Minor syncing problem between iOS devices

It looks like my iPhone and iPad OmniFocus databases are in sync bar two tasks. If I could be sure that it were just these two, I’d wipe one database, sync again with the other and adjust those tasks. But of course I can’t be sure. Is there a way to automatically compare everything?

I was on a plane and did a long review. I’ve checked the sync log and it’s different between the devices but both have been syncing away and neither reports any problems. Yet on my iPad I have two unprocessed items in my inbox and on my iPhone it’s four. There’s a matching disparity in what work I have to do this week as the tasks are all there but these two are assigned to days and projects.

Any idea how I can be sure there’s nothing else different and then re-sync whichever is the ‘correct’ one?

Thanks for any help you can give,

Update: Settings/Backups says both iPhone and iPad have exactly the same number projects, actions and those pesky zip files. I’ve exported to CSV on both devices.

And a second update: I finally got back to my Mac and it agrees with my iPhone. So even though the work I did on a plane without internet access was all on the iPad, somehow that’s the device which has fallen out of sync. It really looks as if a sync after I got off the plane correctly pushed the changes to the rest but then somehow that left iPhone and Mac correct but the originating iPad wrong,

It can’t be. And I freely admit I’ve got confused between the three copies and the countless syncing I’ve been dong today.

But seemingly the best solution I could do was to wipe the iPad database and download it from the cloud.

At this moment, then, all three copies of database agree with each other. But what can make two tasks fail t sync like this? It’s hard to trust the database when I can’t see how this happened and of course cannot really ever be sure that it was only these two tasks.


Hi there @WilliamG! I’m really sorry for the trouble here. We definitely understand the need for OmniFocus to be a trusted system, and for its sync to be accurate.

In the past, we’ve seen scenarios like the one you describe happen due to the app’s “last edit wins” conflict resolution. What this means is that when two changes happen to the same task on different devices without syncing, then both devices eventually sync up with each other, the one that made the most recent change “wins,” and the other is discarded. In rare cases, this affected whether tasks were visible in the Inbox - if the first change was to check off that task, or move it to a project, and then that change “lost,” the item would wind up back in the Inbox.

We’ve done some work in recent OmniFocus releases to minimize the ways this can happen, and resolve issues more neatly when it does. Furthermore, I’d expect that given long enough, every device would eventually come back into sync, showing the same counts everywhere. However, temporary conflicts like this are always possible - especially when devices have intermittent connections to the Internet.

If you’re interested in digging a little deeper, our support team can try to look into your sync logs and some other details of your setup to determine how this might have happened. Feel free to email them anytime.

Again, I’m sorry for the trouble. Thanks for using OmniFocus.


Thank you for replying, I appreciate that. I didn’t think that I made changes to the tasks on both devices but it’s certainly possible and it fits all the facts, doesn’t it?

I’m curious how enough time would restore order to the devices if repeated manual syncs didn’t but that’s just my being intrigued, I don’t think I need to put your support team to any trouble.

I am conscious, though, that the only time I ever go onto the forums it is because I have a problem so inescapably I sound complaining. I was troubled by this one and you’ve reassured me, I’m grateful, but every day for six years or more I’ve been reliant on OmniFocus and I adore it.

So cheers for thanking me for using it, but let me thank all of you for making the thing. It is utterly crucial to my business and I’m grateful.


I have the same problem. I was traveling 10 days ago by air but I have used OF on both iPhone and iPad since. Worse, I just looked at my laptop and it too has different inbox items than the two iOS devices, despite syncing minutes ago.

Actually this is not a minor problem at all. My iMac has yet another set of items in the inbox.

FWIW I emailed Omni group support and got a working solution to this issue.

Could you please share the solution you found? Thanks!

Yes, here you are. I didn’t post it right away bc I wasn’t sure that there was no identifiable or user specific info in the URL they sent.

"If your devices are not indicating any errors when syncing then the issue here is likely that the the local cached copy of your database on at least a couple of your devices has gotten stuck in a stale state. These devices have likely synced the latest changed but this cache is causing them to display things incorrectly. You should be able to clear this up quickly, by rebuilding the cached copy of the database from the primary XML database (this is what is synced between your devices). To do so:

• On each your Macs, please select File > Rebuild Database… in the menu bar.
• On your iOS devices, please tap on the following link:


On that page, tap the link to “Rebuild OmniFocus Database”. You’ll then get a prompt from OmniFocus for your permission to run this procedure. Confirm by tapping “Invoke & Quit”. Once that happens, open OmniFocus again, and see if things are back to normal.

We also have a bug report open on this issue, since it is understandably concerning when your devices are not all displaying the same information as expected. We’re not yet sure why the local cache for the database gets into this bad state, but hopefully we can track it down. "

There’s also a public version of the rebuild URL at https://support.omnigroup.com/rebuild-omnifocus-database/ but it has a conspicuous warning not to do so unless you’ve been sent there by OF support.

Annoyingly, I now need to rebuild the database almost every time I start OF on my Mac.