Yet Another Desperate Sync Question

I’ve been syncing fine between Mac desktop MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad since Day for well over a year. Monday I had to have my laptop hard drive erased and reinstalled my apps, including Scrivener.

  1. Documents are no longer accessible from Scrivener on laptop.
  2. Documents ARE still desktop, iPhone and iPad. Those 3 are syncing fine…
  3. Created a Test Document on Laptop. Not syncing with other devices.
  4. Tried manually moving documents in Scrivener folder to Apps Folder in Dropbox (which was original setup).
  5. Made change to a newTest Document AND made minor change to an old document. Nothing syncing. Test Document on laptop not showing up on devices and minor change to old document not showing up on devices.
  6. I do see all of my old ‘good’ Scrivener documents on my laptop using Finder (in a Scrivener folder under Apps in Dropbox) and they all have the date and time that I reinstalled Scrivener on my laptop this week rather than the date and time that the documents were originally created or modified (8:08am Yesterday). But unable to access from App and nothing syncing.

I need to a) make sure that the documents on my Mac Desktop, iPhone and iPad are intact, and b) that documents are accessible from Scrivener app and 3) get everything back to syncing…

I am 4 attaching pics. As I type this post, it appears that I now have 2 App Folders with Scrivener Folder in them, 1 in Dropbox and 1 in Downloads. When I attempt to open a document from the Scrivener folder that is in the App/Dropbox folder it says that the document is already open on my laptop and can’t be opened. I am ON my laptop. (Please see pic). Please help. I have a 15 page paper due this week in addition to my ongoing thesis work and a lesson plan by weekend.
Thank you in advance!

When you reinstalled everything on your laptop, did that include the Dropbox app, and did you then log in to your account on Dropbox (requested by the app) and give time for the Dropbox app to download everything you have on the Dropbox server?

That is an excellent question…I don’t think installed Dropbox first. I think I installed Scrivener app first and when it asked me where to save, I believe I stopped and re-installed Dropbox and then went back to installing Scrivener. I think your point makes sense, because I definitely did not have a problem recently installing Scrivener on my desktop iMac which syncs fine — but then Dropbox was already there.
Do you suggest that I uninstall both Dropbox and Scrivener and then re-install Dropbox, wait and then re-install Scrivener?

Not really, but if everything is working as expected on the other devices, there is probably something wrong in the way you have Dropbox set up.
The basics are really simple: install the Dropbox app, start it, log in to your account, wait until everything has green tick marks.
Scrivener has nothing to do with this because Scrivener only reads and saves your project to a folder on your HD. Scrivener doesn’t know if the projects are uploaded to a cloud service or not.

In you situation I think I would do like this on the laptop (and not touch any other device): first stop the Dropbox app from syncing (alt-click the menu bar icon and choose Pause syncing), then quit the Dropbox app in that same menu. When that was done I’d delete the app from the laptop and then move the whole project folder out of the Dropbox folder (or simply delete it, but moving feels safer). Then I’d re-install the Dropbox app from, start it, log in to my account, and wait for the app to create the Dropbox folder and then sync, which might take a very long time depending on your connection and how much you have on the Dropbox server.

When all that was done, you should have a fresh copy of all the projects on your laptop. BUT, the dates of those files will reflect when they were downloaded to your laptop, not when they were uploaded to the Dropbox server.

Thanks so much! I’m going to give that a try shortly! Appreciate you!

Installing the dropbox client and Scrivener shouldn’t have any impact on each other. Your only concern is when you should be trying to open Scrivener projects that are being synced via Dropbox.

It appears to me that you have restored/still had all of your files on your Mac, including the Dropbox folder. The key to syncing with is that you have to also have the dropbox application running, which monitors your hard drive’s Dropbox folder for changes (and also copies changes from down to your Dropbox folder).

So my suggestion is, assuming what you’ve done on your laptop isn’t important…

  1. Rename the Dropbox folder on your Laptop to “Old Dropbox Folder” or something.
  2. If you haven’t already, install the dropbox application on your laptop
  3. Run the dropbox app, and set it up so that it creates a new Dropbox folder, and you enter your userid and password.
  4. Wait until all your files are synced from dropbox’s servers
  5. Be sure everything has synced.
  6. Verify that all your dropbox files are in the new Dropbox folder
  7. If you’re sure you have all the files in the new Dropbox folder, and nothing extra is in the Old Dropbox Folder, then delete “Old Dropbox Folder” so you don’t ever accidentally open any of those copies of your files.
  8. If you haven’t already, install Scrivener.
  9. Now you can go to the Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener folder and double-click on any of them to open them in Scrivener.

As for the apps folder in downloads… I assume you got that by going to in your browser and downloading a .zip compressed copy? You want to rely on the dropbox client software, the one that puts a little icon in your menu bar–not on a web browser, for syncing your data. Just delete that copy unless you’ve done actual work therein.

The message about upgrading from an older format… that looks like you tried to open a file that was created using Scrivener version 2. Do you have Scrivner version 3 installed on your other computer,or version 2?