Syncing Scriv on a Mac from a Web Dropbox account problem

Hi! I have two DropBox accounts – one to administer photo club image transfers and for which I use the DB App. The other account is for my own transfers and syncing, including Scrivener files, and I access it from my web browser.
When I try and sync, or even access the Scrivener files from my desktop Mac I can see only the photo club files and folders. Logging out of the app and logging back in automatically does so from the photo club account.
I can see all of my personal files, including my scrivener files in the browser, when logged in with my personal DB account.
Access to these through Apps/Scrivener is how it is set up on the iPad, and it is also where I can see them in the browser.
I haven’t come across a tutorial yet that shows how to sync mobile files with those edited on the Mac.
Any tips? Dan

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Hello pondballdan, and welcome to the forum.

The wrinkle that you’re running into is that your Mac user account is defaulting to the photo club’s Dropbox account.

You’ll need to use your Mac’s Dropbox folder in its Finder to access your personal DB account. Then, you can drag your Scrivener projects into Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder in the Finder, which will allow them to sync correctly to your iOS device from your personal account.

If this were my Mac, I’d set up a second user where I connected the DB account for the photo club. That way, I could have my main user account be where I access my personal DB account.

That should permit you to sync your projects using Finder and the iOS app, as per our Knowledge Base article on syncing via Dropbox.

And, as an aside, we have this Knowledge Base article that explains how to create manual iOS backups.

Since Apple do not permit apps on their mobile devices to create automatic backups of your data like Scrivener 3 on a computer does, I recommend adding that process to your writing habits when working with Scrivener on a mobile device.

Also, if you’re using macOS Monterey or macOS Ventura, you might want to review this third Knowledge Base article about changing Dropbox’s settings to local storage for your Scrivener projects.

Otherwise, you might encounter errors with accessing your data.

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Thanks Ruth
I was afraid there would be no easy solution.
A couple of hours ago when I logged into DropBox it had me do the “update” – the one that buries the DG folder 5 layers deep in the Library! :confounded: Dropbox is now accessible only through Locations, and when I select DB there it only opens my photo club folder. There is no sight of the Apps/Scrivener folder.
Right now I have 5 different projects that I can access on my iPad, four of which were “On My iPad” and still are, but I have also added the main one that I had removed from my last trip for security reasons. It was on my Mac, which oddly I could access from my iPad. Odd that the more powerful Mac cannot access files from DropBox, but the wee iPad can.

Setting up a second user sounds like a good idea. I create slideshows from photo club members’ submissions. They submit their images to DropBox → DropBox creates the file and adds the submitters name to the file → Hazel (cool App) on my Mac transfers the images to my computer and delete the originals from DropBox. I get notified when new images are downloaded. As long as I can still get notifications from the second user account I suspect this solution would work.

I have viewed the first two linked articles a number of times and will, no doubt, check them out again!

You can never too many backups.

Yes, I’m on Monterey and will check out that article on local storage. I have other ways of backing up files, including SSD, NAS and off-site, all of which can be put into midnight auto mode!

Again, thank you for your tips!

Another suggestion is to try Maestral. It allows you to access multiple Dropbox accounts. It creates its own folder on your Mac, so in your case I’d try linking your Photo Club account there; I don’t know how well Scrivener would work with it. But it might be easier than having to switch user names.

It’s open source, if that matters to you in any way. I use it, but am not connected in any way.


This might be a question for Dropbox support as well. In my experience, they don’t handle multiple accounts particularly well, but they may have improved since I investigated.

One solution would be to share a folder (either the one with Scrivener projects or the photo one) so that both accounts have access to it.

From Scrivener’s point of view, you will be much happier if you’re able to sync directly to the Dropbox folder. If you use the web interface, you’ll need to manually download the project as a ZIP file in order to get everything, and that will make life more complicated from the iPad side of things.

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HI kewms - I definitely have to agree with you about Dropbox, multiple accounts and ease of use. Polar opposites! I’ve been at this most of the day, have set up an alternate account on the computer and I get the same results.

I haven’t tried the shared folder route yet, but it sounds like it has possibilities and security is not a problem as I would be the user in both cases. I’m wondering if the user is based solely on the email addresses for the two accounts only? In that case I could then sign out of the Dropbox App as the photo admin and then sign back in by me? I expect I should share the photo folder first before signing out though.

Accessing the files from the web interface is an archaic exercise at best. It is not conducive to syncing between Mac and mobile at all.

Wheee - more fun!

Thanks xiamenese I’ll have a link at Maestral - It been a long time since I’ve been ‘playing’ in the Terminal sandbox, and know it’s possible to mess things up pretty quickly. Having said that, if all else fails I can do one of two things:
• use an old computer and sign in to DB through the photo login - allowing me to do what needs to see all of my own files
• crack open a bottle of whatever is closest to me and mumble under my breath before getting over it and on with it.
Many of the tutorials and vids out there now that propose a 2nd Dropbox folder (ie Dropbox2) won’t work - at least not if you did their update. It takes your Dropbox from Favourites status, where you could find the folder itself, and buries it deep in the system, allowing you a glimpse of an Alias. The actual files are buried in Users → Username → Library → CloudStorage → Dropbox → then whatever you name the folder.

The Dropbox icon has moved from Favourites to Locations and is really only an alias.
Diving into the path above, you get stalled at Library as there is no CloudStorage, not unless it’s an invisible file.

I wonder if this affects the way Scrivener goes about it’s sync process using Dropbox??

You don’t need to use Terminal with Maestral: it’s there if you want it, but when it’s running (set to load on boot up) it puts a folder in your user account that is linked to whichever Dropbox account(s) you have set.

For historic reasons I have two, so Maestral links to one, the links to the other. That said, I don’t use Scrivener on iOS/iPadOS; my MBA caters for that. I use for my Scrivener stuff, not because of any distrust of Dropbox, but because it is blocked in China, so my friends and collaborators can’t access it.

For me, the change of the Dropbox folder to it’s current location is neither here nor there; the same is true of Box. It still works the same when set to keep things locally.


Thanks Mark - will keep that in mind and will probably give it a go tomorrow morning. Right now I’m experimenting with Sharing the App folder where Scrivener files reside with the photo DB me and am about to test to see if Scrivener can pick it up now. :crossed_fingers:Dan

A quick follow up here on the problem I was having with syncing everything. It still means I have a bit of work to do tomorrow morning to move some of the things I have created in my alternate user but everything seems to be working fine now.
After successfully testing with a “test folder” for scrivener I ended up sharing the App folder from my own DB setup - and sharing it with the photo DB account user. When I went back into Scrivener I was able to access all of my personal Scrivener projects :partying_face:.
Made a few changes to the files on my desktop Scrivener app, closed the file on the Desktop app and then checked it out on the iPad. Quick sync proved all to be working. It may not be the most elegant workaround but it ended up being the quickest one in the long run.
Of course all this is contingent on me being the sole user for both accounts.
Thanks everyone for your assistance.
I was on this forum years ago but couldn’t get back in so have started anew!

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