Sync Suddenly Broken

Welcome @emediserv

Currently we don’t have enough data on this, and yes, it certainly could be a sporadic issue. We can’t reproduce it at this time but are investigating based on the info we have.

Not much to add except that sync has suddenly stopped for me too, with similar symptoms. Using Dropbox, three Macs on DT3beta1, and one device on DTTG. Changes on one machine appear to be not propagated to any other machine.

I believe our syncing stopped Thursday 5/2/19 at some point…wasn’t noticed until Monday morning. We use dropbox and have 4 macs…and suggestions on how to fix the syncing? Each user shows that they are syncing but no one can see what the other does.

Welcome @lringle
We cannot reproduce any issue at this time (and none of the sync code regarding Dropbox has changed in quite some time). On one of the problematic machines, hold the Option key and choose Help > Report bug to start a support ticket and we’ll go from there.

This is very strange, but I also have noticed a sync failure in the last few days, with very similar symptoms (possibly identical) to the OP’s. DEVONthink Pro on an iMac claims it’s synchronized, DT on a laptop claims it’s synchronized, and DT on my iPad claims it’s synchronized, yet they are clearly not showing the same content. I’ve been stumped for the past few days. Up to when I noticed the problem, sync had been running flawlessly for me for years… I was about to try “clean database” in the sync preferences, but didn’t know what that did (it’s not documented in the manual), and a search of the forums turned up this thread. Glad/not glad to see maybe I’m not alone with this issue…

Similar issue, only with iCloud and not Dropbox.

DT3 on MacBook Pro - sync - DTTG iOS (iPad Pro)

In the DT3 preferences pane for sync there is a status update on the Global Inbox that says last sync was 5/8/19 although I’ve been using both devices daily since.

I tried deleting all data from DTTG and reinstalling the databases there but this hasn’t fixed the sync issues. Now the status on the Global Inbox is “Not yet synchronized, merge with remote databases” The spinning wheel is spinning continuously even though there are no documents in the Global Inbox for either device.

DT2.11.3 syncs just fine.

My sync from the Mac to iCloud stopped all of the sudden, but from iOS it still worked. Next day it worked again, for no apparent reason. In my case I suspect iCloud is/was the culprit.

In my case I suspect iCloud is/was the culprit.

As would I. It is known and documented that iCloud can stall, and this is not regarding DEVONthink; it is a general thing that can occur. We have no control over that, nor can we even detect it. However, I will say iCloud generally behaves as expected.

Welcome @phoutz
Hold the Option key and choose Help > Report bug to start a support ticket.

Based on the advice of support, in my case I created a new Dropbox sync store, and changed all my machines to sync with that one instead of the old one. That seems to have gotten sync working again for me. It required re-uploading/download my entire database. YMMV.

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When I had this issue on early May, I went through the trouble of creating a new sync store and got everything working again for my client, but yesterday their largest main database stopped syncing again. The inbox and their smaller databases are still syncing. Not sure what to do at this point. I really don’t want to create a new sync store again just to have this happen over and over.

Quoting your previous post:

I spent all day with one client setting up Dropbox syncing from scratch again, and before I had a chance to visit the other client, their syncing started working again.

That would indicate a problem with Dropbox, not our sync engine.

Also, for issues like this opening a support ticket from the problematic machine is the better option. hold the Option key and select Help > Report Bug.

So … it’s happened again. As before, sync (via Dropbox) has silently stopped working between my two Macs. Exactly the same symptoms: no errors are reported on either Mac. Changes on either database do NOT show up in the other. All settings appear correct, manual syncs dont appear to do anything (nor do they report problems).

So, rather then try to find a work-around, I’m going to try to isolate the problem with additional testing. If anyone at DT is interested in suggestions tests I’m happy to help debug this issue.

Things I have observed so far:
– Sync is broken in both directions; changes in either database do NOT show up in the other.
– No errors have been reported (that I can find) at any time.
– NO changes have been to sync settings, Dropbox account or settings, or anywhere else. Really, I’m certain of that.
– Sync stops working on July 1st, based on dates on the last item I can find that DID sync.

Tests Performed / Observed:
– Only ONE database is affected. The other databases in common to the two Macs are still syncing just fine.
– I added the failing database to my iPad DTTG set of databases to sync. It synced ok, but only up to the point where sync started failing (July 1st). Newer items were not syncing.

This tends to suggest that this is a push problem, but of course I’m no expert.

Comments, suggestions etc are welcome.

Should I open a support ticket on this?


Yes so we can get logs and system info.

Just to say I have had exactly the same problem with DT2 twice now: Dropbox-synced database suddenly stops syncing, with each version stuck in time, but no reported errors with auto or manual sync on any device. The first time I moved everything to a new DB and started from scratch, and it worked for a while but then stopped again. I have just moved to 3b as it doesn’t feel likely to be less reliable in any event, but I really hope that with drtimhill’s help you can squash this bug as the sync is rather critical to my workflows.

I have the Dropbox Sync-stopped-working bug, pretty much identical to what ‘drtimhill’ reported, in both his initial report here and his second instance on July 13. This is all DTPO, I have not moved to DT3 yet.

I have filed Devon bug report #637158 from one of my affected Macs. (Happy to do it from the other 2 Macs if anyone thinks having logs from all 3 macs would help.)

I have 4 databases including Global Inbox, and 3 of those fail to sync, the fourth, called ‘tech’ still syncs fine between all 3 Macs and iPad & iPhone DTTG.

Tim thought it might be a failure to push. That does not seem to be the case for me.

My iPhone shows all the devon sync status in the Dropbox app recent-files list. From the attached screenshot you can see Push data is showing updates to to all the databases, but only the ones to ‘tech’ DB are available on the other Macs/iOS-devices. I have done several tests on the non-syncing databases from different Macs, and the changes always show in Dropbox recent-files list, but never become available within DTPO.

I will try Tim’s delete sync-store and rebuild sometime over this weekend, but I would sure like to find a simpler way.

If the Devon team has any requests to help them debug this, I’m glad to help!


I am having this issue repeatedly too. The log file reports ‘broken or incomplete manifest chain’ (but this is hidden in the debug logs, and not reported to the user). I have support ticket #912643 open on it. Using Dropbox.

One time it was apparently due to a low disk-space situation. But three other times recently, support has not been able to identify the cause.

In all cases, cleaning the location got the sync working again, but this is not a very good solution.

my 2 mac´s are out of sync with icloud since weeks. i had that problem already a year before and it happens if i not open devonthink daily on both devices. it just forgets what to do after a few syncs from osx to ios, and my other osx never get the same updates anymore.

I have had this problem 3 times this year alone. I have been using Dropbox. Has there been any improvements?

Have you opened a support ticket?
Also note iCloud is a process outside our control and can stall (an issue that has been documented outside of use with DEVONthink).

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