Massive syncing problem w/ OF2 Mac iOS devices

Hi there,

who has similar syncing problems?
The situation is: It happened two times during the last week that my sync-data was horribly messed up.
2 days ago I wanted to replace my out-dated iPad OF-data w/ the actual OF-Server-Data. This resulted in uploading the iPad’s data to the server - and not the other way around. Ok, I restored my data on my Mac and replaced the server data. One-off mistakes can happen.

Now I am happily enraged and this seems like another life-task to me, to take it not personal ;) It happened again. It got worse. I worked for about 5 hours on my structure: Changes in routines, contexts, Folder-strucure. You know, fiddeling.
Anyway, I was happy that I did it. What happened: Suddenly my iPhone-Data was not in Sync w/ my Mac and iPad data. So I tried to manually sync it w/ the server. Well, obviously the iPhone uploaded the older data (which was 5 hours old) to the server and my Mac and iPad synced to it. GREAT!

Luckily my most recent backup is 5 hours old and I made those major changes during these 5 hours! Nice1

I already reported that problem to Omni, but didnt receive an answer yet.
It is not the end of the world, but the sticking point is: I cannot build up a “trusted-system-feeling” when this mess happens…


Hmmm, usually server data is never replaced, unless You specifically use the command in the data menu.The exception is that the data synced is newer than the server stuff- so did You change something on the iphone before syncing? I would first exclude that this really is a software and not a handling issue. Did that phenomenon ever return? Can You reproduce the effect by doing thisandthat?


Has this been resolved? I am experiencing similar symptoms where outdated data is introduced from my WiFi-only iPad when I sync it PRIOR to making new changes.

I often notice that Inbox items I previously ‘filed’ reappear in the Inbox. I am not sure the extent to which it is ‘resetting’ changes I have made on other devices that all sync together fine. I have only noticed this problem on my iPad.

I use the iPad less frequently than my Mac Pro and iPhone, and it doesn’t have a cellular account which I suspect might be part of the problem (not able to auto-sync all the time)?

OF 2.02 on Mac Pro w/ OSX 10.9.4
OF 1.6.5 on iPad Air w/iOS 7.1.2
OF 1.16.2 on iPhone 4S


I’m on a Wifi iPad as well- that’s not an issue for sure!

When Your iPad is not synced in a while (that’s what I am reading there) and You change substantial things on the other machines, usually it the asks You to replace either local or server data. By choosing the latter You are willingly overwriting Your new data. Obviously, when You just made some changes on the iPad prior to syncing those changes will be lost upon replacing local, so it’s a matter of Your handling.

  • Make it a habit of first syncing before seriously digging in
  • Activating background sync might be the solution of choice for You as well

Apart from that, normally OF simply syncs over minor differences (that’s what sync is for, right?) and all runs smooth. This per se is no faulty (as in: it’s designed to do things exactly like this) behaviour of OF but You can report it anyway via email, if you like.

Just had this happen on OF1 on the computer, so I suspect it’s the iOS version that has the bug.

Made extensive changes on primary OF computer - sync to serer.
Sync secondary computer, works
sync ipad, works
sync iphone, it reverted all my changes (assigning projects/contexts) to the un-changed version on the iphone across all devices.

It essentially undid my weekly review.

I’ve had this happen several times, and it’s always when the iOS version syncs back to the server after extensive changes. I’ve now started to make sure that everything is synced before the review, do the review, do a manual archive (which I can still do in OF1 thank goodness), then sync everything else. If it happens (and it has), then I can at least revert the server to the backup and replace all the device databases without losing data.

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Just to clarify a little. My problem does manifest itself when my iPad goes for a while without syncing (or maybe it is just more noticeable then because of widespread differences between sync database and iPad database). Only once has the iPad asked to ‘overwrite local data’ and I chose to do this - knowing it was out-of-date. This seemed to work fine.

