Yikes: created all my Scrivener files in iCloud

I didn’t carefully read that I should sync Scrivener via Dropbox - not iCloud.
Now I find myself seeing the six Scrivener projects in an iCloud folder I created called ‘Scrivener sync’.

Please help.

  1. If I’ve not experienced any issues (thus far) should I keep the project in that folder?
  2. If I should move my projects to a Dropbox folder, how should I do that so I don’t mess up my project files.

Thanks for your help.

PS I moved away from Notebooks and am really loving what Scrivener does.

Are you using iOS Scrivener or syncing with another Mac?

I have Scrivener on my desktop and laptop. I never have it running on two devices.
I rarely use the IOS version.

They probably mean it when they say not to use iCloud for synching.

To move the project from the iCloud folder on your computer to a Dropbox folder on your computer, perhaps take a peek at “5.1.5 Moving and Deleting Projects” in the Scrivener Manual.

Dropbox is safer for syncing because it shows very clearly whether a folder or file is synced or not. iCloud is less reliable in that respect.

Moving projects is easy on a Mac. You simply drag and drop in Finder. From one folder to another folder. But make a sub-folder in your Dropbox folder in case you want to sync with your iOS Scrivener. And make sure that the Dropbox app is running on both Mac:s

Dropbox is safer for syncing because it shows very clearly whether a folder or file is synced or not. iCloud is less reliable in that respect./quote]

And I can imagine that having iCloud set for “Optimise Mac Storage” as on would run havoc with Scrivener files…

Optimise Mac Storage is bound for disaster…

To the contrary, we do not have data that would suggest iCloud Drive is unsafe to use. I’m not even sure if the drive optimisation setting is unsafe, given that it is a default (which means nearly everyone using iCloud Drive on Desktop and Documents is using it). Apple has correctly programmed iCloud’s conflict resolution system to handle packages intelligently, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they don’t selectively delete internal component files from packages either.

So my advice would be to not worry about it. You don’t have to go install another service if you don’t want to. Personally I would disable drive optimisation on general principle though, that’s just a dumb setting by Apple. It can lead you into thinking you have physical backups when you don’t.

Very interesting and contrary to most everything I’ve been led to believe! Not the first time I’ve learned something which startles my beliefs!

This isn’t the first time one of the L&L folks have stated that iCloud is probably safe to use for transfer of Scrivener files between Macs, especially if the drive optimization feature is disabled. It’s the transfer with iOS that i gets hazy, as I understand it, because the iOS platform still doesn’t provide enough API access for KB to make sure it’s doing the right thing with the files.

Good to know … closer to my understanding. Me, I’m using Dropbox and getting on with it and not messing around with iCloud at the expense of writing… although looking for excuses as any good author sometimes does!

Yes, it does. :unamused: I detest this option, for that reason and because it’s a transparent attempt to get people to buy more iCloud space than they need. (Local disk storage is extremely cheap. If you’re running out of room on your Mac, buy an external drive!)


“Optimize Mac Storage” is known to make questionable decisions about what to store locally, leading to the infamous “Binder full of empty files” problem. The function may have improved since it was first introduced, and actual results are going to be very usage dependent: if you have lots of space on your drive and use Scrivener often, you’ll probably be fine. If not, well…


Correct. And some people appear to interpret the need to use Dropbox with iOS Scrivener as a blanket prohibition of other services, which is not the case.

Anyone sharing projects between computers (not iOS devices) should read our article on best practices for using Scrivener with cloud services, which can be found here:
scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … c-services