Scriv <> Dropbox sync lost

My situation might be a rarity so I don’t know if it should be addressed within the software but I recently lost the sync settings between Scrivener and Dropbox, with many edits via Plaintext (iOS) sitting there in Dropbox. I was able to fix it in a kludgy way.

I think it happened as a result of my desire to be able to access my Scrivener projects between two different OSX user accounts: after setting up the sync folders I’d opened and closed my projects from both accounts a couple of times. After editing my sync folder stories with Plaintext, I then went back to Scrivener to sync and found that the sync folders were no longer associated with the projects. When I tried to re-establish the link I was given the message that I can’t do that… Scrivener only establishes sync in empty folders, no way around it.

After finding nothing helpful online I realized that if I wanted to get my edits back into the projects I’d have to do it manually. There was no way I’d be able to remember all the scrivenings I’d changed in Plaintext so I decided that if I’d made any edits within Scrivener in that time, I was okay with losing those.

  • I set up new folders for Scrivener to sync to
  • then over-wrote the that output with the previous sync folders
  • then performed another sync to take those changes into the Scrivener projects

If I’d been making numerous edits on both sides of Dropbox then I couldn’t have done this. I would have had to reconcile all the differences within each edited file (probably with the help of a diff tool).

It would be nice if my situation didn’t cause problems—if I could just reconnect to the sync folder. But if you find yourself in a similar predicament, that’s how I got out of it.

Yeah, this is a potential risk with the way the system is designed. We did in fact initially allow people to reconnect a sync folder that had already been created, but found that this caused excessive usage problems (the chances of a folder losing sync by rename are, we have found, far lower than the incidents where people were connecting existing non-aligned sync folders to projects and wreaking havoc on their projects). It’s just too risky to allow this to be done, so the only way to re-establish a link at this time is to manually bring things back up to date in Scrivener, and then create a new sync folder. It’s definitely one of those things where flexibility was restricted in order to make the software safer to use.