Problems fetching remote database

I mistakenly removed my omnifocus database (using Omnifocus 3.2.2 Pro) from my iPhone 6. I sync from Omnifocus on Mac and on and iPad using the Omnifocus Server. I set up sync again and when the option to keep sync database came up I accepted this (having properly signed into my account). However the phone hangs on “fetching remote database” for ages, then eventually crashes. Anybody got any suggestions of how to resolve this?

Three clarifications, if I may: how long is ‘…ages…’? How large is your database? Which connection speed are you otherwise getting on your iPhone?

What you’re describing sounds characteristic of trying to set up sync with a very large database. Memory management on iOS is rather limited, so either OmniFocus may be timing out while attempting to download a large amount of data, or the iOS itself is deciding to terminate the app during this sync attempt if it exceeded the amount of resources available.

Your existing devices may still be syncing fine because most syncs are incremental and only involve one chunk of data at a time. However, an initial setup sync involves downloading every bit of data your database contains. An average database is usually within the range of a few megabytes, but if you have a lot of attachments, that’s going to contribute the most to the overall size of your database and this initial sync.

We’d recommend rebooting your iPhone, then make sure you’re connected to a known stable Wi-Fi network. After your iPhone restarts, and before you start working in any other apps, open OmniFocus and attempt the sync setup again.

This may allow you to work around the issue, but depending on how big your database is, you may need to reduce the size of your database and prune unnecessary attachments using your Mac in order to get back up and running, or prevent future issues with sync. Here are some recommendations from our help site: Finding and reducing the size of your OmniFocus database

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the feedback - it takes about 8 minutes hanging on “Fetching remote database” before it crashes. the database is about 250MB. We have about 20Mbps connection speed

Thanks for your advice. I have actually already tried what you suggest - trimming down the database by archiving stuff and removing big attachments, then rebooting the phone and trying again with a good wifi connection - but unfortunately it didn’t work

That’s a huge database! Really, MB?

Have you looked for attachments, as @aaron says? I’d have thought that was your best bet now.

Thanks Mark - yes it is a big database - I use Omnifocus a lot! I’ll try again to reduce the database and see if that helps

Trying to reduce the database had no impact. Is there a way I can break the database into smaller pieces and reload (both on my Mac and my iPhone) in stages?

Wow my database with 1776 actions is 13.5 mb with most of that in a few emailed attachments.

250 megabytes is definitely in the range of what we’d consider an exceptionally large database. I would expect you’d need to make significant reductions to that size in order to resolve this.

I’m hoping the information shared here helps anyone else who comes across this thread in the future. If not, and you or any other readers are still having difficulties resolving this sync issue and would like to receive technical support, please email us at, and we can help look up your account and provide more specific recommendations. The forums are a great place for community discussion, but if you’re having a problem with our software, the best way for us to investigate issues and provide technical assistance would be over email. Thank you!

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Thanks for the additional information. I realise now that I made a mistake about the size of the database - I have been looking at the size of the backup files - not the actual database which I found out is only 6.4MB. However this makes the problem more dismaying - as with such a small file my phone should be able to handle it. As suggested I will email support to ask for more help

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