【FAQ】Collecting Problems with Sync + Troubleshooting

Collecting Problems with Sync + Troubleshooting

By far, we have been working on sync issues fed back previously by our faithful users and have already fixed some main problems. Still, we need some more illustrated feedback to improve iCloud sync accordingly in our next coming versions to help you back up and sync data more effectively and conveniently. Herein we need to collect your error information with immediate screenshots on the error pages. We encourage you to export and share with us your MarginNote Backup if the case is sophisticated.

Note before concluding that sync with MarginNote is in trouble, please ensure your iCloud account and device are not low in space and your iCloud syncing behaves properly by itself. Last but not least, syncing/downloading Documents and Notebook with MarginNote are separately (Check in pic.4), in other words, it’s normal to sync your document without notes attached to, when quitting out not until the Notebook part synced.

Please read on for detailed instructions, together with the effective solutions to problems fixed recently.

Problem-collecting Steps

  1. Go to “MN3 Home Page > ··· > Cloud Sync”, take a screenshot if you enter into an error interface.
  • Mac

  • iOS

  1. Upload and post the two corresponding screenshots (from two involving devices) here

  • Mac

  • iOS

  1. To export and share certain sophisticated problems, please export the MarginNote Backup and email it to us : service@marginnote.com , providing samples for testing. To get the backups, please enter the sync-error-involving notebooks under Study Mode, and then do as the diagram below.

  1. If your iCloud error report contains “uuid=288BE2…” shown as the following picture, please copy the whole corresponding alphanumeric characters, type “marginnote3app://note/“ in Safari URL bar, followed with the pasted uuid, and you will search out the error-related spots in your notebook, which is so needed that we recommend you take a screenshot of the notebook searched out and post it here.

(By the way, here is a whole example URL, counterpart of the following demo report screenshot depicted: marginnote3.app://note/288BE261-826A-4004-9C80-848018C510D7)
Besides, we’ll be grateful if you do as item 3 above, that is , export and email the corresponding notebook backup to our support team: service@marginnote.com

Right here waiting for your error report! The more completed the report, the better we improve our product!

Troubleshooting iCloud Sync

1.To batch import and sync PDFs into MN3 via iCloud Drive #Mostly Useful#

If you need to import a lot of documents at one time and sync all of them afterwards, we recommend copying/pasting either through the Files app on your iPad or the Finder on your Mac instead of batch importing into MN3 app directly. (Original upload tools tend to be more stable.)

  • iOS: tap "Files > iCloud Drive> MarginNote3 ", then drag and drop (paste) all the files into this MN3 folder.
  • MacOS: click"Finder >iCloud Drive> MarginNote3 ", then drag and drop (paste) all the files into this MN3 folder.

2.Wi-Fi Transfer — editing a document across devices under the same Wi-Fi (only with MNpro)

While MarginNote Pro supports Wi-Fi Transfer, MN3 doesn’t. However, we will optimize this feature in several next coming versions.

Note: MNpro will check the latest state automatically and keep your changes up to date between devices immediately once you use Handoff; we recommend that you not edit the same document across two devices synchronously until we have finished optimization.

3.MacOS-related redundancy system errors

Please reset your Macbook after BACK UP all your important data:

To reset your macOS, please access to these sites:



4. Contact Apple

As third-party developers with limited control over iCloud, we may fail to fix all issues with iCloud at present. If the solutions above didn’t help after you ensure your iCloud syncing is behaving properly, please contact Apple through support.apple.com for further help. What’s more, we are continuing the improvement work, so stay tuned.

FAQ about how MN’s Sync works (Updating)

1- When I add a document or a Study to MarginNote on my iPad, am I supposed to do something in addition to clicking on the document little green iCloud button under the three dots… on my iPad or will it sync automatically and be available to MarginNote on my Mac ?

2- What does the greyed iCloud means ? That the document is on my iPad only ? If I click on it so that it is green, does it mean it is on iCloud or it will eventually be in iCloud ?

3- What does the little dotted cloud means (the one that is under the name of a document/study, to the left of the three dots …) ? What does it means if the is no dotted cloud under the name of a document/study ?

4- On my iPad, if I click on “Upload to iCloud” of a folder after clicking on the three dots … of a document, does it sync with the contents of the corresponding folder on iCloud, or does it replaces it, maybe deleting files if there has been a previous sync operation with the Mac ?

5- There is also a three dots icon at the bottom of the left margin. When I click there, a window appears, and the first item is Cloud Sync. What does it do ? When should one use this (everytime we add something ?) ?

6- If I click on the Cloud Sync option mentioned in the previous paragraph, I see “Documents downloading : XX uploading : YY” The documents that are downloading, they are downloading from iCloud to the iPad or from the iPad to iCloud ? Could we use MarginNote when there are Documents downloading or uploading or should we wait until the operation is completed ?

