Need help with OmniFocus?
Feel free to contact our OmniFocus support team. We'll typically be able to help within 24 hours.
OmniFocus for Mac FAQ
Is there a discount if I buy OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPhone?
OmniFocus for Mac and OmniFocus for iPhone are separate products, with lots of independent work going into each one. We’re generally quite happy to offer bundle pricing for products purchased through our own online store, but there’s no way to do that when selling through the App Store. We’ve tried to make sure that each product is priced reasonably as its own independent product, and we hope you’ll agree that both products become even more valuable when you use them together.
I just did an OS update, and now my Mail plugins are disabled. Can you issue an update?
We’re sorry for the inconvenience this causes. We can’t prevent Apple’s system updates from doing this from time to time, but they’re disabling Mail plugins automatically, not because they’ve actually detected any sort of problem.
You can work around this behavior by opening the Clippings pane of OmniFocus’ preferences, and then using the button at the bottom of the pane to uninstall and reinstall the Clip-O-Tron 3000. At that point, you should be back up and running.
Do I have to pay for OmniFocus 1.10 for Mac if I already own version 1.0?
Version 1.10, like all minor updates from the Omni Group, is free.
What can I do if my OmniFocus database seems to be growing without bound?
If you have syncing available, try resetting the database on the sync server by making sure that you have a client that is fully-synced, then moving aside the OmniFocus.ofocus file on your iDisk (the remote copy - not a locally-synced iDisk) or WebDAV server, then syncing again with that fully-synced client, to push all the data back.
If that does not help, try performing a backup in OmniFocus on the Mac (after making sure that it is fully synced), then restoring from that backup, and then resetting the database as described above.
What does it mean if I'm seeing an "Unable to lock Document. Another application has the OmniFocus document locked" error?
Try logging out and back in, or if that does not work, rebooting. This will clear up any issues if a second copy of OmniFocus is somehow running, causing a conflict with the lock on the database.
If that does not help and you are sure that there is not another instance of OmniFocus that is currently running and thus legitimately has the database locked, locate your OmniFocus database in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus and look for a file there with a “.lock” filename extension. Delete this file and relaunch OmniFocus.
Why is OmniFocus repeatedly asking for my Sync Server / WebDAV login info?
In OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, there is a problem with login info that is saved to the keychain. If OmniFocus is launched as a result of a services request (basically any way other than clicking the app icon), it will not be granted access to its own saved login information. We have been in contact with Apple regarding the issue, and are currently awaiting a fix.
To avoid this problem for now, you’ll want to make sure that OmniFocus is already running when you try to use Clipping or a bookmarklet. If you do run into repeated prompts and have verified that you’re entering the correct information, quitting and restarting OmniFocus should solve the problem. In some cases, it may be necessary to also delete the keychain entry that OmniFocus saves using the Keychain Access application (found in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder), and then create a new one by entering your credentials the next time OmniFocus syncs and making sure the “Remember in Keychain” option is checked.
Whether or not you are running Mountain Lion, check that you are entering the correct account name and password, with the correct case. Passwords are always case-sensitive, and some servers (including the Omni Sync Server) treat account names as case-sensitive as well.
If you have any trouble with these steps, please don’t hesitate to email or call (+1 800-315-6664) our Support Ninjas. We should be able to help you get back up and running quickly.
Why are the controls in the Sync preferences pane disabled/greyed out?
Make sure that you have at least one window open showing your OmniFocus database. If there are no open windows, the database is not open, and the preferences for syncing the database will be disabled.
If you have multiple OmniFocus databases open (such as your normal database and your archive file or a backup), make sure that the main database window has focus. If a window for a different database has focus, the preferences for syncing will be disabled.
Make sure that OmniFocus is not in the middle of a sync. While syncing, the preferences for syncing are disabled.
Make sure that the username for Omni Sync Server or your WebDAV server is spelled correctly and has the correct case. Some services may allow you to log in with mismatched case in the username, yet disallow further activity. For example, if your user name is JohnSmith, make sure you enter that, not “johnsmith”.
I tried these troubleshooting suggestions but they did not help. What should I do next?
You can often get help from other OmniFocus users on our discussion forums at http://forums.omnigroup.com/.
If you are still having problems after trying these troubleshooting steps, please contact our support department at email@example.com.
Can OmniFocus use iCloud to sync?
No. OmniFocus’ syncing feature has more complex needs than the apps iCloud was designed to support. Right now, the two aren’t a good match for each other.
One possibility would be re-designing OmniFocus to fit iCloud, but it would be a significant engineering effort–we’d need to build a new database format with iCloud-style sync in mind. We may do that in the future, but this would also mean putting all the other features that customers are asking for on hold until we were finished. For the time being, we’re hesitant to do that.
