OmniFocus Sync Speeds

Recently, I've noticed that the syncing of my OmniFocus database has been painfully slow. I've resorted to other ways of tossing items in OmniFocus, particularly on iOS where I can't let OmniFocus sync in the background. I tweeted out my frustration and Ken Case, CEO of the Omni Group, kindly got back to me:

@pxldots Unless you have big attachments, archiving doesn’t affect sync times nearly as much as stale devices do. /cc @dirckxd @ediventurin (link).


@pxldots If you have more than 150 zip files (check the bottom of settings in the iPhone app), that’s probably the problem. (link)

As Ken mentioned in his tweets, you can check whether you have an excess of zip files (the result of some syncing voodoo to manage the eventual sync of "stale" devices, those that haven't been synced in awhile) in the settings of the iPhone and iPad apps. My iPad, which hadn't been synced in ages, looked like this:

iPad Sync Settings

1,100 files! On my final sync before resolving the issue, the iPhone sync took over a minute and the iPad, which had gone much longer since its last use, took over 9 minutes.

You can get a sense for which devices are registered (and which may be clogging the pipes) in the Sync preferences of the Mac version (OmniFocus > Preferences > Sync) by clicking on the Show Clients button.

Mac Sync Settings

To resolve the slow sync, just sync each of the clients, unregister each on the preference pane of the Mac client, and then re-sync each again. Subsequently, the zip file count should drop, as should the sync time. I can confirm that the times were much improved on my end, so give this a shot if you are having similar troubles!

iPhone Sync Settings Before and After