7- Let’s say I have two folders on MarginNote on my iPad : folder A with 3 documents, and folder B with 2 documents. I open a window on the finder to see what is happening to the MarginNote folder in iCloud (the one that contains the documents), then I open MarginNote on my Mac . What happens is that opening MarginNote on my mac begins deleting documents from folder A, or B, or both… so I close MarginNote on the Mac. Should I let it work, would it put them back later in the operation?

These 7 Questions are collected from iCloud Sync -some questions

For syncing the OSx version to iCloud, i found a way around it.
You need to clear the cache (with the option in the menu) and then sync it.

1 Like

Thanks your advice!:yum:

Here is an example of an iCloud sync issue.

On iPad

The left is MarginNote. It is missing Team 10. The center is the Margin Note folder in iCloud as viewed in Files. It shows Team 10. The right is the Margin Note folder in iCloud as viewed in FileExchange. It shows Team 10.

I can even see Team 10 in the Margin Note folder using PDFExpert.

On macOS

Here is the iCloud folder as viewed from macOS Mojave.

Edit: The content of the file from Team 10 was exactly the same as that for the file from Team 17. Only the file name was different. It seems that Margin Note does not allow two duplicate files with exactly the same content to have different file names. It “looses” one of the files in the directory list.

Hope this helps troubleshoot the problem.


1 Like

Hi @DrJJWMac ,

Thanks for your information. We have confirmed the reason.

Please try to add tags to the same files to make them different in binary form. Marginnote could not identify the difference from the file name or folder path. Only binary form could be distinguished by far.

Besides, After you do the first sync, please keep the files original location folder to avoid potential mistakes.

I know it’s very troublesome for you. Once Team got spare time and fixes it, I will notify you. Sorry for the bad experience.


Thank you. I will pay attention to how I manage files.


1 Like

There are problems when I try to sync a document notebook between MN3 macOS and MN3 iOS. Here is how I solve the issues.

  1. Upload PDF to iCloud via iCloud web interface [resolve iCloud slow upload issue via macOS Finder]
  2. After creating/updating document notebook on macOS, in order to avoid the forever ’fetching data from iCloud’ status, quit, reopen MN and sync again. It is only at this point MN start to upload the newly created/ updated document notebook. [seem like a problem of MN3 itself]
  3. On the iOS client, to avoid the same sync failure, also quit and reopen, and sync again. Document should appear now. [also look like a MN3 problem]

Although the issues are temporarily solved via these manual steps, I do anticipate there will be official fix on the issue that MN refuse to sync properly to/from iCloud without reopening. And hopefully sync via WiFi will arrive soon.

1 Like

Hi Jsjee,

Welcome new to the Forum. Looking forward to more experience sharing about MN usage in the future.

Thanks, a very pertinent comment. Wifi transfer is coming soon!

Best Regards,
Support Team

Hi! My trouble is that I usually dont get an error when trying to sync, but sometimes it flashes very quickly database error and then when I click Show error I get this.

Also it says the database has synced, but when I have changed the name of the mindmap on my ipad and have put files in and that hasn’t shown on my macbook yet. Also when I try to do click on icloud sync and mindmap notebook, it takes forever and it says fetching data from iCloud? Does that mean it is uploading or downloading the information to iCloud and to my macbook later, or?:’) Im not good with computer language sorry! Does signing in to evernote work better maybe or are there some tips and tricks that I’m unfamiliar with?

Hello, Marithalie,

I’m sorry that this problem troubles you. It is really a bug and we will fix it as soon as possible. But don’t worry, as there is nothing showed between the bracket, it means no errors and the database has synced successfully.

MN Support Team

I dunno why but suddenly I don’t have any syncing problems anymore. I haven’t done anything in particular which has helped sadly, maybe the app got scared from all the critiques:’) Well good day!:slight_smile:

1 Like

I have problems with syncing Doc notebook, MindMap Notebook and Card Deck on my iPad pro 2017. the Document sync well. It stuck at “正在从iCloud获取数据”
My other device can sync well: Mac mini 2018, iPad mini 2019, iPhone XR.

this four Prtscs is from my iPad pro 12.9 2017

After resetting mariginnote app and iCloud part of mariginnote, it works.


Welcome to the MarginNote Forum and thanks for the information provided.

Yes, as you can see, the app may need some time to fetch data from iCloud. And the sync speed depends on iCloud, web quality and some other potential factors.

But I can promise to all of you devoted users, our group members now are trying hard to find bugs from sync errors and finally handle them. And we will highly appreciate it if you can give us feedbacks when you meet some sync problems.