SOLVED: Unable to synchronize database with server

macOS: v10.14.1
ios: v12.1

OF3 for mac: v3.1.3
OF2 for mac: Latest version of 2. App was replaced during upgrade.

OF2 for ios: 2.19.1

I just downloaded and installed OF3 on my mac, was running the latest version of OF2 before that. After entering my OmniSync credentials and encryption pw, the install seemed to work fine and I could see all my data and config. The state matched up with what I was seeing on my iPhone running OF2. After adding an action and forcing a sync, I get and error.

“Use an older syncing version of OmniFocus to migrate the sync database.”

If I add an action on my iPhone, the sync succeeds but it does not show up on my mac. I’m not sure what this error message is trying to tell me to do.


If you haven’t already done so, it’s worth emailing Omni support directly - you’re like to get a quicker and more reliable response.

It sounds on the surface as if you have incompatible versions of OF on Mac and IOS, but support can confirm

I contacted support and this was indeed a version issue. The version on my iphone was and older versions of OF2 that had and incompatible db format. The icon had a while checkmark. Once I installed the version of OF2 with the black checkmark I was able to migrate to the new db format. After that everything started syncing as expected

I’m posting the support response to my issue as it contains some useful information.

OmniFocus 2.19 is an older release of OmniFocus 2 that’s not compatible with OmniFocus 3. If your installation of OmniFocus 2 on your iPhone has a black checkmark within the app icon on your Home screen, that means that you’re running a ‘universal’ version of the app (for both iPhones and iPads) that can be updated to a more recent version that will allow you to complete a full migration to the latest database format to sync your data between your Mac and your iPhone. That update can be completed by first making sure that you’ve synced your data on this device, then uninstall the app on the iPhone. After that, please open the App Store app on the device, head to your Account screen, tap ‘Purchased,’ tap ‘Not on this iPhone,’ then look for OmniFocus 2 with a black checkmark. Tap the cloud icon to install it. After it’s been installed, set up syncing again using the same Omni Sync Server account that you’re using on your Mac. You may be prompted to disconnect an older syncing version of the app. Select the option to disconnect the iPhone, then complete the migration.

If your installation of OmniFocus 2 on your iPhone has a white checkmark, that would mean that it’s a much earlier version of OmniFocus 2 for iPhone (versus OmniFocus 2 for iOS). Unfortunately this white-checkmark version of the app stopped receiving new updates a little over a year ago due to a combination of factors, including changes introduced by Apple with regard to supporting 32-bit apps on iOS. We tried to reach out to folks running this version of the app to offer a free ‘crossgrade’ to a universal 64-bit version of OmniFocus 2 for iOS that has continued to receive ongoing compatibility updates since then. If a black-checkmark version of OmniFocus 2 is showing up in your App Store’s Purchased list (for example if you’ve also been using OmniFocus 2 on an iPad), then it should still be possible to download and install it, then set up syncing, disconnect the iPhone when prompted during the migration process, and successfully get things up and running.

If it helps, this Support article has details to help with completing the migration: <>.

If it isn’t possible to download and install the universal version of OmniFocus 2 with a black checkmark on your iPhone, then I’m afraid the available options would be:

  • Proceed just with OmniFocus 3 on the Mac
  • Complete a discounted upgrade to OmniFocus 3 for iOS to use alongside v3 for Mac
  • Roll back to using OmniFocus 2 for Mac and OmniFocus 2 for iOS (I’ll be able to help with ensuring that your database is still compatible with v2 on both platforms if you’re able to provide me with your Omni Sync Server account name)

A post was split to a new topic: Can I sync OmniFocus 2 for iPhone with OmniFocus 3 for Mac?