Syncing between two Macs (and sometimes iOS)

I am using a Mac desktop and a Macbook Air, as well as an iPad to use Scrivener (and may even use an iPhone at some point).

I have got the syncing set up and I don’t see any reason why there should be any problems syncing across these different devices, so long as I make sure syncing is completed every time I work on a project. It seems that the ‘master’ version of a project is always held on Dropbox and as long as I only open it and sync it back on one device at a time, then all should be well.

But I just wondered: is that assumption right? Or is there some reason why using two Macs might cause a problem going forward?

If I write on one Mac and sync to Dropbox and later open Scrivener on the other Mac and clcik the ‘sync with iOS’ button, will Scrivener still update the project, even though it hasn’t been opened on an iOS device? Or does Scrivener know that the project has not been opened in iOS and therefore would return a ‘No mobile changes found’ message?

Thanks for any help.

There is no real “syncing” involved anywhere if you do it right, seen from Scriveners point of view, because your description is absolutely correct.

You have your projects in a sub-folder under the Dropbox folder in Finder. On both Macs the Dropbox app updates any changes to the Dropbox server. Next time you access the same project, it doesn’t matter which computer you use – desktop or MB Air, or iPad.

This is exactly what I want to do.

Does this now mean that the advice about NOT keep a master doc on Dropbox is defunct? (see this post “To summarise: Use of Scrivener with network synchronised folders and mountable drives is not recommended and you do so at your own risk. The recommended use is to use Scrivener’s back-up feature (found in the File menu) to produce zipped archives which can be safely saved to these drives and available to all of your computers.”

It works with Dropbox, probably thanks to the extra code in the latest versions of Scriv. :slight_smile:

I have been working between different machines for years using Dropbox—and Cubby, which works just as well as Dropbox and is necessary for my work with Chinese collaborators, as Dropbox is blocked there—and have had next to zero problems. The warning was written early on when users who wanted to work that way hadn’t learnt to be disciplined about letting everything sync fully before closing one computer and opening the project on the next computer.

Discipline over sync’ing is the key. Be disciplined in that and it works perfectly.


Thanks. Going to try it today.

Do you use the new “Mobile Sync” button to sync when using different macs (not just iOS version)

No. iOS uses a special ‘Mobile’ folder within the project. The macOS ‘Mobile Sync’ button tells Scrivener to check this folder and resolve any potential conflicts.

Syncing between desktop (Mac or Windows) instances of Scrivener works the same way it always has, and is still subject to the cautions and best practices discussed here: … c-services