OF for iPhone background refresh: am I expecting too much?

Hi - I have OF 2 for iPhone and the app is enabled for background refresh in the phone’s settings. I’m not sure what the benefit is supposed to be though? OF never seems to be synced when I open it, I still have to do it manually, plus the badge count for outstanding actions only updates when I open the app. Shouldn’t this stuff now happen automagically in the background? Am I expecting too much or is this not working properly for me?


I’m sorry to hear background sync isn’t quite meeting your expectations. It’s a bit of a tricky feature – OmniFocus should be able to keep your tasks up to date and adjust the badge count in the background, yes, but when the app is allowed to do so is dictated by iOS.

In order for a background sync to be triggered, OmniFocus has to be launched in the background by iOS and told to attempt such a sync. After you use OmniFocus for some time, iOS should slowly learn when you are most likely to launch OmniFocus, and start triggering these kinds of syncs a few minutes ahead of time. This helps conserve your phone’s battery while still getting you up-to-date information when you’re most likely to need it. It does mean, however, that background sync will happen more reliably if you use OmniFocus very frequently, or at the same time most days (say, in the morning as you plan your day, or around 5pm while you do a review).

There are also a few things you can do that prevent background sync from happening. It’s good that your Settings are set up to allow these syncs, but iOS will also stop syncing in the background if you force OmniFocus to quit. Make sure that you leave OmniFocus running in the background so that it can continue syncing while you move on to other apps.

If all else fails, you can get in touch with our support team – they can delve into more specifics about your data and what behavior you expect to see.


Thanks for that. Unfortunately it just confirms how I believed background processing was supposed to work in iOS7. I have had OF2 on my iPhone 5S since pretty near launch day I think. I use it many many times per day. By all accounts iOS should have picked up on the fact by now. Maybe I need to log a support call as you say.

Sorry, I had it first on my 4S then 5s. Either way I’ve had it a while… :-)