Sync with iOS is driving me a little nuts ...

I’m not sure I’ve ever struggled with a program feature the way I have with this. I’m a developer in addition to a writer, so I usually consider myself fairly tech / UI savvy, but there’s something about the way this has been implemented that’s just putting daggers through my patience.

First, I couldn’t get the dropbox option to appear at all on the iOS device despite walking through the instructions step by step. I finally found the sync button (you can’t see if it you’re in a project and sync hasn’t been set up from the projects screen). Once I fumbled my way that far, I hit sync, set up a folder in Dropbox, and … nothing. There was still no way to get a project into Dropbox. I went through every corner of the app over and over, looking for something. Nothing.

It wasn’t until I manually went into Dropbox and manually created a document in that folder I’d set up for the app that -poof the Dropbox option appeared on the projects list. I now had the ability to drag projects into Dropbox on the iPad. So I did. I took a project in which I’ve done twelve chapters of notes and research work on the iPad and dragged it across the line to Dropbox. And I hit sync. And I confirmed that it was there in Dropbox.

Now, I go back on Windows or Mac, and I see my synced projects … where? According to the documentation,

“Scrivener will download and sync any files you have placed into this folder on your Mac or Windows machine, and it will upload any files you create in the iOS version.”

Okay. Except … WHERE. I see nothing on my Windows or Mac version that shows the Dropbox link. Or any sign of my synced project. Reading discussions here about how to address this on the Windows or Mac side (I have Scrivener on both) I see discussion of “sync settings.” But where is sync settings? I see no such label, button, or option. There’s a sync button, which has sync to mobile device. Hitting it does exactly nothing. It neither sends nor receives. And it offers no settings.

Unlike the iOS end, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious spot on the Mac or Windows end to set up the Dropbox folder. I’m sure I’m missing something obvious.

Have you installed the Dropbox software on the Mac (or PC)? If so, there should be a Dropbox Finder location, and synchronized things should appear there.

A thorough guide to setting up synchronization can be found here: … g-with-ios


So …

“Scrivener will download and sync any files you have placed into this folder on your Mac or Windows machine, and it will upload any files you create in the iOS version.”

Really just means “Navigate to the folder in your Dropbox and open the project from there?”

Hi Devilstower,

On your desktop devices, you need to have the DropBox app installed, and you need to move to the DropBox folder those Scrivener projects you want synced across devices. And then, yes, going forward on your desktops you need to navigate to and open your projects from that Dropbox folder.

On your iOS devices, you need to link iOS Scrivener to that same DropBox folder.

Finally, all devices need to be signed into the same Dropbox account.

BTW, after you get sync working, always be 100% sure you’ve fully synced project changes made to device A and also allowed them to fully sync on Device B, before opening that project on Device B. Scan the forums and you will find too many posts from people who lost work and damaged projects because they opened projects that were not fully synced. If you’re not clear what I mean, let me know and I can give you more details.


You may have already figured this out from the guide that Katherine directed you to, but in case you haven’t: Syncing on your desktop devices is completely handled by the DropBox app – Scrivener itself doesn’t do anything differently with synced and non-synced projects. Scrivener writes changes to your harddrive, and then the DropBox app does the rest. This is why you need to be sure to allow DropBox to fully finish syncing on the desktop before you open Scrivener.

On iOS, things are handled differently. iOS Scrivener handles syncing and directly interacts with DropBox.