Work between PC and Mac versions?

Hi there. I currently have Scrivener on my personal Macbook Air, but I am more often on my work laptop which is a PC. It’s switching between environments fairly seamless at this point? If so I plan on biting the bullet and getting the Windows version too, but only if it’s not going to be a hassle to switch between the two. My assumption is you work in one environment and save via Dropbox, close when finished, then open from Dropbox on other machine?

Also, what’s the latest on being Google Drive compatible? I haven’t used Dropbox in years since switching to Google Drive

If I am understanding the latest recommendations and feedback correctly:

  1. Backups, backups, backups! Each device that you will be opening Scrivener on needs to have the proper backup configuration. Many of us use a separate sync service to protect our backups. I have my active projects in Dropbox, with my zipped/timestamped unlimited backups going to a OneDrive folder. That way if something goes wrong with Dropbox I still have all my backups available. Since I am zipping my backups, each one is a single file, and I can use pretty much any sync service with them (including ones like Google Drive that are not safe with live Scrivener projects.)

  2. Dropbox is still the only supported automatic sync method if you want to sync between Mac/Windows and iOS. The iOS Scrivener client does not understand how to talk to other sync engines and the sandboxing of files (and corresponding lack of a shared file system) on iOS devices prevents you from invisibly swapping another sync engine in the background like you can on Macs/Windows PCs.

  3. For syncing between Macs and Windows, iCloud is supported but you must ensure that the option to optimize your storage (by letting iCloud only sync down the files it thinks you need) is turned off. This will break Scrivener projects. (Note – I am pretty sure L&L has said this works fine between Macs; I don’t know if this applies between Mac and Windows because I cannot find anywhere in the Windows iCloud client to change the iCloud Drive settings.)

  4. Other users have reported success using other sync engines for Mac/Windows such as OneDrive, Cubby, and others. Same caveat as iCloud applies – you have to make sure that all of the Scrivener project files are being synced to your devices. In OneDrive, you have the option to “free up space” or “always keep on device” – you need to choose the latter for the folder where you will be keeping your Scrivener projects. Others have noted potential issues, so understand that if you choose to use them, you are on your own if something happens.

  5. Google Drive is known harmful for Scrivener projects. Just don’t use it for live projects.

  6. With whichever sync engine you are using, you set up the sync client on your Windows and Mac PCs, then save your active projects in the corresponding folder on your hard drive (this is by default the Dropbox\Apps\Scrivener folder for Dropbox.) This allows your projects to sync between Macs and PCs while doing normal file save/open operations from your local drives. You do not want to try to manually interact with Dropbox (or other sync engines) via the website; Scrivener’s project format is a complex multi-file structure and trying to upload/download it manually will likely screw your project up.

  7. Should you elect to use Dropbox and iOS, you do not need the iOS Dropbox client. Scrivener has the bits integrated to work with Dropbox so you still do not have to manually interact with the Dropbox site. And doing it this way means that your Scrivener for iOS installation doesn’t count against your three device limit.

8) None of this allows you to get away with working on a project simultaneously on multiple devices. Doing this will cause your project to become corrupted and conflicted. You must open a project on only one device at a time, *close* the project, and allow sufficient time for the changes to sync up to the cloud and back down to other devices before opening the same project on another device. This is one reason some people dislike iCloud -- it is harder to tell when your project has successfully synced from/to your device, and harder to do anything about it if you have an issue. Both Dropbox and OneDrive give you detailed indicators of which files are still syncing, which is really nice.
  1. Some people recommend pausing your sync client when you are actively working on a Scrivener project. I have never done this because I leave my devices on (even though I close Scrivener at the end of every session, or have Scrivener’s auto-shut-off feature enabled) and always check my sync status before walking away from the computer. However, if you don’t have this habit, pausing your sync client before working with Scrivener, then re-enabling it after you’ve saved and shut Scrivener down might be a very good way to build your habits in to always be checking your sync status.

To add to what @devinganger has said, you also need to be using the Windows 3 Beta, downloadable from:

Don’t be put off by the date on the thread; that’s when the thread was started. Release Candidate 10 ( is the latest version. It has an expiry date of 15th October, but L&L will release another version shortly before that. Also make sure you read: … c-services

and perhaps … patibility