Sync Error Won’t Go Away

Hi all,

I’ve had some conflict issues in the past and always been able to resolve them. Last month, however, I had a conflict that I resolved, then deleted the conflict files from the Conflicts folder. The project is fully synced across my iPad, iPhone, and Windows.

Every time I open the project now, however, I receive the error “Sync conflicts detected. To help Scrivener resolve the conflicts, please double-check that Dropbox is fully synced before opening this project.” There are no more conflicts, however, and Dropbox is fully synced. Scrivener still prompts me to confirm that “Dropbox is Synced” every time I open the project now.

Any ideas how to fix this without resorting to rebuilding the whole project, which is the size of a large novel?

On the Windows system, move the project out of Dropbox. Confirm that it is intact, Make a backup.

Synchronize both devices, which should cause the project to disappear from those devices.

On the Windows system, move the project back into Dropbox. Synchronize everything. Problem should be resolved.


Unfortunately this didn’t work for me. I removed the project from Dropbox, synced every device, then moved the project back into the Dropbox folder. I then resynced all devices again. But I’m still receiving the same error message.

I also tried deleting and reinstalling the iPhone app afterward just to see if that made a difference, but the error persists. Anything else I can try?

In the Windows version of the project, with Scrivener closed, look for the Files/Docs subfolder. You’re looking for files with names like “Conflicted copy of…” Drag those out to a location like your Desktop. Resync everything and see if the error message goes away. If it does, re-import the files so that you can see what’s in them and whether you want to keep them. If it doesn’t, open a support ticket here:


I think that worked, thank you. The error seems to have stopped for the moment. Any idea what causes it, or how I can prevent it appearing again in the future?

Synchronization errors occur when the same file is edited on two different systems. Dropbox doesn’t know how to solve the conflict, so it saves both versions, renaming one of them. Unfortunately, Scrivener doesn’t know how to handle the renamed files: it can see that they exist and warn you, but it can’t resolve the conflict itself.

To avoid problems:

  • Always close Scrivener on the Windows system and allow Dropbox to synchronize before shutting the computer down.

  • Always synchronize iOS Scrivener before starting to work and again before putting the device down.

  • Always allow Dropbox to synchronize before starting Scrivener on the Windows system.

Those three steps will prevent almost all synchronization errors.

Scrivener 3 uses a different project format that is a little more robust, and also has some more sophisticated error detection and resolution tools. I’d definitely recommend upgrading once Windows Scrivener 3 is released.