Quick Troubleshooting for iOS Syncing

Here are some quick things to check if you encounter syncing issues on the iOS version of Scrivener

Check Your Desktop Scrivener Version

You must be running at least Scrivener 2.8 on the Mac, and Scrivener 1.9.5 on Windows to sync projects with iOS.

Open The Projects on the Desktop Version of Scrivener

Each project you wish to sync must have been opened with the latest Scrivener version at least once before it can be opened on the iOS client. If you are getting an "Invalid Project Format" error of any kind, it might mean that you need to open the project on the desktop so that it has a chance to update.

Do Not Use "File > Sync > with External Folder"

That feature is used to sync Scrivener with third party tools, such as other text editors. It has nothing to do with using Scrivener with iOS.

Instead, just close Scrivener, then copy the projects to the Dropbox sub-folder of your choice. This needs to be the same Dropbox folder that you configured Scrivener for iOS to use.

On the Desktop Computer, Use the Dropbox Application, Not the Web Interface

You must install the Dropbox application (available from Dropbox's website). Doing so will provide you with a "local" Dropbox folder on your computer. This is where you should be moving your project to.

Whatever you do, do not try to upload a Scrivener project using Dropbox's web interface. This will not work, because web browsers do not handle "packages" correctly. You must move the project into Dropbox using the local folder that appears when the Dropbox application itself is installed.

Double Check Your Dropbox Settings in Scrivener for iOS

In Scrivener for iOS, open the left side-panel and then navigate back until you reach the root level (where the list of projects appear). Tap the "Edit" option in the top-left corner of the panel, then tap the "Settings" option (looks like a gear) in the bottom-right corner. You'll see the options for changing your Dropbox settings there. Use this to confirm that you have the proper folder assigned.

Make Sure You Are Using the Correct Dropbox Account

Open the Dropbox application on your iOS device and browse around the files in general. Do they match what you see in the Dropbox folder on your desktop computer? If not, you may be signed into a different Dropbox account on the two devices. NOTE: This is just a test to see if you are using the correct Dropbox account -- don't try to open the Scrivener project from within the Dropbox application (see below).

Do Not Try to Open Scrivener Projects Using the Dropbox App on iOS

If you open the Dropbox app on your iOS device, you will see the project files, but you will not be able to access them. You can only access the projects by opening the Scrivener application and setting the Dropbox location there (see above).

Was the Project Created in the "On My iPad/iPhone" Section of the iPad App?

When you view the project list on the iPad, there are two sections. The first is labelled "Dropbox" and the second is labelled "On My iPad." Projects created in the "On My iPad" section will not be visible to other devices. Tap the "Edit" option at the top, then use the drag handles on the right side of each project to drag it up into the "Dropbox" area.

Tap the Sync Icon in the Top-Right Corner

When you are on the "Projects" screen in the iOS version of Scrivener, there is a sync icon in the top-right corner. Tap this to make sure it is up to date.

Is the Project Zipped?

Make sure you are not using a zipped copy of the project. The project file (or folder on Windows) must be placed in Dropbox in its normal state. If you cannot open it directly from Scrivener on your desktop computer, then Scrivener for iOS will not be able to open it either.

Sending in Crash Reports

If you are experiencing a crash with the iOS version of Scrivener, sending in your crash reports can sometimes help us narrow down the source of the problem, in conjunction with detailed instructions on how to trigger the crash. The following instructions will help you access crash logs on your device:

  1. Open Settings.app.
  2. Tap on "Privacy".
  3. Under "Privacy", tap on "Analytics" ("Diagnostics & Usage" on systems older than iOS 12).
  4. Tap on "Analytics Data" ("Diagnostics & Usage Data" on systems older than iOS 12).
  5. Look through the list for anything related to Scrivener. Look for reports that have datestamps around the time of the crash and tap on one.
  6. Tap on the "share" button in the top right corner to send your report, along with your reproduction notes, to our support address.

More Help

An extensive guide to syncing with more troubleshooting information can be found here:

Dropbox Syncing with iOS