Unable to open MacBook Pro Scrivener files on iMac even when saved to Dropbox

I normally use Scrivener on a MacBook Pro and save all my files to Dropbox. I am running the most current version of Scrivener on my MacBook. I recently purchased a new-to-me iMac that is running Ventura, as is my MacBook. I purchased a new version of Scrivener to install on my new machine since I was anxious to get started and had no idea how to add a second computer. However, I am unable to open any of my Scrivener files that I have saved in Dropbox on the iMac. I receive an error message that says:

“The project [name] seems to be of an older format, but no binder.scrivproj file could be found inside it. It may be missing or corrupt, possibly because of a problem with the device on which it is stored, or because of a synchronisation problem.
Try ctrl-clicking on the project in the Finder and selecting “Show Package Contents”, then look for a file entitled ‘binder.scrivproj’. Ensure it has not been renamed by a backup routine. If it does not exist, try restoring from a backup.”

I followed the advice, there is no binder.scrivproj for any of my files. I have Scrivener set up to backup files to a folder in Dropbox. I went the folder of backup files and they’re completely greyed out. I’m not able to open any of them on the iMac.

I’m not sure what to do at this point. Can anyone help me? I can’t seem to find any posts in the forum that deal with this topic specifically, or that have instructions that I can utilize or that work.


Start by ensuring that Dropbox is configured to make your Scrivener projects “available offline.”


Aha! Success!! Thank you so much!! I know only enough about Dropbox, Scrivener, and computers in general to get myself into trouble but not out of it. Lol! I sincerely appreciate your help!

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I don’t know if this happens with anyone else but on mine DropBox has a habit of switching the prefs to “online-only” for new files. That leaves existing files untouched since it only applies to new files, but to my mind it should leave existing prefs exactly as they are.

I think that’s a configurable option, but that would be a question for Dropbox support.