The infamous CKErrorDomain 15

I purchased the DevonThink Go 3. Right out of the box, I was having issues with the sync. In my case, it happens EVERY time, on any device (Mac Studio, iPad and iPhone). Same error code, same description each time: "Request failed with http status code 500.

I of course searched for this and saw some of the explanations. While I certainly understand the workarounds offered, I don’t buy the explanation that this an Apple issue. I have countless apps that sync with ck storage integration, including Evernote. Even iPad OS and iOS use this same storage method, for backing up your iOS and iPadOS devices… then ask yourself, when was the last time these backups failed for you? Never.

I love this product and the community has been really helpful, so I don’t want to sound combative - I simply want to ask that the developers re-consider this problem and the many people having it, spanning many years, and that there may be more to it then “it’s Apple”.

FYI, the workarounds aren’t an option for me. I can be on the road for weeks at a time, don’t trust dropbox since they defaulted everyone to share data with AI and our external VPN is limited to a set of servers. Besides, I bought the iPad edition specifically because it COULD sync with iCloud.



  • That is a server error code. It is not a sync error. As we don’t control the server, there’s nothing we can do about it.

  • Evernote does not use CloudKit.

  • We are not the only developers who have had issues with CloudKit.

  • The problem is sporadic and doesn’t affect everyone. Why? We have no common vector at this point.

  • Apple’s device backups are not using the same mechanism.

  • Apps syncing just via iCloud Drive are not using the same mechanism either.

  • Sync data is not a copy of your documents or database(s) so it doesn’t truly matter what Dropbox has technically done. This is even more true when using an encryption key. If you choose to be morally or philosophically outraged, that’s an unrelated matter.


iCloud sucks. Sonoma made iCloud even suckier than before. Use Bonjour.


Because other products report the same complaints as Devonthink users, I’m inclined to think Apple could do a better job.

Dropbox is not a solution for personal information. I don’t write or store anything that would embarrass my Mom, get me in trouble in court, or even irritate friends with irritating habits.

Which doesn’t matter. My thoughts are private while within my skull - at least for the moment - and when transferred to files should also remain private.

Dropbox once left all their accounts open for login without checking passwords for a few hours. They have my sympathies, but not any data I don’t consider published.

Best solution for me is leave the iPad at home and carry a Macbook. Sync via encrypted thumbdrive. Yeah, yeah, I know. They fail. It’s not a backup device.

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Indeed, they should be rotated out periodically. However, unlike a database, a sync location isn’t open in memory with a bunch of I/O running on it. The filesystem is accessed when a sync needs to happen.

I personally have never had any issue with any other iCloud storage integration, so from my perspective, it points to DT. I did try a couple of experiments last evening and found if I turn off the sync options (when connecting to iCloud), such as the index contents, metadata, reading positions, it nearly 100% reliable from the Mac. The iPad however, the inbox sync’s perfectly - the other libraries, never works. I appreciate the suggestions, it’s just irritating and as I said, all other products work for me.

any other iCloud storage integration,

This is actually a bit undefined as there is more than one integration, certainly not all equal. In fact, most people have no idea all of what is going on with Apple’s servers, including a number of iCloud integrations.

And this is a static view, not dynamically blinking on and off the lights as you watch.

Also, this should be interesting…

Search for iCloud Issues in past year

Search for CloudKit Issues in past year

Again, this failure has been going on non-stop for months… not a day here or there or occasional error, it just doesn’t work. Meanwhile, other apps work fine at the same time. Angry Birds had a similar issue with saving game states and users went off until they fixed it. You can all keep blaming Apple, but I personally see this as shortsighted. I can not accept that while other vendors have managed to make it work.

Again, this failure has been going on non-stop for months…

We are aware and the timeframe doesn’t give us any more control over the situation than if it was happening for a day or two.

Angry Birds had a similar issue with saving game states and users went off until they fixed it.

Angry Birds has no relationship to DEVONthink in this matter as they’re 100% not doing the same thing as our sync engine. That is similar to wondering why your car won’t run when your radio-controlled monster truck does. Both may have the same number of wheels and look similar to some degree but they are not doing the same thing under-the-hood.

By the way, if you reviewed our release notes, you would see we are always working on fixes and improvements to our apps. That obviously includes our sync engine. We are by no means idle but again, there are things beyond our control.


I found some suggestions posted recently about the day planner app Structured and trouble with iCloud. Do any of these ideas sound worth trying with Devonthink?


Have other vendors managed to make it work though, or are you just not seeing the error messages? Because I had sync problems with Apple Notes - one of Apple’s own products! - for over 9 months last year and I never once got an error message. I only knew because I could physically see that files were missing from devices. DT is reporting the errors, but most apps don’t.

In any case you’re repeatedly mixing up different iCloud sync mechanisms in this thread, which makes me believe you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem, which in turn explains why you don’t understand that it’s an Apple problem not a DT problem.

Your subject header and the error code you’ve reported are not the same either, leaving me (and probably others) unsure as to which error code you are getting “every time”. If it’s error 15, waiting 30 seconds and trying again usually fixes the issue for me. I find this error to be sporadic and a second attempt usually works when it appears. It makes little difference to the usage of DT for me, and I understand that the issue of the sync is out of their hands and I have voluntarily chosen to use a sync that many have been reporting as underperforming for several years now.


And DEVONthink is one of the few apps that is able to verify databases and sync stores. Without error messages and tools to verify things many users probably wouldn’t even notice or a lot later (usually when it’s too late). But as your data is valuable, it’s better to have these warnings & possibilities.


I assure you, I am not mistaken on the error description and the error 15. Perhaps it is you who doesn’t understand what they are talking about?

Unfortunately no on this. I appreciate the tip though!

If you really want help, you might want to think about how you talk to those who could help you.
And if you see two errors, then tell us upfront instead of posting contradictory stuff. 500 is “internal server error” in HTTP, so clearly something on Apple’s side since they run the servers.

Just take it to Apple.

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Wow, this is a huge amount of errors, it’s looks like it’s returning an error every few mins. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone post a log that looks like that, and I’m also not convinced this is the same as the bug the rest of us report. Certainly in my own case the bug is sporadic, and most syncs go through without issue. I see the error on the DTPro side maybe once or twice a day, that’s it.

Are all these errors coming from one database?

I’d be inclined to clear the sync and set it up again to see if that fixes it.

@ShaneJ When it comes to problems with iCloud, I usually go and look at what Howard Oakley has written about it. He seems to know more than most:

He also provides free utilities for working with iCloud, such as Cirrus.


Indeed, Howard is a legend on many topics :heart::blush:

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One database 5000 items, but believe it or not, I only turned on the global inbox to sync when I got these errors. It had 7 items.

Thanks for the info on this. I’ll check it out!