None of my files will open now: "The project seems to be of an older format,..."

Suddenly, I get this error message with ALL of my projects.

I did not get this message yesterday when I was writing – it went from all my files working to none of them opening.

Any idea what happened? This is awful.

I have the latest, updated version of the software.

I don’t want to have to unzip backup files and hope that they’re up to date.

Has anyone suddenly had this problem and what did you do about it?

Any help would be MUCH appreciated. I’m freaking out. Thanks!

Are you storing your files in a place that is uploaded/syncronized with a cloud service (including iCloud’s “Desktop and Documents” feature)? If so, which one?

Are you running version 3 for Mac, or version 2? Which version are you trying to open your project with?

Hopefully your responses will help someone help you. Good luck!

Yes, I was syncing with Dropbox. That seemed to be the problem for some reason. Because strangely, when I downloaded my file from Dropbox through my browser, the file was okay. It was only the synced file on the Dropbox Mac App that wasn’t opening.

So – without any tech knowdedge, it seems something is messed up with the Drop box Map App so I switched my syncing to iCloud.

Thanks for your response though – very stressful situation for me!

You might want to check with Dropbox support.

My best guess would be that you have “smart” syncing turned on, which causes the Dropbox app to only download files as needed. That’s known to cause big problems for Scrivener.

Downloading through your browser forces Dropbox to give you the whole directory – a Scrivener project is actually a folder, with subfolders and potentially hundreds of component files – which is what you want.


Yup! This is exactly the case. Thanks for the reply.

The Scrivener tech guy said dropbox is supposed to be able to distinguish that the entire Scrivener file needs to be synced on SmartSync even if all the little subfiles aren’t being used all the time, but apparently it does not do that – and causes the issue I have. Without syncing the full file and all the subfiles, scrivener doesnt think it can open the project.

All fixed. At least for now.