Scrivener is not checking external folder on open

Can you please help me? I am using Scrivener 2.0 Nano 2011 Trial on a new MacBook Air. I have “Sync with External Folder” set up. I have checked the option to “Check External Folder on Project Open and Sync on Close.” However, it has come to my attention that Scrivener is not checking the external folder on project open. It is still syncing on project close, so what ends up happening is that I lose any new words I have in the external folder.

Here’s what I am doing:

  • Write in Scrivener. Close Scrivener. Scrivener automatically syncs with the external folder in Dropbox. Wait to close my MacBook Air until after Dropbox has finished syncing.

  • Open my iPhone. Check the Dropbox app to ensure it synced and that the new words from Scrivener have appeared. Open Notebooks app and write more words. Close Notebooks app.

  • Open Macbook Air. Wait for DropBox to sync. Open the finder window and open the actual text document that was changed to ensure that it has the words I wrote in Notebooks. It does. All is working great up to this point.

  • Open Scrivener. Scrivener only shows the file as of last time in was edited in Scrivener and does not reflect any of the new words from Notebooks, even though I checked and they are clearly there in the external folder.

Note that if I close Scrivener, Scrivener will go ahead and sync with the external folder, overwriting my new file with its old file, thus destroying my newly written words. Also, there is no way to close without syncing. If you close Scrivener, it syncs. If you try to uncheck the box that says sync on close, the only way to save it is to sync (there is no save settings without syncing.) The only way around this I have found is to put a make it sync to a different, random empty folder in order to preserve my words. However, this comes with its own host of problems because when I try to sync back to my original folder, Scrivener has an error because there are already files in the original folder.

Luckily I have been able to recover all my words lost but it has been a big pain. I really need a seamless way to sync between Scrivener and my iPhone and right now it is not working at all. So far from my analysis, it seems like the disconnect is with Scrivener not checking the external folder upon open.

Any help you can provide me would be much appreciated!!!


One thing I don’t know is what you are using to edit the .txt files on your iPhone with. Perhaps it is not changing the modification date for whatever reason. That is all Scrivener has to go by when checking for changes (it could open and scan everything manually but that would take a lot longer). So if none of the files appear changed, things would happen exactly as you describe.

What does happen if you manually run sync after opening the project? Do any files come up in the sync collection with the changes you made?

What happens if you edit the .txt files on your computer as a test, does opening the project trigger a sync?

Thank you for your quick response. Sorry if I wasn’t clear – I am using Notebooks on my iPhone to edit the txt documents. I bought that application specifically to sync with Scrivener after watching Scrivener’s How To video on external syncing.

I will try both of those things you mention below and let you know the results. Thank you!

Okay, yes Notebooks should be working fine; that’s probably not the problem. Something else could be messing with the mod dates though. Hmm. We’ll have to see how your tests go.