Sync vs Backup Error: "The project seems to be of an older format..."

When I try to open .scriv which was synced to Dropbox I get an error:

“The project seems to be of an older format…”

When I try to open the same file from Backup, It opens just fine.

Does Sync and Backup processes the files differently?

As noted in that dialogue box, this error can sometimes occur on account of synchronisation issues. Most often, parts of the project were not allowed to fully transfer, so it gives up trying to open it. I’m not sure what your situation is, but usually the best answer is to recover from the most recent backup across all devices. When you closed the project and switched machines, it will be the backup created on that machine which is the best.

If iOS is involved, it doesn’t automatically back up, and it is possible to integrate pending edits from iOS with a restored copy from the Mac.

When a backup is created the entire project from the disk is duplicated into the backup folder, and by default zip archived. At that point it is no longer something Scrivener can open directly.

The query of what Scrivener does for sync is a bit of a red herring. It does nothing; that isn’t how this kind of sync technology works. There is a separate program running that works to keep designated areas of your drive identical across different devices. Every time a file changes, it uploads the change and then sends the revision to your devices. The software that changes the files themselves on the disk, whether it be Scrivener or TextEdit, are wholly ignorant of this happening (and thus is how we can often get into trouble, since the sync software might change files the program thinks it has complete authority over while open, etc.).

You’re not trying to use “Sync with external folder”, are you?

For the “desktop” Scrivener, there is no function to sync with Dropbox. Instead, you just move your project into the dropbox folder and edit it there, keeping these guidelines in mind: … c-services

Thank you!

I’ve adjusted how I move and open projects. And I never had the same problem again.

Work from local files on the Desktop

  • Backup on Save
  • Backup on Close
  • Backup with timestamp

Wait until everything finishes uploading:

  • Dropbox for Sync with iOS only
  • GDrive for Backups