You are welcome to set up a free account on our own Sync Server. (We may add additional for-pay services to the server in the future, but if all you need is sync access, we won’t charge for that.)
I used to use MobileMe to sync OmniFocus for iPhone version with the desktop version. How can I sync now?
OmniFocus can use any standards-compliant WebDAV server. The Omni Sync Server is free and there’s a number of other WebDAV services out there.
WebDAV? What's that? It sounds charming and sophisticated.
WebDAV is a common type of server for sharing files on the web. Basically, it’s a way to read and write files on a web server but it is sophisticated and often complicated to set up. Many web hosting services support WebDAV; check with your hosting provider to find out whether you can set up your own WebDAV space.
Due to the nature and differences between each WebDAV server, we are unable to troubleshoot individual WebDAV issues on servers other than Omni Sync Server.
I have existing data. How do I set up syncing?
- To sync OmniFocus between your Mac(s) and iOS device(s), you’ll need to sign up for our own Sync Server or you can use Bonjour. Check the Synchronizing Between Macs and Mobile Devices section of OmniFocus Help for step-by-step instructions.
- For advanced users, it is also possible to set up a WebDAV server to which OmniFocus can sync.
Can I merge the data on my phone and Desktop later?
If you have two separate databases that started out on different devices, they can’t be automatically merged together. So if you already have an OmniFocus database on your Mac, and you start using OmniFocus for iPhone (or vice versa), you should set up synchronization right away.
If you already have two separate databases, you can copy and paste from one to the other to manually merge them.
- Back up your database in OmniFocus for Mac.
- Set up syncing for OmniFocus for iPhone if you haven’t already.
- Sync OmniFocus for iPhone, choosing to keep the local database.
- Set up syncing for OmniFocus for Mac if you haven’t already.
- Sync OmniFocus for Mac, choosing to keep the server database. Your two devices should now be in sync, now you just need to copy your tasks across.
- In the Finder, double-click on the backup you made earlier to open it. Now you should have both OmniFocus databases side-by-side.
- Drag or copy and paste anything you want to keep from your backup document.
What's the value of synchronization if I only ever use OmniFocus on one device? Can I back up my data if I don't have OmniFocus for Mac?
Syncing with WebDAV provides you with one more place that your data is backed up. iTunes backs up your data once a week (or when you manually request it), and you’ll need to restore the entire phone, not just OmniFocus, to get your data back. But OmniFocus can sync with WebDAV automatically every time you make changes, so your backup will be current.
Synchronization seems really slow, or isn't completing. Can I do anything to fix this?
Sync all your Macs and devices regularly. When one client gets out of date, all the others have to hold onto all intermediate changes until the left behind client syncs again.
If you make changes on two different clients without syncing in between, the next sync can be much slower as OmniFocus has to do a lot of extra work to merge the multiple sets of changes. (If changes have only been made on one client, they can be merged much more efficiently.) This can be especially noticeable if OmniFocus on an iPhone or iPod touch is the next client to sync, because these devices are much slower than a Mac. To minimize this problem, try to make sure that changes get synced to the server before you leave one device (syncs happen automatically one minute after you make a change, or you can manually initiate a sync), and that you sync down any new changes before making changes on a second device.
If your database is very large you might consider archiving some of the older data. This will make it faster to merge in synced changes. Archiving is currently only available via the Mac version of OmniFocus: you can archive older actions which have been completed or dropped by selecting “Move Old Data to Archive” from the “File” menu. There is an option in that same menu for opening the archive so that you can reference it later if necessary.
Synchronization does not seem to work; what should I do?
Make sure that you’re using a recent version of OmniFocus. If the version number is below 1.8 on the Macintosh and 1.8 on the iPhone, you’re missing out on some big sync improvements.
If actions you add or modify on the phone are not showing up on the Macintosh, your filter settings may be hiding them. Try going to the Perspectives menu and choosing the built-in “All Items” perspective.
If you still think there is a problem with your synchronization, try the following steps to make sure:
- Perform a sync on the Mac or device where you made the changes. On a Mac this means clicking the Sync button in the toolbar or choosing Synchronize with Server from the File menu. On iPhone this means tapping the Sync button in the center of the toolbar. When that sync is done, perform a sync on the other side. If you still don’t see the changes, move on to the next step.
- Make sure your filter settings aren’t hiding the changes you made; on the Mac, choose All Items from the Perspectives menu to make sure you’re not missing anything. On iPhone, try changing your Settings to show “All Items” in the projects screen, and then navigate to the project that you changed.
- If that still didn’t work, you might have some disconnected transactions or other residue in your database. Open the sync location and rename your database to something else, like “OmniFocus-aside.ofocus”. Sync from one copy of OmniFocus to put its database on the server. Then sync from the other copy, and choose to use the server copy. Now your two databases should be in sync, and things should go smoothly.
