I’m a long-time Scrivener user, now running v3 (Mac) and the iOS app.

A few months ago, I moved almost all of my device content syncing from Dropbox to - which has been a very positive change for the most part. But Scrivener iOS seems to support only Dropbox as a location for the projects it can access and sync.

While it’s not impossible to keep only the projects I need to access via iOS in Dropbox, and the others in, it would be a lot easier if I could simply use my preferred location for everything…

That leads me to one question, and one comment:

  • can anyone suggest a method of linking references to projects, so that a Scrivener project stored in could be seen and accessed by Scrivener iOS as if it’s actually stored in Dropbox?
  • I really wish L&L would open up support in the iOS version for selecting alt sync locations other than Dropbox (which has become increasingly ‘user-unfriendly’)

Thanks for any suggestions or ideas.


Your projects need to be stored on the Dropbox server to be accessible by iOS Scrivener.
Dropbox is, so far, the only cloud service that have provided L&L with a sufficiently detailed API to allow Keith to write the code necessary to sync from iOS device and cloud service.
So it’s “no” on both your questions

Can you be a little more specific. If ‘user-unfriendly’ is a technical issue, perhaps someone can help.

From what I’ve seen here and on other forums, plus personal experience Dropbox works just fine and every problem I’ve heard of has been non-Dropbox or user error.

If it’s that they’ve dared to limit the number of free devices in an account, that’s hardly user-unfriendly, the 3 system account is after all FREE, and while a good marketing ploy is not an entitlement.

You can actually have more than three devices connected as iOS devices don’t need the app installed for Scrivener synch.

As one of the first—and probably most vocal users of Sync—I’ve been using it to share projects with my collaborator in China, where Dropbox is blocked and Cubby closed down (2013)—it’s unlikely that Scrivener for iOS will be sync’able through Sync, as actually say it is not suitable for sync’ing Scrivener projects.

In that they are not right when it comes to MacOS and Windows, though in my experience we have to be more careful about letting it up/download fully before shutting down or opening a project; I suspect it of potentially being slightly slower than Dropbox—though nowhere nearly as flaky as iCloud. Certainly, we have had more conflicts than with Dropbox, though that’s probably somewhat less than 2 per year, and very likely actually the usual problem of being too hasty.

But iOS is another kettle of fish, since an API is needed as iOS (currently) doesn’t have a ‘proper’ file system, and only Dropbox has provided an API, as @LUNK said. Given’s opinion about using their service for MacOS and Windows, they are unlikely to do the same.



To add to what the others have said and in regard to“suggestions or ideas”, when I use a cloud service for Scrivener projects, I use I don’t sync live projects, I use timestamped ZIP files to transfer from/to devices.

Thanks for the explanation - makes perfect sense.

Yes, ‘user-unfriendly’ may have been better expressed as ‘potential customer-unfriendly’

I happily use several other paid sync services, but Dropbox has failed to offer a reasonably priced tier for existing modest users who need little space but more than the new limit of 3 connections (and every user account on the same device counts towards those 3). As well, grandfathering of existing connection #s beyond 3 is very constrained - so signing out, for any reason (e.g., replace computer or a failed drive), permanently loses that extra connection.

But thanks for the iOS tip - didn’t realise that the connection protocol was different.

Thanks also to xiamenese and sc for the additional info and tips - very helpful.


That’s been my experience with Sync. - they’ve generally been noticeably slower than DropBox. I suspect the reason is that their servers are all (AFAIK) located in the Greater Toronto area; indeed part of their USP is that Canadian law applies. Possibly a selling point aimed more at those due south of them than us in Europe.

I believe DropBox make extensive use of AWS which covers a wider georgraphical area. .

Most services these days have built integration into their iOS apps, so that you can add them to Apple’s utility. In some cases you can just drag and drop projects between Scrivener’s own folder in Files, and the sync service—but do note that some things will not fully download the project to your device, and may require you to use some method of doing so before this works. For those where there is no way to fully download a folder, Files can now unzip. I use such a service myself, I save zipped copies of my project to the sync server, then drag the .zip over to Scrivener, unzip it, then trash the .zip file. When I’m ready to send it back, from Files I can compress the .scriv project as a .zip and drag it back over to the sync service’s folder.

One other note, as to the Dropbox machine limit: that only applies to installations of their utility, as I understand it, not to individual programs that subscribe to their API. You can have dozens of those, and only be using up two of your three slots. There is a misconception that if one has two computers and two devices that Dropbox is no good for Scrivener. It’s only a problem if you want on every device.