Scrivener 3 and Dropbox

Long time Scrivener 1 user on PC, and a few weeks ago I upgraded to Scrivener 3.

I have Dropbox, and I’d set it up for the IOS app and Scrivener 1 on PC, and everything was working fine.

Today I thought I’d have an explore on Scrivener3 but… well… my IOS files aren’t in the Dropbox.

On the app, the files are all there, and when I click Sync, it’s says it’s all up to date.

I’m not sure where to start to remedy this; any help or advice would be very very welcome! :slight_smile:

Don’t mix but my guess is pc dropbox files not visible on ios. My wife did computers for school and cannot take mac formatted thumb drive and open in pc.

Well, the thing is, on Scrivener 1, the files were swapped between IOS and the PC no problem. It’s very odd! :slight_smile:

@Rox1, this will likely turn out to be some configuration issue. My guess is that iOS is fine and the problem is on the PC side, as that’s where you’ve changed things. On the PC, triple-check that your Scriv 3 project folders are located in the same Dropbox folder where your Scriv 1 projects were located, because that’s the Dropbox folder to which iOS Scriv is pointing.

If that’s not the issue, have a look at L&L’s iOS Sync troubleshooting guide.

Also, see this thread from a poster with a similar challenge.


They are visible, if they’re in the Dropbox folder iOS Scrivener is set to sync.

Swapped? You mean synced?


Sorry it’s been so long, but I just ignored Scrivener 3 on PC and carried on using the IOS version.

Now I’m heading toward adding images and cover etc and I want to use my laptop for that and have a deadline approaching…

Does anyone know where I should start with the sync issue? I’m worried that if I open Scrivener 3 on Windows I might fudge stuff up.

Any suggestions welcome :slight_smile:

Save to a thumb drive?

No, place your project in the Dropbox subfolder and wait till it has synced.

Install Dropbox on Windows and open from the Dropbox subfolder. File > Sync > Sync.

Don’t open tbe project on two devices at once. Make sure the entire Project /Scrv folder is synced every time.

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I’m getting so confused!

I’ve backed everything up. I’ve got Dropbox installed on my laptop. But, I don’t know where I’m supposed to open the files that are already in Dropbox.

The instructions I’ve found seem to assume you’re starting from scratch, whereas with this, I’m trying to link it to existing projects. It all worked fine until I upgraded from 1 to 3.

Pointers very much appreciated! :slight_smile:

Isn’t it just File > Open project. Navigate to Dropbox subfolder, select your .scrvx project and click the Open button?

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Well, it was 2013 when I originally set it up, so the memory isn’t so grand! :slight_smile:

Hi @Rox1,

Here’s my understanding of your situation based on this thread -

  • For years you’d been successfully syncing Windows Scriv v1 and iOS Scriv.

  • In 2021 you upgraded to Windows Scriv v3, which seemed to break syncing with iOS Scriv. You never stated how you know that syncing isn’t working. (The upgrade to v3 updates the project “in place”, so from the syncing perspective nothing significant has changed. Therefore, it’s unlikely the update process alone was responsible for your syncing issues.)

  • Since the problems with syncing started, you’d been working on your projects exclusively in iOS Scriv. You never stated whether you unlinked Dropbox from iOS Scriv or that you moved your projects to the ON MY IPAD/IPHONE portion of the projects list.

  • Now we’re in 2022 and you want to resume using Scrivener. Based on your description, my guess is you’ve got a mixture of v1 and v3 projects on your Windows PC. (The v3 update process would have made a backup of each v1 project that you tried to open with v3.)

It’s important that I understand the situation, so please tell me if I got anything wrong above.

Here are some questions and some homework for you:

  1. PC: You said you have the Dropbox app installed on your Windows PC. Has it been running all along since 2021?

  2. PC: Please provide the path to the Dropbox folder where you store your Scrivener projects. For example, on my PC it’s C:\Users\jimra\Dropbox\Apps\Scrivener.

  3. PC: How many projects are in the folder in #2? (Projects will be the .scriv folders.)

  4. iDevice: From the iOS Scriv projects screen, press Edit > Gear box > Dropbox Settings. Please provide the path of the checkmarked folder. On my device, it’s Apps/Scrivener. After retrieving this info, press Cancel.

  5. iDevice: From the iOS Scriv projects screen, how many projects are listed in the DROPBOX portion? How many projects are listed in the ON MY IPAD/IPHONE portion?

  6. iDevice: How many projects are you currently working on in iOS Scriv. Just trying to get an idea of how many you’re trying to fix.

  7. Both: Are both the PC and iDevice/iOS Scriv signed into the the same Dropbox account?

Thanks in advance for your answers, which should go a long way toward helping us figure this out.



Hi Jim,

Thanks for that post. :slight_smile: I think your assessment of the situation is pretty accurate. I’ll just go through it so I don’t miss anything, then tackle the homework/questions…

To be clear, I don’t rule out my own incompetence / human error. :wink:

Scrivener 1 and iOS Scriv were working together absolutely fine. When I upgraded, I couldn’t see all the projects / content from my iOS device on Scriv 3.

