Storm of "CKErrorDomain" errors

For the last several days now, I’ve been seeing a continuous stream of these errors.

Pretty sure this never happened before.

Has something changed w.r.t. syncing?

My sync configuration hasn’t changed at all (I’ve been using the iCloud sync, ever since it was possible to do so), and I haven’t seen this before.

In case it’s relevant, these are mixed in with other error codes; here’s a screenshot from later in the day:

Search this forum for “CKErrorDomain”. You’ll find it’s a message from Apple about their sync service. Some (or many?) people find it unreliable at times or all the time (based on posts here and forums for other products). It’s not apparently hit you “out of the blue”.

Far as I know, Apple provides nothing to debug or fix, but maybe there is something somewhere. Dunno.

I avoid the problem with Apple sync services by avoiding Apple sync services. See the “DEVONthink Manual” for alternatives.

Hmm, I do recall seeing this occasionally in the past, very sporadically. The sheer high-frequency of these errors is troubling.

Is the recommended best practice really to avoid iCloud sync? I remember there was an upgrade to the “new sync” some time ago.

Is the recommended best practice … Dropbox instead?

Or do the developers really want us to use no cloud sync at all?

I’ve been happily using DevonThink for 6+ years, and I’m happy to follow any recommended practice, but I’d prefer if it was a clear recommendation rather than some workarounds I come across for what has until now been a basic feature of the product.

I can only speak for myself. My Recommendation is as above. Use something that works for you. Focus your valuable time on the material in your DEVONthink databases and not on Apple’s unreliable service.

Again, I can only speak for myself. I do not recommend Dropbox. I do recommend using what works for you.

For me, I use Bonjour, WebDAV to my Synology NAS, and Dropbox. I don’t need internet-based sync service like Dropbox, but as I have a Dropbox subscription, I use it. It is not a recommendation, but I will note clearly that it works for me. I suspect Bonjour is good enough for most people–unproven hypothesis about the word “most”.

Where did you get that idea?

I’m unaware of any “workarounds”. Where have you come across those? The product provides numerous alternatives and, speaking only for myself, I think that good. I like alternatives especially since those alternative are needed as they are not services managed or controlled by DEVONtechnology. You are the client for Apple’s sync service. Perhaps demand that they debug their product?

Please note, apparently Apple has made signficant changes to their sync services in their latest operating system, called Sonoma. I don’t have a clue if this is good or bad news. We’ll see. Meantime I’m ignoring all of this about Apple and getting on with my stuff in DEVONthink.


That does make sense, thanks. A breaking change in Sonoma would explain it.

Appreciate the response :+1:

I don’t think so. The error you quoted is related to the current network situation, not to a continuing, underlying change in software. It’s as simple as “Apple’s cloud is unreliable for some”.

1 Like

Apple’s sync servers seem to have been broken for years, without much progress getting improvement. Best you ask Apple for more information.

1 Like

Jftr: this is CKError.Code.serverRejectedRequest, which Apple doesn’t care do describe in detail – it simply says that this error is not recoverable.

For details, head over to CKError.Code | Apple Developer Documentation

1 Like

I also don’t know where you read this or got this idea. We are very clear on our stance and we recommend using a needed method to eliminate as much friction as possible. This is discussed at length here:

Also, we continue to do whatever we can to improve sync, but things like the CKError you’re reporting aren’t under our control at all.


Ack, I will explore switching away from “iCloud sync” to just using Bonjour.

Thanks for responding.


Good move. Follow the instructions in the “DEVONthink Manual”, supplemented by:

Thanks, went ahead and turned this on.

Dumb Q: I’m assuming I can then … disable the iCloud sync.

So – if I make a note in a DB in DTTG on my phone, when or how (roughly) should I expect it to show up on another laptop ?

I’m assuming “this” means you setup Bonjour and it’s working between your laptop DEVONthink and iPhone DEVONthink ToGo.

Assuming both devices on your local network, Bonjour working including Bonjour “Incoming Connections: Available” only on the laptop, and there is no other catchup synching in the queue before your new note, should be pretty much immediate.

You don’t have to. It will run when it (iCloud) wants to, if it wants to. As you no doubt know some people find Apple’s iCloud services unreliable. But DEVONthink can accomodate multiple sync services. Probably (and I don’t know this for sure), if DEVONthink get’s stuck waiting for an Apple iCloud sync to complete/work, it might delay Bonjour, getting in the way of the “immediate” sync of Bonjour for your new notes.

I run Bonjour, WebDAV on a local Synology NAS, and Dropbox. Dropbox only for a few things to cut down on internet data on the phone (expensive for me when travelling) and to monitor that DropBox just works for me.

Dumb Q: I’m assuming I can then … disable the iCloud sync.

Not a dumb question at all.
If you’re no longer going to use the iCloud sync location, Control-click it and choose Clean Location to remove unwanted sync data from consuming space.

So – if I make a note in a DB in DTTG on my phone, when or how (roughly) should I expect it to show up on another laptop ?

A word of advice: Don’t make changes then sit and watch the devices. Sync happens on an interval, even when set to Automatic. This balances performance and utility. In the normal course of your day, you aren’t going to be sitting and watching your devices, so don’t do it now. Do what you need to do and sync will just happen. Typically when you switch devices, the changes are already there. In the event they’re not, you can force a manual sync.


I am having the same storm of CKErrorDomain mentions in the log.

As far as I understand, they are temporarily and cause no harm, since Devonthink syncs in the next moment.

If you do not have them under your control, and if they just log an error that has even no short term effect, could we get rid of such messages in our log?

I cannot find real errors in that mass any more.

Thank you.

Thanks, I’ll clean up the iCloud sync.

Yes, I agree I will not watch the devices – however, if I want to “sanity check” this setup, I’d like to make a note on one of my devices (e.g. my phone via DTTG) and then see if it shows up at all on a different one.

Is there a “maximum time” that this can take, if all the devices are in (say) the same room?

Or, since I know the full answer might go into too much detail, is roughly “an hour” reasonable?

Best to try.

please , what is the status now? i have the same problem as i switched to newest MacOs (new computer, migration of account ). can i sync via Cloudkit or not please? do i have to switch back to dropbox sync?

i have all the time “failed user key sync " ckerror domain 1”

More or less the same, it depends a lot on iCloud. For some it works fine, for others not so much.

This error is pretty uncommon and an internal CloudKit error. Apple asks even for bug reports in this case. I would suggest to verify the sync store.

1 Like