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Help! Just deleted the wrong project! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have OmniFocus for Mac and for iPhone.

Yesterday I wrote some details on the iPone in a project called "Painting".

Today I deleted that project on my Mac.
After that I synced with my iPhone.

What happened to the tasks I wrote on my iPhone, on the now deleted Project? Are they gone? :(
OmniFocus supports "Undo", so that's the easiest way to recover from something like this. If that's not possible, don't give up; OmniFocus on the Mac will periodically back up your database.

If one of those backups occurred before you deleted the project, you can retrieve it. (You can specify how frequently this occurs in the "General" pane of OmniFocus' preferences.)

On your Mac, open up the following folder:
<your home folder>/Documents/OmniFocus Backups/

In that folder, you'll see a bunch of time-stamped backups of your database. Double-click the most recent backup; it'll open a new OmniFocus window alongside your "real" database.

If this backup was created before you deleted the project, just drag the project from one window to the other and you're set. If it's not in this one, close the backup window and try the next most recent one...

Last edited by Brian; 2009-11-10 at 07:13 AM.. Reason: forgot to mention Undo
Thanks Brian, but...

The Project was deleted before I synced. Therefore, when I synced with the iPhone, the new actions belonging to that project didn't have anything to sync with, and therefore they are not included in any backup. Not in any that I can see at least.

I would say that the sync engine would need to recreate the Project when these things happens. I know that other applications behave like this (eg SyncBook). In that way, nothing can ever be deleted by mistake.

Do you see what I mean?
The sync mechanism has a "last change wins" conflict resolution system, so if changes are made on both desktop and mobile client, after the sync the state will reflect the system which changed that action/project most recently (unfortunately, in your case, that's the system that deleted the project). Otherwise, if you changed the same item differently, OmniFocus would have to have some way to ask you which version of the change you wanted. Changes are done on a per-record basis for efficiency (due to the relatively wimpy processor in the iPhone) so changing the title of an action on one device and changing its due date on another is going to result in one of the changes (whichever was made first) being lost when both devices are brought into sync.

There's a lot to be said for syncing any device you use as soon as you've made some substantial changes! Had you done so, it might be possible to recover your changes even if they didn't get captured by a backup of the OmniFocus database, so long as the database didn't get compacted.
Make a backup now, if you haven't already. Then contact our support ninjas by email ( or telephone (1-800-315-6664) so they can help you recover your lost project. What we need is a backup made after you synced the changes from your phone, but before sync history gets coalesced.

If the backup is made before your sync history is coalesced, the "delete project" change from your Mac will show up as a separate sync history entry from the "add new items to project" changes made on your iPhone. If that's the case, we'll be able to nullify the "delete project" change in your sync history and you'll get all your new items back.

(If you had added another item to that project on your phone after deleting it on your Mac, the "last change wins" policy would have caused that project to resurrect itself. But since your last change was to delete the project, that change won.)
Thanks for the answers. I solved this the manual way by going down to store again and look for the paint I wanted...

However, I think it would be great if the Sync engine could act like this:
- Last change win, as it is now.
- ...Unless two changes contradict each other.

I delete a Project on the Mac, while I change name on the same project on the iPhone. This is a clear contradiction and both projects would be saved.

I change name on an Action on the Mac, AND on the iPhone. Clear contradiction, save both Actions.

I delete a Project on the Mac, while adding more actions on the same project from the iPhone. Again a contradiction.

In all contradiction cases, let the user know what happened so she may decide what will happen.

This is the most safe way of doing it, and as I said other sync applications that I have been in contact with, act like this as well (both on my Treo and iPhone).
But, maybe it's only me that do mistakes like this... :P
I just did nearly the same thing: I deleted a project when attempting to delete a task, and didn't notice until about a hundred actions later. Why doesn't OmniFocus have a trash where these things go? It seems pretty logical, and Things implements it quite nicely without any fuss. You don't even have to sync trashed items *just that they were trashed like you do now. Any changes while in the trash can be ignored (or even disallowed without being restored).
I know we have a feature request open on a Trash-like feature for OmniFocus; folks that would like to see this added to the application should send email to the support ninjas. That's one of the metrics that the team uses to plan their work. Thanks!

(We browse the forums as we're able, but we can't guarantee that we'll see every post - emailing the support ninjas doesn't have that drawback.)

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