As I couldn’t seem to figure that out and I didn’t want to lose any work, I figured I could just work in the iOS version.

I do only have one Dropbox account. I didn’t unlink or move anything.

  1. I don’t always open the Dropbox app, I only open it up if I need to use it. I only use it for Scrivener.

  2. Okay, a bit of digging here, and we’re making some headway. There’s 17 projects on my iOS version of Scriv. In the Folder Users > perox > Dropox > Apps > Scrivener there are 17 project folders. Within the folder of the project I’m working on, there are files that show a modified date over the last few days.

  3. 17

  4. Apps/Scrivener

  5. 16 are marked Dropbox, 1 marked On My iPad

  6. I dip in and out of all of them. :slight_smile: 17

  7. I don’t have a second Dropbox account, and as I found this folder with what looks like updated files, I guess so.

So, I figure that somehow I may have pointed to the wrong projects folder when I upgraded to Scriv 3?

Is there a specific way to remedy this, or do I just navigate when opening Scriv 3 - I suppose I’m used to having the list of projects pop up! :smiley:

Hey @Rox1, thanks for the answers. That helps me see the picture. I may be overthinking this, but I wanted and still want to be a bit cautious before you start opening projects.

It sounds to me like all your projects have been syncing iOS → PC since your original post in 2021, with the exception of the one project marked ON MY IPAD.

More questions:

  1. PC: Is your Scrivener v3 software paid & registered? If you’re still running the trial version, that complicates things. If you don’t remember whether you paid or not, try looking for the order confirmation email to confirm. It would be best to avoid opening Scrivener v3 at the moment.

  2. PC: Do you still have Scrivener v1 installed? Confirm by going to Windows Settings > Apps. In the Search box, type Scrivener. Click on the Scrivener icons to see the version numbers and please tell me what they are.

ETA: Also, could you please go to C:\Program Files (x86) and C:\Program Files. Tell me what Scrivener folders you find in each location. This is part of trying to determine whether Scrivener v1 and Scrivener v3 coexist on your PC.

  1. PC: Did you actually update any of your Scrivener v1 projects to v3?

If you have, then v3’s update process will have generated some projects suffixed with Backup. So if you see a MyProject.scriv and also a MyProject Backup.scriv, then MyProject.scriv is the v3 version and MyProject Backup.scriv is the v1 backup version.

But if you have another project called MyOtherProject.scriv and there is no equivalent Backup version, then MyOtherProject.scriv is still v1.

So how many projects are v3 and how many are v1?

  1. PC & IPAD: Do you have any projects on your iPad that aren’t on your PC? Any on your PC not on your iPad?

  2. Actually, it would be easier for both of us if you simply provided a list of your projects on PC and iPad, so we could determine a course of action for each project. So, from your PC, provide the list of projects in Folder Users > perox > Dropox > Apps > Scrivener, by either uploading a screenshot or typing it up. Similarly, from your iPad, provide a screenshot or list of projects from Scrivener’s project screen, being sure to note which project is in the ON MY IPAD portion.

What I’m trying to determine with all this is what categories of projects you have.

For instance, I know that you have 1 ON MY IPAD project that hasn’t been syncing, so we may have sync conflicts with that one. For the remaining 16, some of those may already be v3, some may be v1 backups, and some may be v1 originals. Each category of project will require a slightly different approach.

  1. PC: I’m assuming you’re on Windows 10. If not, what are you running?

  2. PC: Right-click on the Dropbox icon in your taskbar. You should see a list of recent Dropbox updates. If that’s not the case, please provide a screenshot.


  1. How hard is your deadline? Weeks or months? Will it involve compiling your work?

Thanks! I’m confident we’ll get this figured out.


  1. Yes, bought and paid for. I’d been waiting a long time… :smiley:

  2. Yes, both installed. x86 has a Scrivener folder, program files has a Scrivener3 folder

  3. I honestly don’t recall.

  4. Just the one, from what I can tell, which isn’t a critical one to be honest.

  5. See 11 :slight_smile:

  6. Windows 11 Pro

  7. It has binder.backup as a recently sync file, probably because I opened Scrivener 1 to make sure that’s what it was.

  8. Yup, Complling, and it’s supposed to be over this weekend!

I bit the bullet and just opened the files that seemed to be updating from iOS, I’ll keep you updated! Thanks for all your help - otherwise I wouldn’t have been looking in the right place for the files - i think that may have been part of the problem!


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With a deadline so close, I would recommend staying with Scrivener v1. As you didn’t provide your project names, I don’t know which Scriv version your projects are. When you open v1 project with v3, it will be converted to v3. Hopefully you don’t face too many challenges with the compile differences between v1 and v3.


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Well, the one I’m working on got converted when I opened it, and Scriv announced it backed up v1 format, so fingers crossed!


As mentioned in my prior post, the MyProject Backup.scriv projects are your v1 backups. Be extra careful not to inadvertently open and edit those v1 backups on iOS Scriv, because it would be a nightmare to later have to reconcile those changes.

I copied the entire App folder elsewhere on my hard drive… just in case…