- If you still have any problems, you may have found a bug. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you track it down.
How often does OmniFocus sync? Do I have to sync it manually every time?
OmniFocus for iPhone automatically syncs one minute after you make a change, to make sure that the MobileMe (or WebDAV) server has an up-to-date copy of your database. OmniFocus for Mac does the same, plus both will sync once an hour in case another device made some changes recently. If the applications have not been running and the hour has elapsed, it will sync on launch. Whenever you like, you can manually make a sync happen, as well.
What does a 403 "Forbidden" error mean when I try to sync?
This message means that OmniFocus is able to communicate with your sync server, but the server is not letting you access the location the app is trying to work with.
The most common cause of this message is the server’s configuration has changed, but in a way that doesn’t tell OmniFocus that it needs to ask you for updated login information.
OmniFocus attempts to work around this by prompting you for updated credentials in most cases, but if you do see this message you can try temporarily changing your password on the server. This will cause it to send OmniFocus a different error message which the app will recognize as meaning that we need to prompt for new login info. (Another option is to try telling OmniFocus to sync to me.com if it’s currently configured to sync to one of the older mac.com addresses.)
A good next step is to make sure that you have plenty of space left on your iDisk or WebDAV server. For most people, a few megabytes is enough, but if you have lots of attachments or an especially large database, you may need more space.
If that doesn’t fix the problem, the next step is to check the document path specified in sync preferences. If it is incomplete or misspelled, this error may occur.
Another thing to try would be to check the permissions set on the folder or account you’re syncing with on the server. Certain WebDAV accounts especially may be configured incorrectly, or may be configured for read-only access from some accounts.
How long should sync take?
Our goal is to have sync (no matter what method you’ve chosen) take no more than 30 seconds. Keep in mind that some factors are out of our control; if your ISP’s servers are having a bad day, for example, we can’t fix that. However, if you’re syncing frequently and consistently seeing longer sync times, please contact our Support Ninjas so they can lend a hand.
Help! I upgraded/destroyed/forgot to back up my computer and lost my license! What can I do?
Why won't it accept my license?
If you purchased your license through our online store:
Both the license key and license owner must be entered exactly as it was emailed to you. The key is linked to the owner so they both must match exactly to be accepted by the application. The license key should be a 23-character long string and does not contain numbers. If you need your license key sent to you again, you can use the Lost Licenses page to retrieve it. If you are still having trouble, please send an email to email@example.com.
If you purchased a retail boxed copy:
Please double check you entered the license key exactly as given to you. The license key should be a 23-character long string in the format of XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXX and does not contain numbers. If you are still having trouble, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also recommended you register your license key with us so we can send it to you if you happen to misplace it.
I bought one of your products through the Mac App Store; when I launch it, it asks for a license code. What should I do?
One of the advantages of the Mac App Store is that the products you buy there don’t require license codes. Instead, your iTunes account information is used to unlock the products you buy there.
If your Omni application is asking for a license code, it’s usually because a trial copy of the application downloaded from our website is being run instead of the Mac App Store edition.
The easiest thing to do in this case is a Spotlight search of the entire Mac for the product name. Use the results to find and launch each copy of the app on your Mac one by one. If a copy asks for a license, quit it, then move it to the Trash. Copies installed via the Mac App Store won’t do this.
If, at the end of this process, all the copies are in the Trash, you can use the “Purchases” tab in the Mac App Store to download a new copy of the product. Once the Mac App Store edition is installed, you won’t be asked for the license info on launch.
What should I do if I need to uninstall?
Like most Mac OS X applications, our products can be uninstalled by simply dragging the icon to the trash. Once you empty the trash, the application is gone from your computer. Like Jeff Goldblum says, “There is no step three!”.
This is a free update for all current owners of OmniFocus. The app will run in a fully functional trial mode for 14 days without a license. Also available for purchase on the Mac App Store. Requires Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later to run.
Latest release: October 26 2012
OmniFocus 1.10.4 — October 26, 2012 OmniFocus 1.10.4 for Mac is a minor update which resolves some OS X Mountain Lion compatibility issues.
OS X Mountain Lion Compatibility
- Fixed a bug which caused published Due reminders to be missing their alarms in Calendar on OS X Mountain Lion.
- Worked around a problem on OS X Mountain Lion which caused the sync button to blink during a sync when using small toolbar icons.
- Corrected a regression which caused the Dock badge to be drawn at an inappropriate size on 10.7.0 through 10.7.2. (Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later is recommended for all Mac OS X Lion customers.)
- Fixed a crash on OS X Mountain Lion when using the contextual menu on an item’s notes when attachments are present.