Data loss while syncing with iCloud

Winfried Hoke's Avatar

Winfried Hoke

21 Mar, 2012 04:26 AM

Hey, I hope I didn't open a new topic, didn't see anything concerning my problem.
To be short:
I created document on Mac.
Closed it on the Mac, having it saved on iCloud.
Edited and added a bunch of (meanwhile lost) data.
Document was synced via iCloud.
Came back to the Mac.
All added contents gone.

I know it was synced to the cloud, because I saw the data popping up for a second on the iPhone later on, but then - refresh - boum, data gone as well.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Oli Studholme on 04 May, 2012 04:15 AM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having this problem, and I’m very sorry for the slow response. What you’ve described shouldn’t happen with Writer, but to investigate further I wonder if you could give me some extra information.

    • When you saved the document to iCloud initially, did you do this by first saving a copy to your Mac, then selecting File > iCloud… > Add to iCloud in Writer?
    • You then edited the document via iCloud on an iPhone, correct?
    • What program did you use to do this editing? Writer for iPhone?
    • Did you open the document on returning to your Mac, or was it still open?
    • If you reopened the document, did you open it using the File > iCloud… menu or a different way?
    • Were your Mac and iPhone both connected to the internet and able to sync?
    • Was the extra data you’d added still available on the iPhone?

    Once again my apologies for the slow reply.

    Happy writing!

  2. 2 Posted by Winfried Hoke on 06 May, 2012 12:05 AM

    Winfried Hoke's Avatar

    * the first point may be interesting - the same document WAS already in the icloud folder on my mac - it was the same document already in place on the icloud. - it was the old version of it though.
    * correct
    * correct
    * it was closed in the meantime.
    * as far as i remember, i just opened the application and as it was the last open document it showed up imeediatly. - again: as far as i remember
    * i reckon so
    * no, it synced, as I guess, with the OLD version from the mac. thus, mac AND iphone had the old version from then on. the new version from the iphone was gone..

    it was not that much of a deal after all, but it was quite annoying when it happened.
    I hope you can figure out what is the problem to avoid this problem in the future.
    so you can have plenty of happy users, ;)

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Oli Studholme on 07 May, 2012 08:07 AM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    Thank you for your answers. We are definitely very concerned about this kind of issue, especially as it’s entirely possible it’s an iCloud problem that we can’t do anything about.

    I initially guessed you’d used Writer to save the document then add it to iCloud, but you’ve said it was already there. I’m wondering, how was the document initially created and added to iCloud? If you could spell out how you did this I’d really appreciate it. Also, did you view or edit the document on any other devices than the Mac and iPhone you mention here? Finally, have you made any significant changes to your iPhone (like jailbreaking) or Mac (like system-level hacks) at all?

    Happy writing!

  4. 4 Posted by Winfried Hoke on 10 May, 2012 09:02 PM

    Winfried Hoke's Avatar


    yeah the first version of the document was there.
    that is a good question. I would rather say I created it on Writer for mac, closed it. Opened it on the iPad, edited, and when I came back to the Writer on Mac App this version got onto the iCloud instead of the new one.
    nope, just as described in the first mail.
    nope, I am a very decent Apple user, everything without significant changes (well, dropbox on the mac, but that can't do any harm to that issue I reckon)


    ps. where is your office? Your company is quite international ;) have a great day!

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Oli Studholme on 11 May, 2012 03:28 AM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    Thank you for your reply. Hrm, this is very puzzling, as our theory was this problem might be caused by either

    • changing things inside the ~/Library/ folder, which some articles about iCloud troubleshooting suggested, and is quite technical (you wouldn’t have done this by accident), or
    • using MobileMe on the same computer before changing to iCloud, which you wouldn’t have done if you’re a recent Mac user

    In using iCloud, Writer hands off all syncing and versioning to iCloud and just reports what iCloud tells it. I suspect this means you struck some rare bug in iCloud, not that this is any consolation for lost work(!). Unfortunately all I can suggest is that you try the suggestions in our knowledge base article “iCloud won’t work. What’s wrong?” and see how things go. If you have additional problems or discover anything else that might help us please let me know! Finally, if nothing works please consider trying Dropbox instead — read our knowledge base article “What are the differences between iCloud, Dropbox and local storage?” for more info (and for why we currently recommend iCloud over Dropbox).

