Apple Reminders - sync issues across devices


I’m trying to utilise Reminders as much as possible (I like using ‘default’ programs where they offer solutions), while leaving Things to bigger and more detailed projects (although happy to leave another program behind if Reminders fits the bill).

Also eager to see how the iOS/iPodOS and Monterey changes to Reminders works (tags etc).

The problem I’m having, and have had for some time, is fairly fundamental. I have a number of devices (iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad mini, iMac, MacBook Air M1) which all use the same iCloud account (and incidentally, the same Exchange account for work, so tasks show up from here too).

All products that sync work fine (email, calendar etc) except Reminders. All the tasks show up as they should across devices, but if I complete a task on e.g the phone, when I later open up the MacBook Air (or iPads) from sleep, the task is still showing as incomplete.

I wait a while to give it time to catch up, but to no avail. This then in turn migrates to all other devices so the task changes back to incomplete, with the occasional mismatch between some devices showing completed, others incomplete.

Switching off the iCloud toggle on whatever device and back on ‘solves’ the problem for a short time, but seems a clunky way to resolve this. I’ve tried the usual log out/log back in on all devices, wiped everything clean (in Reminders that is…) while ensuring the web version is also clean, waiting a day, then trying to re-use Reminders. All goes wonky again within a day.

Anyone else experiencing this, or have some cool solutions? :slight_smile:

I use reminders for my grocery list and this happens all the time. Thankfully, my shopping isn’t that important so I’ve learned to live with it, as I like the sharing and integration in certain apps.

I notice sync issues fairly frequently though it can usually be nudged back into life by updating the next instance.

For example, if I complete a reminder on the phone but it doesn’t sync to the Mac, I find the next generated instance on the phone, make a small change to the scheduled time, that usually then bumps all the updates through to the Mac.

Noticing this also, especially with iOS 15. Updating a list does nothing.

Apple Reminders is unreliable for serious work.

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I think all of Apple’s default apps are solid products. IMO, it’s iCloud syncing that is unreliable.

I can’t remember ever having a serious problem with Reminders. Notes, on the other hand, has burned me on multiple occasions.

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For me the apps would often times be sufficient as well, but syncing feels finicky from time to time.

What seems to do the trick for me in those moments is creating a dummy entry (note, reminders, file) on that device that doesn’t seem to sync - I feel this triggers a sync with iCloud and eventually the missing information shows up and I delete the dummy entry.

Needless to say I wish iCloud sync performed like „it just works“ :blush:

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Getting really annoyed with Reminders, it has let me down twice in a fortnight. Last week items wouldn’t sync and it’s just failed again today.

I spent ages with my wife today building a shopping list on my iPad and when I got to the shop a couple of hours later, the list had not and would not sync to my phone/watch in Reminders. I had to call my wife and ask her to read it out while I recorded the list in Drafts.

I think I’m going to give up at this point, and not even trust it with my grocery list, if it can’t even sync a simple list of 20 items reliably!

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My problem is that this is Apple own system. Reminders without sync is useless. iCloud may be the issue, but it makes reminders unreliable. The 3.7 star rating should indicate just how appalling it is.

Ironically, over the years I’m moving away from Apple’s own software because it’s just rubbish. I remember the day it was unrivalled, but no longer.

I’ve also reduced my icloud storage as I noticed that the larger the storage the more sync glitches on all fronts.


My background is hardware and networking so I tend to look at the failure points rather than blame the entire system. (i.e. a programmer shouldn’t be blamed if my network was the problem). But that’s me.

I do appreciate that and am not blaming any individual programmer. However, Apple produce Reminders and iCloud. One would expect that Apple’s apps on their own device with their own hardware, should work. Failure for this to happen is Apple’s fault, especially when other apps can get it right. As it is all produced in house by Apple I have a right to blame the entire system as someone in Apple should be managing the entire system.

For me there is a larger issue here. Companies have made it so that everything is segregated. This seems to have the motive that there is no longer any accountability. When you call the company you get the standard apology, but it’s not their department and there’s nothing they can do etc. When a user purchases an app, it is not just the software that they purchase but they are buying into the company. That is because everything the company does affects the app. If the company tech support is non-existent it affects the app, because when problems arise they cannot be fixed and the use of the app is impinged. I never rate an app on the coding alone, but the service I get from the company behind it, because that is what I am buying in to and that is what is needed to make a reliable app.


I understand. It’s unfortunate that today’s Apple doesn’t seem to give much attention to areas that don’t directly generate dollars. The iPhone reigns supreme followed by, in no particular order, the Mac, iPad, Watch, and paid Services, etc. Further down we find pro and default apps and, bringing up the rear, iCloud and Siri.

So I rely on Apple hardware and services from Google & Microsoft. I use Reminders for it’s integration with on IOS but also use Due. And Google mail, calendar, and drive have been rock solid and work well with Apple’s and on IOS & Mac.

I’m disappointed with Apple’s services but they are the only company to create a product like the iPad which I use as my primary computer. :+1: