Sync between two mac via Dropbox troubles

I imagine that syncing via Dropbox is no more a problem… but if Dropbox on one computer “hangs” on syncing (it does not complete the sync operation…) what do you do?
Other methods?

Best to look at Dropbox’s FAQ for troubleshooting:

Dropbox synching under full control of Dropbox and your Macs. Scrivener not involved but for you storing files in folder(s) that are synced.

thanks I did “everything” already from Dropbox web site indications…
about my second question… Other methods?

As iOS not involved (which Scrivener needs) there are a lot of options. None that I have experience with other than “rsync” on the command line, Chronosync, and maybe CarbonCaptureCopy), not as easy to use as Dropbox. And none of these tested with Scrivener, but if given time to sync completely they should work.

Perhaps contact Dropbox support. They will get back to you in my experience.

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Only recommendation besides what others have said is be sure you have a good Scrivener zipped backup to fall back to, on the Mac where you made your last changes.

It’s important that you copy that latest backup into some other folder besides your Scrivener backup folder, as Scriv may eventually auto-delete it based on your backups settings in File > Options > Backup > Retain backup files…


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The “I need to take my laptop on a trip and can’t deal with this” solution is:

  • Use File → Backup → Backup To command on Computer A to create a ZIPped backup.
  • Transfer to Computer B by any convenient method.
  • UnZIP somewhere other than the Dropbox folder. (Since Dropbox will eventually catch up.)
  • Edit to your heart’s content.
  • Reverse the process to get back to Computer A.
  • Confirm that Dropbox is working correctly, using a disposable test project.
  • Replace the Dropbox version of your live project with this one, as this version is now current.

in other words… Dropbox sync (from Mac to Mac) is not reliable…?

In other words, there are alternative ways to move your project if Dropbox misbehaves.

I have found Dropbox to be extremely reliable overall, but there’s no such thing as a 24/7 100% reliable service. Especially not if you’re depending on the public internet for connectivity. And all software (including Scrivener) has bugs. Relying on a server that you don’t personally control for your only access to critical data is never a good idea.

thanks kewms, but…
if I need to add an idea to my Scriv project from my iOs device AFAIK is no more reliable, better work only with the two computers… isn’t it?

I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.

In general, syncing two Macs and an iOS device should work fine. In the exceptional case where it doesn’t, use an alternative method to transfer the project around until you get Dropbox working again. Consult Dropbox for guidance on how to do that.

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iOS Scrivener takes its data from Dropbox folder…
if I “…UnZIP somewhere other than the Dropbox folder. (Since Dropbox will eventually catch up.)” to what data iOS refers…?

If you find yourself in a situation where the version of the project on the Dropbox server is not the most current one, you should either refrain from editing the project on the iOS device until you resolve the issue, or update the iOS project via direct transfer from a known current copy. Information about transferring projects to/from the iOS device by methods other than Dropbox can be found here:


I did read all the docs I can find upon this subject on LL site, but… just to be clear:
after I followed the kewms solution step by step and I did…

at that point may I sync to my iOS device?

The symptoms you report are the Dropbox not synching. Have you fixed that? Is Dropbox syncing between the two Macs and your iOS device, without doing anything about Scrivener yet?

Dropbox is syncing with no warning, but I get always many Conflicts and Recovered files from Mac to Mac and from Mac to iOS… and yes I wait until the sync is completed, etc…

New symptoms.

Exactly what app is sending those messages. You do not say.

My Hunch is that they are Scrivener messages.

My next hunch, without looking for you as I am away from Global HQ, is that advice about resolving those messages are in the Scrivener Manual. Please look there and then ask about what is not clear there.


have a nice Global HQ

I would do this:

  • Sync between the two Macs. Resolve the conflicts if there are any. Repeat until there are no conflicts. (If you keep having conflicts and can’t resolve them, seek further assistance.)

  • Then sync the iOS device and address any conflicts that occur.

I agree, just a point to clarify…
before this…

I need to


Right. Neither Dropbox nor iOS Scrivener knows anything about projects that are not in the Dropbox folder.

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