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Why are there so many zip files in my database? [Answered: see thread] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I think I'm having the runaway zip file problem. I've currently got 1900 zip files and am syncing between two Macs and one iPhone. All devices have synced within the last hour, and sync regularly and I don't have any 'stale' clients in my list.

I'm not able to force all clients to sync twice within the same hour as one user suggested, because the two Macs are at home and work, with more than one hour of travel time between them.

The 'Compact Database' item is greyed out for me and I've recently archived old items.

Is there anything else I can try to speed things back up? It generally takes 3-4 minutes to sync the iPhone on wifi. I love OmniFocus... love the sync... but would really like to keep things running smoothly.

Many thanks in advance!

We'll be making a change for upcoming builds that will give the database more opportunities to compact, even with a setup like you're using, Gary. Once we get those builds out the door, this should be less of an issue.

In the meantime, though, you can force a compaction. Make sure all your devices are up to date/synced, then do the following:

Open Sync prefs on one of your Macs.
Press "Show Clients".
Unregister all clients, even the one for the Mac you're doing this on.
Set sync method to "Nothing".
Restart OmniFocus. The "Compact Database" menu item will now be active.
Use it to compact your database.
Turn Sync back on and start a sync - you'll push the compacted database up to the server.

The next time you sync the other two devices, they may ask if you want to use the "Local" or "Server" database. It's very important that you answer Server.

Does that help?
Thanks Brian,

Yes. This workaround has really sped things up. Many thanks for this... Now I can address the slowdowns in the future, but I'll sure be looking forward to the update that automates this.

Thanks again!
According to the release notes, 1.7 adds the above-mentioned improvements to provide more opportunities for database compaction. I am on a three-client setup (Mac, Mac, iPhone), and am seeing unreasonable ZIP file numbers (650 and climbing) with OmniFocus 1.7.1 on both Macs.

Any suggestions for how to take advantage of the sync improvements?

As a general point of feedback, the current syncing implementation requires the user to be far too conscious of the sync implementation to avoid ballooning sync databases and sluggish performance. Any sync implementation that is unable to deal with the scenario of a user syncing each of the registered clients on a daily basis is, I suggest, broken by design.
Kevin, has your sync behavior improved at all? I'm also running 1.7.1, also with 3 clients, and suffering from a ballooning database despite frequent syncs from all 3 clients. Have you contacted the support ninjas about your case? Maybe there's a commonality between our cases that might help lead the developers to the problem. I don't think it is as simple as just having 3 clients, as I know Ken runs at least that many and presumably would have noticed the issue himself.
My database did finally compact itself in a recent sync. I have no idea what finally convinced it to do so. My ZIP file count is now steadily climbing once more.
I'm another person with the runaway zip file problem: 194 projects, 394 actions, 1266 zip files. Startup on the iPhone takes about 7 seconds. Sync'ing takes ... a long time.

I use OmniFocus with one Macbook Pro and one iPhone. I usually sync them twice or more times a day, and I leave OmniFocus Mac running in the background for 8+ hours most days. I sync via WebDAV (

Sync on the iPhone often fails because it goes to auto-lock while sync'ing and when I unlock it the connection has failed.

I've tried the sync-all-devices-in-consecutive-hours thing, and it did't help.

I've repeatedly tried to reset the database on the iPhone and it crashes (boots me to the home screen).

I just tried Brian's "force a compaction" strategy, and it didn't appear to do anything. I'll try it again.
Thanks Brian, I've successfully got it down to 1 zip file. I forced a compaction, as per your strategy above, but I also had to reinstall OmniFocus on the iPhone, and start a "New Database" on first run, in order to get the "Local copy"/"Server copy" dialog. Well, I chose server copy, got my shared settings, and sync'ed. (I should note that it booted me to the home screen once it had done sync'ing.) Startup time is now much faster: 1-2 seconds.

- I just tried creating one test action on iPhone and sync'ed: 4.5 minutes.

- Again, tried creating a sample action and sync'ed: 2.25 minutes.

- Just pressed sync again without creating or modifying anything: 1.25 minutes.

I'm now up to 5 zip files. We'll see if it goes down again once I sync the Mac version some more times.
Originally Posted by nonplusplus View Post
- I just tried creating one test action on iPhone and sync'ed: 4.5 minutes.

- Again, tried creating a sample action and sync'ed: 2.25 minutes.

- Just pressed sync again without creating or modifying anything: 1.25 minutes.

I'm now up to 5 zip files. We'll see if it goes down again once I sync the Mac version some more times.
Hmm, I usually have 50 - 150 zip files and syncing my phone through the cloud usually takes 5 - 10 seconds—nowhere near the 1.25 - 2.25 minutes you're seeing. I wonder where the bottleneck is for you? Are you syncing over a local Bonjour connection, or to the cloud using Edge, 3G, or Wi-Fi? (If you're syncing to the cloud, are you using MobileMe or some other WebDAV service?)
I'm syncing via webDAV (

Thanks for such a quick reply.

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