Please drop DropBox

I used scrivener on multiple devices and now I use it less and less because of the two device limit on the free Dropbox service. Dropbox is an expensive service and I don’t want to have to pay for yet another cloud service.

Please Please find an alternative to Dropbox or arrange a cheaper dropbox rate for Scrivener users.

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You only really need Dropbox if you use iPad Scrivener too. Otherwise OneDrive, etc., using a local copy work fine. I’ve done it for years.

The devs have posted about this a lot. Dropbox is the ONLY cloud service that supports the file system Scrivener uses, the whole folder-as-a-file thing.

Note that installations of iOS Scrivener do not count toward the Dropbox 2-device limit, as it does not use the Dropbox software.

Apple File Sharing is the best available alternative. As noted, other synchronization services do not allow the file level access needed to synchronize Scrivener projects safely.


Thank you for the replies.
I do use iOS and windows.

I’m interested that you say I don’t need the drop box software on my Mac. where do I set in scrivener to do this. I have always had to install the dropbox app on my Macs hence just those use up my 2 device limit. and I still want to run it on my iPhone and iPad and a windows PC.

You don’t need the dropbox app on your iOS devices, but you do need it on your Mac. Scrivener for iOS/iPadOS has the dropbox routines built-in, as do any other apps that sync with dropbox. So if you don’t need the Dropbox app on your iPhone or iPad, you can delete it and de-authorize it to reduce the device count associated with dropbox.

Thanks so you know what my next question is.

If you can build the dropbox into IOS why not the OSX version?

Why would we want to?

With Mac OS, Scrivener just saves directly to the hard disk as it always has, and the user can decide what cloud service (if any) should have access to that folder. Synchronizing can proceed as a background task, without disrupting the user or the system as a whole.

If we could do that with iOS Scrivener, we would, But iOS doesn’t support true multitasking and doesn’t have a file system in the same way that Mac OS does. So instead we have to use the Dropbox API to laboriously manage each upload/download operation. The complexity of this approach is why we’re only able to support Dropbox.


I’d also love to put in a plug for giving options for syncing services. Dropbox is now considerably more expensive than many other syncing options, and by now limiting the number of devices that can be used on the basic service, it’s out of reach for some people. (Yes, I read above that the iOS devices don’t have to use one of the 3 allowed devices; it’s still a problem.)

You’ve said that iOS doesn’t allow for true multitasking—might it be possible to offer iCloud syncing as an option? I use other apps that use iCloud syncing, and they work seamlessly across my various devices. My guess would be that Apple might actually make that syncing easier since it’s their own service, but I don’t actually know if that’s true.

Thanks so much for considering this!

Latest news on this question: ICloud sync in future for iOS - #10 by KB

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Thanks—this was very informative!