Scrivener for iOS password workaround?

I share my iPad with other users, and since Apple doesn’t provide a way to keep profiles I separate I generally only use apps that have some kind of password protection.

My concern here isn’t state-level security. It’s just that it’s easy for someone who doesn’t know the interface of a particular app could easily and irretrievably make changes to my data (Ahem, Scrivener’s isn’t the most obvious interface).

I understand Scrivener’s philosophy towards passwords: since providing fool-proof security isn’t within reach, they don’t want to give the impression that a simple password will thwart determined actors.

However, I just want to keep out nice folk who don’t mean no harm. Is there any work-around that will keep users of my iPad out of my Scrivener projects?

Nothing within Scrivener, However, using native iOS/padOS, you can make use of the Parental Controls feature to set up apps that anyone can used and apps that require a passcode: … n-an-ipad/

Have you had success with this method? The best I can do is set a time limit of 1 minute per day for any particular 3rd party app. afaik only certain built in Apple apps can be disabled individually.

I’m the only one who uses my iPad, so I’ve never had to use this.

The best protection in this sort of situation is good backups: … -backed-up

Fundamentally, Apple has decided to design iOS devices for single users. The device-level security is pretty good, but once you’re in, you’re in. Application-level security is essentially non-existent.


I learned something new from this post: it’s very easy to archive whole projects and send them between devices using AirDrop. So I can close out of a project and even delete it if I want after I’m done working on it on the iPad. I am a little unclear how I can safely re-open the newly edited project on my Mac, though.

If you’ve sent yourself a ZIP file, unzip it by double-clicking in Finder. That will give you a .scriv file that you can open as normal.

I would recommend using a unique file name or other method to make sure you can tell which version of your project is which. That’s especially true if you transfer projects this way while also using Dropbox to synchronize with your device.


Katherine, if I’m using Dropbox to synchronize and I delete a whole project on one device does the deletion synchronize across devices?

Yes. A sync service like Dropbox will propagate any adds/changes/deletes you make on one device to all your other Dropbox devices.

Similar to the Terminator, “that’s what it does, that’s ALL it does…” :mrgreen:


Yes. Which is why you shouldn’t depend on Dropbox as your only backup.


If I want to safely remove Scrivener from one device and not have that somehow be seen by Dropbox as a deletion of any project, what would I do?

First make sure you have a secure backup outside of Dropbox, just in case.

In Scrivener on the device in question, tap the Edit icon on the main project screen, then the gear icon down at the bottom.

Choose the option to Unlink Dropbox.

Confirm that the data on your other devices is intact.

Delete Scrivener.


Would it be easier to store any text in a password-protected file and then copy and paste to Scrivener and cut and paste from Scrivener when necessary? Even the built-in app Notes allows users to lock individual notes, and that would have the added benefit of syncing across devices using iCloud, if enabled.

I no longer write in Scrivener, but do use it on my Mac to structure and compile significant works. I write on iOS and macOS using an app that offers password protection and fast syncing. I import to macOS Scrivener when I am ready for the final output stages.

Using CommonMark means that inter-app formatting is not an issue (I don’t use Notes), but that might be a concern for other users.