Speeding up iPad syncs

Thought I should share my iPad syncing experience. Not content with a single device, I use Scrivener on Windows desktop and laptop PCs, and an iPad, saving into Dropbox. Scrivener auto backup works very well, but I found that the time taken to sync the iPad was getting longer and longer. In the end it was taking over half an hour, far too long: the muse had abandoned me by the time I could start writing down my thoughts. :frowning:

Then I realised that each one of of my numerous backups was now over 100MB, and after a few days working on PCs, when I then wanted to work on the iPad, a number of large backup zip files had to be synced, even though they can’t be used on the iPad. The increasing backup volumes go unnoticed on my other computers because Dropbox syncs automatically on them, so it happens without being noticed, whereas the first thing you need to do on an iPad is a manual sync. :confused:

The solution was to move the ‘Scrivener backups’ folder up one level in Dropbox, moving it out of the iPad’s Dropbox scope, with the result that it now syncs in about ten seconds. :smiley:

It’s just a small thing, but a little bit of thinking about the varying requirements for the different versions of Scrivener had a huge impact. Having been on the point of abandoning the iPad version, it now fits my working requirements with ease.

Hope this helps somebody else!


I have a designated Dropbox folder for sll Scriv projects, with a sub-folder called Active projects into which I move the things I want to be able to work with on my iPad, so a similar solution as yours. When I feel I don’t want to handle it on the iPad, I move it up one level, and down into the sub-folder when I do want to.

A couple of quick notes on this.

First, I recommend not keeping Scrivener’s automatic backups in Dropbox, because you don’t want both your live projects and the backups to be at risk if there is a problem with Dropbox itself. Zipped backups (unlike live projects) can be safely stored in iCloud, so that might be one alternative if you want offsite storage for them.

Second, the fact that each iOS device configures its Dropbox folder separately gives you a good amount of flexibility. For example, I use my iPad for a lot of research and notetaking, but only use my iPhone for quick idea capture. I’ve configured my iPhone to only sync a subfolder, while the iPad syncs the whole Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder. And then the laptop (using Dropbox’s Selective Sync options) syncs yet a larger superset. This lets you tune the files on each device to match both the storage capacity of the device and the way you prefer to work.