PC Dropbox iOS sharing

I have the 30 day trial occurring on my desktop PC with the hopes of using my iPad while on the road. I bought the app for the iPad because I didn’t see any trial period. I’ve been working with both for a few days now and want to connect them and try sharing a project. My learning curve for all this is pretty low right now but if I can get it to work I plan to buy the PC version for most of my creative time but take the iPad on the road to be more productive in airports and hotels.

I have installed dropbox on both and have a new account. I have never used dropbox before. I first tried iTunes to share files but that didn’t get me anywhere.

I can’t seem to get them all to sync up with dropbox either. Things got messy so I uninstalled both the dropbox and Scrivener apps from the iPad to get a fresh start on that end. Still flummoxed on how to get the PC to put it’s Scrivener files onto the iPad through dropbox so I can go play while on the road. I hit the sync button and nothing shows up.

Am I completely out to lunch with this thought process? Do they not play nice with each other? Perhaps I should just get a new laptop and lug it around?

Thanks for any help…

Have you gone through the tutorial on the iPad? It tells you how to do it.

You need to have a Dropbox folder on your PC, into which you save the projects you want to sync. You also have to wait until the PC tells you that it has actually had time enough to copy everything from that folder to the Dropbox server. When setting up the sync on your iPad, choose ‘other folder’ and navigate to the folder on the Dropbox server where you have your projects and then give the iPad time enough to copy from the server to the iPad.

Hi Lunk. Thanks for the quick reply!

Yes, I went through both tutorials over the past couple days of learning, and I did notice the stressing of ‘be patient’ when sharing. I think my issue is with understanding dropbox but I’ll make that my project today.

New day, fresh coffee. I’ll start again. But I guess I would like some clear answers and should have phrased them… Will this work? Is it a practical plan to have a home PC be my place of zen-like creation and my iPad be my roaming sanctuary while traveling? Updating and connected via dropbox?

Opinions welcome!
Thanks so much!


Absolutely! It’s kind of the whole point of syncing with a mobile device.

I wanted to point out that the “dropbox folder” is created when you install a piece of software on your Windows computer. To get the software, log on to dropbox.com with your account userid and password. Click on your name in the upper right area of the web page, and select “install”. That will download the software you need on your Windows computer. Once it’s in place, there should be a new Dropbox folder on your PC.

If you then go to your iPad and install Scrivener and configure it to connect to your dropbox account, a folder will appear on your PC* under the Dropbox folder. The default folder is Apps\Scrivener, but you can choose any folder under Dropbox that you like. That’s where you’ll move your .scriv folders to if you want that project to be synced with iOS, and if you create new projects on iOS in its Dropbox section, those projects will appear on your PC in that folder as well.

After you move a project or 10 there, that’s where you need to be patient–wait until the Windows Dropbox software indicates that all files have been synced with the Dropbox servers before you try to sync with Scrivener on iPad.

  • If you’ve done this once before, the folder will already be on your PC by this point. But since you un-installed Scrivener, you’ll have to tell it about your Dropbox account again, which gives you the chance to change which folder it syncs with. Keep that in mind.

Uhgg. Well it didn’t take long to run outta coffee and still be stumped.

Why can’t I just plug my iPad into my PC and have them handshake the stuff through a cord? Anyway, I have now created a new file in dropbox on my PC named Scrivener and dragged my recent project into it. This new file and the project in it appear in my Dropbox on the iPad as expected. But when I touch the Scrivener sync icon on the iPad it does something very quickly with Dropbox but the project doesn’t appear in Scrivener iPad, which is where I was yesterday.

The second step in the Syncing tutorial on the iPad tells me to choose a folder on Dropbox with which to sync. I can’t find a way to change whatever folder it was I selected yesterday (I believe the default as suggested) to the new folder I created today on my PC I call Scrivener, which is in the Dropbox app on the iPad…waiting.

If only my teenagers weren’t off to school…

Thanks for any help.

So, you have Scrivener for IOS (iOScrv from now on) set up to sync with Dropbox. Try this: Create a new project on iOScriv called “test”. Make sure it’s in the “Dropbox” section of the list of projects in iOScriv, and make sure it’s synchronized.

Then go to your PC and dig through the folders under Dropbox until you find this new “test.scriv” project. The folder in which you find the text.scriv folder is where you should move your other project too. Once you’ve done that, and once Dropbox on Windows is done syncing, go back to iOScriv and sync.

Edit: By the way, just ignore the Dropbox app on your iPad. You don’t need to use it to sync your Scrivener projects; that stuff is built in to iOScriv. It is NOT, however, built in to WinScriv (Scrivener for Windows), which is why you had to install the dropbox application on Windows.

That worked! Good call.

So I have a one way road, for now. It went into the Apps folder which I opened and saw a Scrivener folder, which I opened, and found a Test.scriv folder, which when double clicked opened my PC Scrivener program and the Test project.

So I deleted my previous (three) files of my PCscrivener project from my PCdropbox various locations to avoid any confusion. Then I dragged and dropped the project I want to place on iPad from the PC file, which is labelled .scriv, into dropbox just under the Test.scriv.

It now appears in my iPad dropbox right over the Test.scriv but as a .scrivx. Ipad Scrivener still not syncing it into Scrivener when I touch the sync icon.

I got it. It was the place I was grabbing it from as a file and moving into dropbox on the PC. I grabbed it as a recent item, but needed to drag and drop it as a file.

Whew… Thanks! Now where did I write all this down so I can do it again? Haha…


So… Last thing then. Is it best practice to delete the existing file in the PCdropbox and drag a new one with changes into it and then sync, or will the new one with the same file name over write the old one and sync properly? This point is a little confusing in the tutorial.

Thank you so much!


Look at it this way. There are three “computers” involved, and copying between them:

Your PC
The Dropbox server
Your iPad

When you save a Scrivener project on your PC into the correct Dropbox folder, the Dropbox App on your PC copies those files from your PC to the Dropbox server.
When you start Scrivener on your iPad and tap Sync, the iPad copies the same files from the Dropbox server to your iPad.

Then you work for a while on your iPad.

When you are done, you tap Sync again to copy any changes from your iPad to the Dropbox server.
When you start your PC you must first wait for the Dropbox App on your PC to copy any changes from the Dropbox server to your PC.
When that is done you can open the project in Scrivener on your PC.

If you stick to this method, you’ll be fine. Just remember that there are three computers involved.

Thank you very much everyone!


It would be very inefficient to continually delete the dropbox/apps/scrivener copy of a project and re-copy it. Just move that project’s .scriv folder on your PC into dropbox/apps/scrivener/ and make that its new home on your PC.

Be very sure to follow lunk’s advice. You have to make sure your changes have synchronized to all three of those computers before you continue your work on a different computer/device.