How good is syncing IOS/OS X for OmniFocus?

Hi all.

I’m having issues syncing OmniOutliner documents between iMac (OS X 10.10.5) and iPad (IOS 9.3.5); due to the nature of the OO documents, it’s not a big deal for me.

HOWEVER, I’m also considering using OmniFocus (to replace Toodledo). And in the case of that app, flawless syncing would be very important to me.

Are you in a position to comment on the reliability of syncing OmniFocus on those platforms?


I have been using OmniFocus for the past 2+ years on two Macs (work and home), an iPad and an iPhone and have found syncing to be totally reliable. I have never had any problems.

1 Like

I’m glad you asked! We all do a ton of testing in this area, so I hope this isn’t too much information.

My Opinion
Syncing works well in OmniFocus and we consider it an important core feature. There are many factors that influence your syncing success and experience, including your network, your devices, your data, and where you are located compared to the server you are syncing to.

Ideal Scenarios

  1. Using OmniFocus with wifi or high speed internet to sync using Omni Sync Server on modern devices (purchased in the last 2 years for iOS or last 4 years for Mac is how I define this). This is the best case scenario. I call this “situation ideal”. This isn’t required, but it sure helps with performance to have a fast device with a beefy connection that you can count on. If you don’t want the hassle of having to deal with a server yourself, I’d recommend you use ours which is free. More info on Omni Sync Server.

  2. Using a private WebDAV server on server class hardware that is from the past 5 years or so, on a network you can easily access it with a modern iOS device. This setup is also awesome because it is the most private and secure. Although we now have end to end encryption for Omni Sync Server which is sufficient for most purposes, this is a great way to use OmniFocus if you prefer to control all of your own data and while it is reliant on your data speed, this is a well supported setup that a many OmniFocus users rely on daily.

Not Ideal, but Good Situations

If you are traveling in and out of wifi and other network access, as most of us are, try to do initial setup where you have good connection. The iPhone, iPad, and Watch app all work pretty great for syncing in cases when you are adding or completing a few items. If you plan on using the Watch app, having your phone in range is important so that the data can transmit. You can get your best performance with this sort of setup by doing your review and adding new projects with the most data where you have good connectivity. You don’t need to always have the fastest data to still have accurate syncing. Many OmniFocus users still have an iPhone 5s or occasionally use an older iPad and are syncing with them. It does take longer to sync with older devices and less capable hardware, but it does work. The problem is, eventually Apple discontinues support for that device under iOS, so that platform moves quicker in general which is awesome for innovation, but can be expensive.

Syncing Sadness

Sending all of your data including huge image attachments to OmniFocus with a very large database on the weakest device, and trying to sync to an old iOS device using cell data only or using any weak/unstable data connection is difficult. If you have a few notes, images, action items, those things aren’t a big deal. Problems can happen if you attempt to transmit a giant amount of data on a device without the memory or ability to handle it, or in a situation where a poor data connection is in play.

You might try out OmniFocus on your Mac and see what you think. You can switch between Pro and Standard during the free trial to see which version suits your needs. The Mac version can be downloaded here and you get 14 days free to test it.


I am syncing OF between my iMac, Ipad and iPhone for like 2 years now over my own WebDav server and it is very reliable. I don’t have large attachments however.

1 Like

Never had an issue in syncing data since iOS versions complemented my Mac. I think there was one or two times OmniSync was down for a few hours.

OK. Thanks.