Using Cryptomator with Dropbox

Hi all,

Scrivener software specifications say that one can only sync Scrivener files with Dropbox, and not any other cloud service. I’m not 100% comfortable with their policies, and so I would like to encrypt my files.

I’ve identified Cryptomator ( as a reasonable solution for encrypting files that are sync’d in the cloud. But I’ve also read that Scrivener files are complex, acting more like a folder than normal files. I’m not a tech person, so I don’t really know the difference.

My question is, will Scrivener and Cryptomator work together to encrypt my Scrivener files to Dropbox? I’m concerned if files will get corrupted or not. Thanks for your help!


** EDIT **

The Cryptomator forum only has one post related to this question, and it was not resolved: … s-work/385

Scrivener for Mac (and Windows) is not restricted to using Dropbox. It’s only the iOS version that has to integrate with Dropbox, and it does so directly, instead of through the dropbox app (as do most or all iOS apps, I think). Your crypto app will lock away the project’s files from iOS Scrivener, as it doesn’t have the code to decrypt.

If you’re not using the iOS version, then you should be okay with your Cryptomator solution. Try it with a test project to be sure.

Yes, a Scrivener project is actually a folder, with subfolders and potentially hundreds of component files. The entire folder must travel as a unit: Scrivener does not work well with “smart” sync services that store files in the cloud and download them on demand, for example. I haven’t tested it, but you will probably also see issues if Scrivener has to wait while a file is decrypted.

To be precise, Dropbox is the only service supported for use with iOS Scrivener. You can share projects between Macs using other services, including iCloud. Best practices for using Scrivener with cloud services can be found here: … c-services

You can also use other mechanisms, such as direct file copying, to move projects around independent of anyone else’s computer. That’s the most secure choice: data that never sees the internet can’t be stolen from it.

For encryption to work with Scrivener, Scrivener must be able to access the encrypted file in exactly the same way that it would an unencrypted file. That is, the encryption software must do its work “behind the scenes,” rather than asking for a key when the project or any of its component files is opened. When in doubt, test with a disposable project.


If Cryptomator doesn’t essentially create a virtual thumb drive (aka “disk”) that appears in the finder’s side-bar, then you might look into creating encrypted disk images with MacOS’s Disk Utility.

Some of the details may have changed, depending on how up-to-date you are with Mac OS releases, but this is the general idea behind it: … -on-a-mac/

Once you have a functional encrypted disk image, move it into your Dropbox folder. Then you just double-click it, enter your password, and then treat it like you would a thumb drive. Drag your scrivener projects there, and open them for editing. You’ll have to quit Scrivener, and then eject the virtual drive if you wanted to access it on other Macs (this won’t work for Windows computers, btw), but all the data transmitted to Dropbox would be encrypted.

Likely, it would transmit more data, since Dropbox would see the entire project as a single binary file, so larger chunks of your project would get synced every time Scrivener did it’s automatic saves. Go into your preferences, and change the save delay to something like 20 seconds to reduce the chances that you’ll overwhelm the dropbox sync software if you go this route.