Why Dropbox also other issues?!

After finishing up a chapter I went outside and decided to continue writing on my iPad. I log onto Scrivener and after taking excrutiatingly long to sync my Dropbox files I get an error message that reads:

“The project cannot be opened because it does not contain a valid binder structure file. Please ensure that the project has been fully uploaded from other devices and then try syncing with Dropbox again.”

Not exactly ideal. I am unhappy with Dropxbox and I have no clue why syncing through Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive is not available! Maybe has something to do with Dropbox shoving it’s overpriced premium plan down my throat and limiting me to 3 devices (I have 5!).

Scrivener is the only thing that I have on Dropbox because I am forced by the incomptent development of the iOS version and now even that does not work.

I demand support as how to solve it.

The most likely cause of this specific issue is that the file had not completely synchronized from the source computer to Dropbox before you tried to download it to the iPad.

Currently, Dropbox is the only service that allows the file-level access needed to support Scrivener’s project format on iOS devices.

However, any other service would still be vulnerable to this sort of issue. A Scrivener project is a folder, containing potentially hundreds of component files. Transferring those files from one device to another will always require finite time, and attempting to open a project before that transfer is complete will always have the potential for this kind of error.


The forums are not an official support source – it is mainly for peer to peer support, although many of the staff do read and participate from time to time – so if you need actual technical support from L&L, you are best advised to contact them as described on their website:


Thank you so much for your quick response. I have checked and the file is fully shared onto Dropbox. I was able to open it on Windows and Mac. To make sure I saved it again and re-synced Dropbox but the issue persists.

As to your explanation as to why Dropbox I must admit I fail to understand. In iOS I am able to fully access Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive through the files browser. This is the same when opening files in other apps - I can browse and select where to open from or where to save to.

I have used the recommended email but not once got a response back as such I turned to the forums. I do not see a point to your comment as it is unhelpful to the issue I posted here.

Your original post demanded support (your word) – I was simply trying to help you set appropriate expectations about how that would turn out for you. If you contacted L&L support via email and did not get an answer back, did you check junk email and whitelist the response domains like they recommend?

As for why Dropbox but not Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, etc: it’s because the file format that Scrivener uses is a multi-file collection (as the computer/filesystem driver sees it). Google Drive is known to corrupt a Scrivener project under some conditions; iCloud also can have some issues when used to transfer files between iOS and PC or Mac (although KB has said it’s fine to use between desktops); and OneDrive also had issues with keeping Scrivener projects consistent at one point in time.

The iOS client has to explicitly bake in code for each sync engine you want to use, thanks to the sandboxing of apps iOS does for security. You can’t use the same strategy you would on a Mac or PC, where you write the project files to the filesystem in a certain set of folders, and let the sync engine client of your choice monitor those folders and handle the sync process in the background. KB made the decision to support DropBox because it had the best level of API support (necessary to integrate it into the app) and was the most ubiquitous of the “safe” choices. If DropBox doesn’t do it for you, you can search the forums – you can use the iTunes file transfer method and there are supposedly a couple of other ways to get the files back and forth from your iOS device, but they all require you to manually move them around.

There’s a detailed discussion of the technical issues with iOS synchronization here:

To your current situation, since the project works fine on the Mac, probably the easiest solution is to wipe the slate clean and start over:

  • On the Mac, make a backup, just in case.

  • Close Scrivener.

  • Still on the Mac, use Finder to move the project out of the Dropbox folder to another location.

  • Allow Dropbox to synchronize across all devices, and confirm that the project is really gone.

  • Back on the Mac, use Finder to move the project back into the Dropbox folder. Before you leave the Mac, confirm that Dropbox has finished synchronizing: since it’s copying the entire project, this may take some time.

  • One at a time, synchronize the other devices and confirm that the project has reappeared.


Tried today but issue persists.

Can you synchronize a brand new test project to the iOS device?

Troubleshooting guide here:
scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … os-syncing


Has this specific project been successfully synced to your iPad at earlier attempts? Or was this your first attempt at synccing with the iPad?