Scrivener iOS syncing via Dropbox continues to crash the app

As of the latest update to the Scrivener iOS app (today) on the latest iOS 13 installation, the Scrivener app still crashes (completely, returning to the iOS home screen) every time a sync is attempted via Dropbox. This occurs (and is repeatable) on iOS and ipadOS.


  1. Open the latest Scrivener app for iOS/ipadOS, in the latest install of either (both) OS.
  2. From either the main Scrivener project selection screen, or from the gear options within any given project, click ‘Sync Now’ via an existing Dropbox sync connection.
  3. The app will open its ‘Syncing with Dropbox: Downloading File List…’ dialogue, with action indicator (rotating), which may last a few or many seconds (up to about 30), before the app completely crashes out to the iOS/ipadOS home screen. (The file list never gets fully scanned, and the screen doesn’t change to the progress-bar indicator that normally follows when actual syncing / transferring of files has begun).

This has been a recurring issue throughout the beta phase of iOS/ipadOS 13: the app works fine as a standalone app; but never syncs with Dropbox without the crash.

Moved to iOS Bug Hunt forum.

Does Dropbox itself work correctly? Try opening the Dropbox application on the device and creating a file from there. (Just an ordinary text or image file – you can’t create a Scrivener project from the Dropbox app.)


Yes, Dropbox is working correctly. I have done as you noted and created a new text file in the directory via the Dropbox app, without any problem (nor do I have issues with Dropbox syncing in other instances across my usage of iOS).


I confirm ! Dropobox work correctly !

Some additional resource hunting on this quite major bug:

This bug (which persists and which many users here in the forum are reporting in various threads) appears — to me — linked to a strange phenomenon with Scrivener projects in Dropbox, which report via the latter as being ‘Updated 0 Seconds Ago’ in the Dropbox app … whether they are updated from the macOS or iOS app. All other files created by all other programmes (or via Dropbox app itself) list their last-updated times in Dropbox correctly; however, all Scrivener project files list as ‘Updated 0 Seconds Ago’ in Dropbox, which appears to be linked to the crash-out bug in the iOS Scrivener app versions, as when they attempt to download the updated files list from Dropbox, this creates an error.

This does not directly affect the macOS app in the same way, since that app doesn’t itself directly sync to Dropbox but simply saves to / reads from a dedicated Dropbox folder on the hard drive, which the macOS Dropbox app thereafter syncs separately. Thus the macOS Scrivener app doesn’t crash in the way the iOS app does, since it doesn’t have to interface directly with the Dropbox API. However, the Scrivener project files saved to the Dropbox folder on macOS via that Scrivener app suffer the same problem as those edited on the iOS app: namely, they indicate ‘Updated 0 Seconds Ago’ in the Dropbox update register, meaning they cannot be synced with the iOS app.


A little further detail on this, for the developers…

This ‘last updated 0 seconds ago’ phenomenon for Scrivener project files in Dropbox seems to be something to do with the files themselves, not simply the process of them being synced to the Dropbox servers.

For example:

If I take a project in my macOS Scrivener app that is already present in my linked-up Dropbox folder for ongoing Scrivener sync, and externally to Scrivener remove the project file from the folder (and therefore from Dropbox altogether), then manually add it back into the folder via Finder, the Project file will thereafter continue to be read as ‘last updated 0 seconds ago’ thereafter.

I don’t know if there is something in the project container formatting that is causing this error in its interaction with Scrivener, but it does seem to be at the root of the crashing in the iOS app, and I have yet to find any way to work around it.


I just synced my iPhone 8 without problems.
iOS 13, MacOS Mojave

Scrivener crashes after updating my iPhone to iOS13! App has been updated. It happens when trying to sync.

Same issue as original poster: upgraded to iOS 13 and scrivener crashes when either syncing with dropbox or accessing the editor menu of the scrivener settings from the iOS settings app.

The Scrivener’s staff seem to have no time now for react at this bug. I find a work around for “sync” for those who use iMazing. Test before and use it with care…

  1. Connecting iPhone with Mac via USB.
  2. On iMazing : iPhone>Files>Scrivener>Dropbox.
  3. Back up and close the Scrivener’ file that needs to be “sync”.
  4. Slide this Scrivener file from Dropbox Finder on Dropbox iMazing.
  5. When the file appearing on iPhone, open it, and choose Ignore Sync.
  6. Working on file.
  7. By coming back on Mac, slide this Scrivener file from Dropbox iMazing on Dropbox Finder.

iPhone X working fine.

It could be that changes made to the Dropbox mechanism have caused its internal caching to require a refresh. In Settings, scroll down to the Scrivener section, and at the bottom of that you’ll find a section for resetting various aspects of Scrivener. You’re looking for a toggle that resets the Dropbox sync cache. Set that, and use the multitasking screen to restart Scrivener.

No way for me ! After three attempts, the app continue to crash !

Okay, if a reset doesn’t work, try to send us a crash report via Settings: Privacy: Analytics: Analytics Data. There will hopefully be some entries for Scrivener in here, and when viewing the raw data for one, you’ll find a “share” button in the top right corner. Send that in to our support address so we can take a look at it.

In the meanwhile, please note the section in the Mac user manual under §14.2.1, Basic Usage, on page 358. Dropbox is only one way of getting data on and off the device, and so there are alternatives until this can be sorted out. (Note iOS 13 broke AirDrop support, so that option isn’t available at the moment.)

You can also of course use iTunes to roll your device back to the stable OS and wait for early bugs to be sorted out.

Since there are mixed results being reported, what I’d suggest for anyone experience persistent crashing is to fully reset the sync environment:

  1. In Scrivener’s project screen, tap Edit and then the gear button.
  2. Select the option to unlink Dropbox. You’ll be given a choice here to move your projects to “local” storage or delete them. Do whatever works best for your situation. They won’t be deleted from Dropbox of course.
  3. Using your Mac, create a new folder Dropbox and leave it empty.
  4. Go through the Dropbox setup procedure on iOS, and when asked which folder to sync to, select this new empty folder.
  5. Run a test sync. There is nothing there, so nothing should happen, but this will test whether it works at all with your equipment.
  6. If it doesn’t throw an error or crash, then create one empty project on the iOS side and save it into the new sync folder. Test sync.
  7. All good still? Try modifying it slightly, sync again.
  8. Still good? Now try dragging one project from either your Mac or the iOS local storage into the Dropbox sync folder. Let it fully sync if you started from the Mac here. Now try from iOS.

At some point you may want to just try restoring all of your projects. If it goes without flaw then you should be okay here on out. But if it starts crashing again, you’ll want to get things back to a simpler state again, and see which project is the culprit.

Settings App -> Scrivener tap Editor and the Settings app crashes

The most recent report here for me is a Scrivener.cpu_ressource dated 2019-09-20, with version’s mention is iPhone OS 12.4.1, before upgrading to 13.0. Is that useful ?

Probably not! Hmm, that may mean the crash isn’t really happening in Scrivener if that makes sense. It could be the system itself or perhaps some aspect of Dropbox that wouldn’t associate itself with Scrivener (though I don’t think that’s possible with iOS). So next best bet is to cause a crash, note the date and time, and then look for any logs that occur at that time.

In my case Scrivener doesn’t crash anymore since I turned dark mode off and on again. But I still can’t sync. Notification says it can’t reach the host. The problem seems to be Dropbox, as I can’t connect to the Dropbox app anymore either.

(I’ll try the above mentioned steps in a minute)

Should the crash reports in analytics start with „Scrivener“ or do I have to search within other log files, e. g. „analytics daily“?