iCloud won’t work. What’s wrong?

Note: We’ve recently received reports of syncing problems when using iOS 8 or Yosemite beta. Please contact support before attempting the steps below if you are using these OSes. For now, we do not recommend using Writer apps on iOS 8 or Yosemite if you rely on syncing.

iA Writer and iA Writer Pro will support iOS 8 and Yosemite by the time they are released.

Several users have reported severe issues syncing documents with iCloud across different devices. Problems include single documents not syncing, being unable to open iCloud documents (the “Ooops! Document couldn’t be opened” error), devices becoming out of sync, etc. We suggest trying the following:

  1. Check iCloud is working on Apple’s System Status page.
  2. Update the operating system and Writer on all your devices.
  3. Set the time automatically on all your devices:
    • Mac OS X: System Preferences > Date & Time > Set date and time automatically
    • iOS: Settings > General > Date & Time > Set Automatically
  4. For iA Writer for iPhone and iPad, check that the “Use iCloud” setting is ON in Settings > iA Writer (the Documents storage will have a small cloud icon when you use iCloud). If the setting is ON:
    • Turn the “Use iCloud” setting to OFF
    • Launch Writer and tap “Stop iCloud”
    • Return to Settings > iA Writer and turn the “Use iCloud” setting to ON again
    • Return to Writer and tap “Use iCloud”
  5. Check that you can see your Writer iCloud documents listed in the iCloud settings ¹ :
    • iOS: Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage > iA Writer/iA Writer Pro
    • OS X: System Preferences > iCloud > Manage > iA Writer/iA Writer Pro
  6. For devices that are having problems, try turning “Documents & Data” in iCloud settings off, restarting, then turning it on for iOS devices, or unchecking “Documents & Data” in the iCloud preferences, restarting, then rechecking it for Macs. Restart an iOS device by holding down the power button for several seconds.
  7. If you had a MobileMe account, make sure it has been removed from your iOS settings.
  8. If you haven’t already done so, try following the steps in our knowledge base article “Troubleshooting problems in Writer”.
  9. NOTE: Do not try this step if you are using iOS 8. Reports suggest it could cause data loss. If you’ve tried all of the above suggestions but are still having problems, please back up your iOS device(s) using iTunes (using “Encrypt local backup”) or to iCloud, then prompt iCloud to refresh its Documents and Data metadata. To do this:
    • Reset all settings ² on your problematic iOS device(s) — note that this only resets system settings, not the device :
      1. Open “Settings”
      2. Tap “General”
      3. Tap “Reset”
      4. Tap “Reset All Settings”
      5. Confirm all warnings about loosing settings
      6. Let the device restart
    • Reset the Ubiquity folder on your problematic Mac(s):
      1. Quit open applications
      2. Go to Finder
      3. Choose “Go to Folder…” from the “Go” menu
      4. Enter ~/Library/Application Support
      5. Look for a folder named “Ubiquity”
      6. Move this folder to the Trash
      7. Restart your Mac
  10. Please confirm you have full internet access — corporate firewalls and privacy programs such as TCPBlock can block traffic to iCloud’s servers. Also, if you’ve turned “Use Cellular Data” off in Apple’s Settings > iCloud > Documents and Data, try turning it on.
  11. Finally, some users reported that backing up your iPad, restoring it, then reapplying the backup might finally get iCloud running. If backing up using iTunes, make sure to use “Encrypt local backup” to save your passwords.

We use Apple’s APIs on both platforms to sync through iCloud, so all iCloud syncing and versioning is handled by Apple. That means there’s very little we can do about sync problems for now. However, recently iCloud issues are rare, and can almost always be fixed with the steps above.

If you’re still having problems or need any other assistance, please start a support discussion and we’ll do our best to help.

¹ The requirements to see documents here are:

  • iCloud is active and using the same Apple ID
  • iCloud > Documents & Data is turned on in the system’s settings
  • iCloud > Documents & Data > iA Writer/iA Writer Pro is turned on in the system’s settings
  • Your device is connected to the internet

If your device is managed by your company, they may have disabled Documents & Data syncing. In this case iCloud > Documents & Data won’t appear, and iCloud document syncing is not possible.

² Please note resetting all settings is not the same as resetting your device. Only basic system settings that you set in Settings.app are reset when doing this, like Wifi passwords, sound settings, wallpapers etc. All app- and service-specific settings (like mail, calendar, and Twitter accounts) remain untouched. You won’t lose any data, although we recommend backing up your device first (using the “Encrypt local backup” setting) to be safe. Encrypting the backup saves all your stored passwords.