Sync stuck at `1 items left to be uploaded`

My devonthink’s Log has been stuck at items left to be uploaded for 2 days. I can neither tell which item it was nor upload it successfully. When I right-click the line in the log, all the options are grey. I only got this after I uploaded to 3.8.3. Is this a bug?

Although I don’t use sync I guess it might be helpful to mention which sync method you’re using and also to confirm that you’re on macOS 12.3.


Yes. I use both icloud and dropbox, I’m on 12.3 and both methods show the error above

As a start, turn off one of the sync methods and try again. While there, do a verify of the sync location. Then switch and work on the other. Also, turn off both and use another (if you must) third-party sync service, or better yet try Bonjour if on the same network which is always faster and more reliable than anything.

FYI, Apple’s Cloud Kit is probably better than iCloud (but still there seems to be reliability issues caused by Apple). Dropbox synching is more robust probably due to they exposing a better API to developers.

Check out the the chapter “Sync Issues” in Help or the outstanding DEVONthink Handbook (page 185 of 3.8.3 version). After that, look at “Repairing a Defective Database” on page 189 in that same Handbook.

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I’ve verified the database and remote locations thoroughly. I’ve already restarted both my computer and devonthink. I suspect there’s some compatibility issue with MacOS 12.3

What about the other things I suggested, as in the “DEVONthink Handbook”?

Does a search for item:pending return any results?


Thank you! This helps! I do have a file that says File not yet available, but doesn’t show up on either DTTG or DT

Any idea how I can recover files?

If it’s not possible to download the file and it’s not available on other devices, then the only option is to restore a backup.

Is there an automated way to perform backups in devonthink?

I have the exact same problem -
On the latest desktop version (3.8.3) of Devonthink, a repeated log message of
iCloud (CloudKit) with info → “4 items left to be uploaded” keeps popping up every two minutes. There doesn’t appear to be any way to find which 4 files these are, or to stop the message. Synchronizing the DB does nothing, and Verify and Repair DB shows no problems. ‘Check file integrity’ is fine as well.
Search for ‘item pending’ shows 25 files, not 4.

Nothing in the log to help? See above for pointers to the DEVONthink Handbook which may help. Apple’s CloudKit not always reliable.


No, the log just says, “4 items left to be uploaded”. The 25 items found from the “item pending” search are items that cannot be downloaded. This happened after the latest DT update.

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Only the logging is new, the issue probably isn’t (the pending items which couldn’t be uploaded usually exist for quite some time)

I switched to Dropbox sync and the problem has apparently resolved.

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Any way we could prevent this issue from happening again?

As can be seen by the plethora of reports on this forum, first step might be to avoid using Apple CloudKit and/or iCloud for synching like this if one’s experience is that synching doesn’t work well in their situation. Nobody really knows root cause–that probably includes Apple.

Surely works for some, but so many report issues with Apple’s services.

Better results reported with using Bonjour, WebDAV, and Dropbox.

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The most common reasons are e.g. cleaning a sync store and ignoring the warning that there are pending items in the database(s) or switching to another sync location while there are pending items. Or uploading databases containing not available files (e.g. missing indexed files or indexed files located on unmounted volumes while synchronizing).

All of these scenarios are now much better handled than in the past and therefore these warnings are probably due to old relicts but not a new issue (only the warning is new).

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That’s terribly unfair! I’m an “old relict” but the problem is nothing to do with me. :grin: