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Bonjour Sync Issue - Any Fix? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have the latest versions of OF for iphone 3.0 and Mac. I set up a local network on the Airport, have OF running in both places, and about 5-10% of the time, I get it to sync right away.

About 90% of the time, however, I have issues that require multiple, multiple attempts, only to keep getting:

"Unable to find sync server.
No server could be found that matches your sync settings.
Please make sure that your sync server is awake and that OmniFocus is open."

This will happen even when I've synced the previous hour and haven't changed a thing. The Mac shows up as the selected wifi.

Sometimes I'll do this 5-10 times, and the synch wheel at the bottom will spin around for 1 minute or so, and "sometimes" it will actually start to synch, but most of the time it stops and says:

"Unable to synchronize database with server.
can't find host
Cancel Retry"

Then I'll try it a few more times, and sometimes it will sync up after that. If not, then I go through the entire "send settings" drama to try and reestablish contact between the two.

Today I even had to reset everything and elect which database to wipe out in order to get them to synch. My iphone database had become disassociated from my sync database on my Mac, causing me to be unable to sync (I got mixed error msgs - "can't find server," and "need a password to enter secure site") and finally got to the question about which database I want to overwrite.

Any thoughts appreciated as to how to get consistent first-try synching.
Have you tried working this out with the support ninjas? Sounds like a phone call might be in order. 1-800-315-OMNI or 1-206-523-4152
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Have you tried working this out with the support ninjas? Sounds like a phone call might be in order. 1-800-315-OMNI or 1-206-523-4152
In response to the Sticky saying an email was preferred, I first relayed the issue via email and got the following response, so apparently a ninja will get back to me. Just checking with the forum to see if anyone else had run into this issue and had a fix. Also, based on other Bonjour issues, I assumed a canned fix was already in place that could quickly be emailed to me without my taking additional time for a call, walk-through of issue, try this, try that, etc. I'm not a beta tester and I just don't have that kind of time in my day (hence the need for a syncing todo program). The response:

Thanks for sending us mail - we appreciate the time you've taken to
contact us! This particular email was sent by a machine, but please
do take the time to read this.

OmniFocus for iPhone 1.6 was approved for the App Store on
Jan 9, 2010; we would like to make a strong recommendation that
customers update to that version as soon as it's convenient. It fixes
some important sync issues we discovered in earlier builds.

Release notes and an App Store link are available here:

Our Support Ninjas will read your mail and get another mail out to
you as soon as they possibly can. Usually, we send a response by
the end of the next business day; if we receive an overwhelming
amount of email in a short period of time, it can take longer.

If you're having a problem that needs a rapid response, please
forward this message to <> and we'll get
back to you as soon as possible. Or you can telephone our
Support Ninjas at 1-800-315-OMNI (US Toll Free) or
+1 206-523-4152 (International) between 10am and 5pm Pacific Time.

There is no need to reply to this message right now. Your message
has been assigned an ID of [OG #508067].

In the meantime, you might want to check the OmniFocus for iPhone
frequently asked questions list. You just might find the answer to
your question there, without having to wait for our response! It's
located here:


Last but not least, we think customer service is very important to
our success; if you have any feedback at all about this or any other
interaction with us, please send email to
<> and we'll be happy to help.

Thanks again for contacting us!
-- The Omni Group
This morning's sync effort (after adding 2 items to iphone OF):

"Unable to find sync server.
No server could be found that matches your sync settings.
Please make sure that your sync server is awake and that OmniFocus is open."

Hit "cancel" and retried to synch several times, kept getting the same message. No settings changed from yesterday's last successful sync.

Went to iphone Settings and verified wifi connection to Mac. Went to OF on iphone Settings, then down to Synchronization, then to "Get Settings from Mac. "Searching" - after 20-30 seconds I get "No Wi Fi Connection." Re-verify valid wifi connection with Mac via iphone Settings, try again, same reult.

iphone OF/Settings/Get Settings From Mac = "if you don't see your Mac in the line below, resend settings from OF on Mac." I do this - "searching", then the Mac network shows up on the line, BUT

After getting "Synch currently in progress" (and progressive sync line appears, but no advancement), I then get
"Unable to synchronize database with server.
can't find host
Cancel Retry"

No matter what I tried for 15 minutes, I couldn't sync the iphone OF with the Mac OF. Maybe I am a beta tester, after all.

Last edited by macdaddy; 2010-02-04 at 09:07 AM..
After typing the post above, I hit Retry in response to the last error message and, Eureka, it sync'd successfully. Nothing else was changed from the prior efforts, including the locations of the iphone and Mac.

Again, any thoughts re: consistent first-try synching appreciated.
Again, I think your best bet to get this resolved quickly is going to be to call them. The suggestion to send email is in contrast to posting on the forum, where there's no guarantee an Omni staffer is going to see your message in a timely manner (or even perhaps at all), and that the debugging information they will want may not be "forum friendly" (read: lots of apparent gibberish). Also, a problem of this sort (the program not working as intended) is clearly a bigger hindrance to your using the product successfully than an issue where some of the columns don't sort the way you want, for example, and you should not feel shy about calling them to speed the resolution.

I think you should be prepared to discuss the specifics of your networking setup when you call; this sounds to me like there is a reasonable possibility that Omni's code may not be at fault. I wonder if your phone isn't sometimes connecting via WiFi and sometimes via cellular data, which would probably cause similar symptoms (not able to find the server because Bonjour won't find the server if you are on separate networks as would be the case if using the cellular link). What happens if you turn off the cellular data connection? Do you get solid connectivity and sync behavior? I have an iPod Touch, not an iPhone, so I'm not 100% sure off the top of my head that you can even do that, but if you can, it might shed some light on the situation.
Yes, me too. Same issue after updating to 3.1.3. This is complete new - and annoying, everything was fine under 3.1.2.
So far nothing helped, restart, reinstall, even restore of the iPod does not change anything.
When I re-setup the sync, the host was detected instantly - but sync take forever and then the timeout-message.
I sent feedback to apple, and the OF support, they replied soon, but suggest the common things to check: firewall etc.
But I think because of other users like macdaddy report these errors it must be the update to 3.1.3 causing the problems.
Hope it will be fixed soon...

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