Urgent: Scrivener on iOS crashes on Dropbox sync

Thank you — I have now.

It does feel a bit flaky, however — I obviously had to KEEP the ipad versions, right? In order to sync it back later?

My first worry is the fact that project titles are shown in a quite large font — at least I can’t find a way to shrink the font size — which means that my titles are truncated and knowing which ones to move back to the dropbox section feels a bit unsecure.
May I suggest a setting for font size?

But what’s even more worrying is that after moving that crucial document that I wanted to save, now wanting to delete all the ipad-only duplicates, Scrivener tells me that one or more of the duplicates are being used on another device.

This feels counter-intuitive, since according to the list they are only present onboard the internal storage on my iPad.
But it still scares me from deleting them.

So: Why does Scrivener claim onboard files only are open elsewhere?
And what caused the Scrivener crashing issue to begin with, and how can I avoid it?

Not really comfortable with the result so far, but I hope I’ll be able to figure out what files are the latest and which ones I can delete…


Well, if it were me, I would move all of the projects to the Dropbox area, synchronize them with my iMac, and use its full-sized interface to figure out which is which. Then I’d delete the ones I didn’t want and synchronize everything else back to the iPad.

The “project is open” notice depends on a simple lock file, which can sometimes fail to clear if the project doesn’t close successfully, as in a crash. If you’re sure that the project isn’t open elsewhere, it can be ignored safely.

We’re not sure of the underlying cause, but Apple pushed a major iOS update, Dropbox completely changed their file interface tools, and iOS Scrivener itself released a new version to accommodate the first two, all within a very short time frame. It’s not a complete shock for there to be an error in the conversation between Scrivener and Dropbox somewhere in that process, but I would expect it to be a transient problem that goes away once you re-establish the link. Of course, keeping extra backups of your work is never bad.


The update seems to be the issue. My iPhone has the update it crashes with dropbox sync. My iPad has not been updated yet and it syncs and works just fine.

The unlink trick is not an answer. with 6 projects on Scrivener, I just can’t use my iPad to work because I know I will lose 15’ for each sync with the Mac. This bug has to be fixed very quickly, I just can’t work and I’m not the only one in this case :frowning:

Unlinking and relinking should be a one time fix. If you continue to see the issue after you’ve done that, please open a support ticket.


I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve done the link and unlink trick several times now. Scrivener will work for a while, a few hours maybe, and then it goes back to the same unnamed error: black screen then home screen.

I did that. Jeff told me the problem may come from Dropbox. This is not a one time fix for me and my Scrivener iPad project page is a mess. I sync manually and it’s a pain in the *ss.

I can’t sync mine either. I did a whole heap of work on the plane today and now it’s wasted :frowning:

I don’t quite know how to unlink Dropbox and relink but from what others are saying it doesn’t work anyhow.

Instructions to unlink/link are here: [url]Latest release crashes on Dropbox sync - #9 by JimRac]

It seems that it does work for some people and not for others, so it is worth your time trying it when you have a good wifi connection.


Thanks JimRac, that has worked. Not sure I want to try and use it on my iPad until I get home though so I’m working off my laptop. So grateful I brough it with me. My prime reason for extending my stay at the resort I’m at was to get on top of my book, I’m a little behind… for some strange reason I seem to be quite productive on planes and in hotels or at least away from home. No idea why…

Of course there is a pesky Best friends wedding I have to go to on the weekend… she thinks my main reason for being here is her wedding… shhhh don’t tell.

In all seriousness there might be something in the wifi connection for this issue. I didn’t have any problems with sync before. The wifi connection sucked here in the hotel and dropped halfway through trying to sync. The hotel told me that their normal system does not like mac’s so she gave me a different log in entirely. That one seems to be working just fine. Or did once I did that unlinking of the Dropbox and relinking trick.

I’ve had this issue since at least Tuesday last week. Unlinked and relinked then, it seemed to have worked for a while, but now I can’t sync again

I just unlinked, relinked, choosing to keep files on iPad. Now I have duplicate projects, the current ones being on the iPad. How do I tell Scrivener to trash the Dropbox-linked projects and link the ones on iPad?

I’m really, really nervous about this. The longer I have two different projects with the same name, the sooner I’m going to do a disastrous over-write.

I just tried the unlinking and relinking approach, and the result was the deletion of at least one of the sections of my book. Zero words. Luckily, I’ve taken to copying everything I write into separate Google docs for safekeeping, having lost a different section in the last 3 weeks in syncing between iOS and Mac.

At this point it has cost me hours of work in recreating things I’d already written. I have no faith in using the iOS version anymore, which makes me sad.

I lost an entire section as well and don’t have a backup. This was the bulk of an entire chapter and represents many hours of work. I need to get this back somehow!

As a general note: we’ve got a 1.1.5 fix in the review phase right now that should fix sync crashing that started with the most recent update. Keep on the lookout for that and install it when you get the chance, then let us know if that didn’t resolve it.

In the meantime, my own situation was simpler than I’d feared.

Two of the three projects that were duplicated on the iPad hadn’t been worked on for weeks, so they were identical to the ones on Dropbox. I just deleted the iPad duplicates.

The remaining project—where the current version was on the iPad—only needed to be selected and moved to Dropbox (after renaming the older version already resident in DB).

This is why I need to compile often, and print often!

I actually ran into this issue myself today. I don’t have a solution – hopefully the update Ioa mentioned will do that – but here’s how I approached recovery:

There was no precipitating incident that I can tell. Last night, syncing worked as well as it has for months, this morning, blammo. The only thing I can think of that changed is I used a different WiFi network, which later proved to be unreliable for other things, too.

  • Step 1: Don’t panic. Everything on the iPad will be safe on the iPad unless overwritten from Dropbox. So move everything to the ‘On My iPad’ area of the project list.

  • Step 1a: Proceed no further until you have a connection you trust and time to wait for data to transfer. Trying to resync your entire iPad with a flakey connection and/or when you’re in a hurry is not advised.

  • Step 1b: If you were smart, Scrivener on your desktop machine is safely shut down, and you can assume everything on it is synced to Dropbox. If that’s not the case, do so before proceeding. This will also keep any data on the desktop safe from Dropbox misfires.

  • Step 2: Unlink Dropbox. It will offer to save local copies. Do so if you haven’t already.

  • Step 3: Relink Dropbox. This will download all of the projects in your Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder to the iPad, so it may take some time.

  • Step 4: In my case, there were five projects altogether. I knew that only one of them had been changed on the iPad, so I just deleted the local copies of the other four.

  • Step 5: If you aren’t sure which version is current, you can compare them side by side on the iPad, or use the Import and Merge command on the Scrivener 3 desktop. In my case, I knew the iPad version was newer, so I deleted the Dropbox version and dragged the iPad version to the “On Dropbox” area of the Project Screen, Let everything sync.

  • Step 6: Be Alert for further difficulty. I ended up with two copies of the project on my Mac, one of which was corrupted. It was easy to identify the damaged one, and I just deleted it, but I might have had more problems if I hadn’t been paying attention.


I hope someone can help me because I got all fouled up by this syncing bug. I’m running 3.0 on my MacBook and 1.1.5 on my iPad. I’ve got the latest version of my project on my iPad. I renamed it and it automatically synced with Dropbox (or so it said). When I try to open it on my Mac I can’t find it in Dropbox. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? Thanks in advance!


Make sure Dropbox on your Mac is actually running. The latest High Sierra update had a tendency to silently disable it,


Thank you! Sometimes the answers are so simple. Appreciate the help!