Google Drive Advisory

At this time we strongly discourage the use of Google Drive for synchronising live Scrivener projects.*

While this service appears to be stable for the transfer of some simple files, Scrivener projects contain many different kinds of files which can become damaged by Google's "helpful" attempts to rename or convert them. For example:

  • There is a high risk of Google converting Scrivener's internal files to its own proprietary formats, which renders the project impossible to read from Scrivener's side. This will result in a difficult and tedious recovery procedure involving converting the files back to RTF using Google's export feature. This could also cause data loss if you use Scrivener features that Google doesn't understand.
  • There is a bug in Google Drive whereby an XML extension may be added to a file, which can in turn break that file. As Scrivener uses a large number of XML files as part of its format and uses its own file extensions to identify them, anything renaming those files will damage the project. Naturally such a failure in their system extends to any software that uses any file extension other than ".xml" to save XML data.

In the cases we have handled where users have been affected by Google Drive-related project corruption, there has been no way to recover the data if local backups were not available. Therefore, please consider using another service for cloud-syncing with Scrivener.

*Note that this does not apply to Scapple documents, which use a traditional file format.