Normally, the iPad automatically syncs as soon as I open OF (without any options to update/overwrite). This initial sync seems like it (sometimes?) reverts changes that I have previously made on other devices and previously synced (days prior).

I always make sure the iPad syncs prior to making any changes on it. It is changes made on other devices that are already synced on the server that are getting undone/overwritten by older data on the iPad.

I have not noticed this problem on my iPhone, but the iPhone is usually up-to-date on the sync, so its possible the problem does exist, but is just too subtle to notice.

There seem to be two separate issues discussed in this thread:

  1. When a device has not synced for several days, it is kicked out of the sync list to improve sync times for the other clients. If you start using the device again, you will get the dialog, asking which data to keep. You will almost certainly want to keep the server data, overwriting the local data.

  2. Two (or more clients) are syncing on a regular basis, and suddenly, after a lengthy session of organizing everything just so, all those changes are reversed, without any warning.
    We are aware of this serious (but usually rare) issue. It can happen with any combination of devices. It is most likely to occur when items are being moved around a lot (reordered, filed to projects from the inbox, etc.) on more than one device.

The proper fix requires a major undertaking. Right now we’re doing some of the behind-the-scenes work necessary to begin to address this.

To reduce the likelihood of it occurring before we fix this, try to make sure all of your devices are synced up before doing heavy inbox processing or large reorganizations of projects and contexts.

I have a similar issue but the problem is that I’m not really sure what to do next.

I am running OF2 on my MacBook Pro (Yosemite) and my iPhone 5S (I have an iPad Mini too but I’m working on these two devices primarily at the moment).

I have been setting up OF for the first time - following AE’s workflow etc and I’ve been doing quite a bit of setting up on the MBP and whilst I’m waiting for my wife to leave work (she’s always 30 mins late unless I’m late then she’s on time) I have made changes on my iPhone.

So I have tasks on my iPhone that aren’t on my MBP such as I have a Someday Single Action List which has about 10 items on the phone but it doesn’t appear on the MBP.

Is there a way of merging the two databases?

OK - Please ignore my last comment - I’ve sat for hours and had just about convinced myself that the synch wan’t working at all - I could enter stuff on the phone and not see it on the MBP - but I could vice-versa. Then I started entering items on the MBP and they disappeared - and suddenly I thought are there any options I’ve selected on the perspective whilst I’ve been playing - Yup that was it - I set the perspective to view all not just first and they all magically appeared (now twice or three times in some cases cos I’d entered them again)

Does anyone know where you file a Stupid User Bug Report???

One could argue that a “Stupid User” bug report could be reworded as a “Software could be clearer” or “Documentation is incomplete” bug report. If you think there’s some way that OmniFocus misled or under-informed you, please let us know by emailing

Thanks Lizard - #2 has bit me really bad more than once in the past few months, I’ll take that advice (along with doing a backup after major reorganization before syncing).

So here’s the million dollar question: Given that we can’t upgrade to OF 2 because of the unresolved UI issues, is there any chance we’ll see a patch to OF1 that fixes this data-loss sync issue?

I’m afraid we’re more likely to see frozen pigs with wings dropping from the sky over a burning landscape than get a patch for OF1, but one can always hope :-)

Or alternatively, are you guys actually going to do something about the UI issues at some point before we get brained by falling pork-sicles?

[And yes, Mr. Moderator, this again is a tongue in cheek comment, attempting to inject humor and relieve stress and frustration about the ongoing silence on OG’s part]

As you suspect, there are no plans to update OmniFocus 1, which also suffers from this particular data corruption issue.

[And not all moderators are male.]

Thanks Lizard - the one who hid previous posts was, no offense intended :-).

If there’s any way you guys can give us some inkling of what direction Omni’s headed in for fixing the UI regressions in OF2, it’d be appreciated. With the growing number of issues with OF1 on 10.10, the time to make the unpleasant decision to move to a different solution is approaching. It’s enough of an effort that once gone, it’s probably for good.