Tap the gear icon that appears in the bottom right corner.
  • Set up your Dropbox settings exactly the same way you have them set up on your other device. Same account, same folder.
  • Now tap the sync icon on your Projects screen. Your projects should sync and appear in the Dropbox section of Scrivener on your second device.

If this is not what you’re trying to do, I apologise and hope you’ll forgive the lecture and explain how I’ve misunderstood.

A solution for what? You have the test projects on your iPad and on the Dropbox server. So what is it you want to do?

Hi Silverdragon

Thank you for your reply. Your comments are very helpful.

I was indeed trying to open the file in Dropbox on the same device (ie, my ipad). I didn’t know that it wasn’t possible.

I do have an iphone. I will see if the files will open on Dropbox on my iphone. (I will do it tomorrow, it is too late in the evening for me now.)

It may help if I explain the reason why I want to use Dropbox.

My reasoning is that I need to back up my Scrivener work somewhere and I thought that perhaps Dropbox would be the place.

My technical knowledge is limited. I want to back up my Scrivener work because I am aware that if something goes wrong with my ipad, or if it gets lost/stolen, then I am up the creek without a paddle!

I am aware that sometimes when I try to explain my intentions, I think I am being clear, but it turns out that I am not being clear. I would be glad of your response. Many thanks.

When you sync from within Scrivener and Scrivener says that sync is complete, then you have a copy of your project on the Dropbox server.
But it can only be opened by Scrivener. If you want to open the project on the iPhone, you need to install Scrivener on the iPhone, sync iPhone Scrivener with the same Dropbox account, and then open it. It can only be done from within Scrivener.