    Happy writing!

    PS I’m based in the Tokyo office, and we also have small offices in Zürich and Berlin :-)

  6. 6 Posted by winfriedhoke on 22 May, 2012 02:19 AM

    winfriedhoke's Avatar

    i didnt do any of those things.. I will just rely on dropbox. dropbox never messed up so far. additionally, there are versions and nothing is just deleted as in iCloud. "it just works
     - good one
    anyway, thanks for the discussion

  7. 7 Posted by Dom on 06 Jun, 2012 08:21 PM

    Dom's Avatar


    I've had a similar sounding issue.

    I edited a document on my mac, then quit writer and put the mac to sleep.

    I then opened the document on my iPad and none of the additional data was there. Worried, I fired up the mac again, the new stuff was there for a moment and then replaced with what was on the iPad, the older version in effect.

    I wonder if this was because iCloud didn't have time to sync between me finishing my work on the mac and putting the machine to sleep.

    Fortunately I'd printed a copy of my document for editing, so I'll just have to re-type the missing bit (about 1,000) words - I need to edit anyway.

    This is very worrying though and seriously dents my confidence in writer, which I've been a huge fan of since v1. I think I'll start exporting a back up from writer every day now, which does slightly defeat the purpose of iCloud!


  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Oli Studholme on 07 Jun, 2012 02:55 AM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    @Dom — I’m sorry to hear about this. When you looked at the document on the iPad, did you begin editing at all (did the keyboard appear)? iCloud should be rock solid, but because the iCloud server decides what’s canonical and there’s no undo or revert, any time sync doesn’t complete properly it’s possible for it to make a mistake. We’re working hard on some ideas that could help mitigate this, but we’re really hoping Apple makes previous versions available (as Dropbox does), which would provide a safety net.

    Happy writing!

  9. 9 Posted by Dom McKenzie on 07 Jun, 2012 09:19 AM

    Dom McKenzie's Avatar

    Hi Oli,

    Thanks for the response.

    Yes, I think the keyboard did appear. I think as soon as I opened the app, but I'm not 100% about that.

    Maybe in the short term dropbox provides a better solution then? I use Dropbox anyway but generally for backups.

    Regardless of the solution I think it would be good to have an 'update now' menu option, or similar, just for peace of mind.


  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Oli Studholme on 07 Jun, 2012 10:45 AM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    @Dom — Dropbox has its own set of issues, which you can find out about in “What are the differences between iCloud, Dropbox and local storage?”.

    We have ways to refresh cloud storage in Writer for iOS — tap the File Drawer icon then tap the circular Refresh icon in the bottom of the storage panel. Dropbox also has a specific Sync icon (two circular arrows) for manually syncing. We don’t have this in Writer for Mac now. Writer on all platforms should sync frequently with iCloud or Dropbox as long as you have a net connection, and saving in Writer for Mac should transfer the information to iCloud in a few seconds. I’m concerned about you loosing 1,000 words, as that should not happen unless your Mac was not able to connect to iCloud.

    We’ll keep working hard on identifying and fixing this issue. Thank you all for your patience. In the meantime if you’re worried about whether a sync from Mac has been successful, you can always check in Writer for iOS.

    Happy writing!

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by Oli Studholme on 07 Jun, 2012 02:10 PM

    Oli Studholme's Avatar

    @Dom — I’ve just been reminded about Mac OS X Lion’s Versions feature. You could also try recovering the missing content using this.

    Happy writing!

  12. 12 Posted by Dom McKenzie on 07 Jun, 2012 02:27 PM

    Dom McKenzie's Avatar

    Thanks Oli. I did try that at the time but it looks like a 'version' was never created.

    Anyway, not to worry, have copied it all back in now and exported the file as a backup - I'll stick with iCloud I think but just make sure I've always got a recent backup elsewhere.



  13. Oli Studholme closed this discussion on 05 Jul, 2012 05:09 AM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac