Ulysses having issues with icloud sync...15-20 groups with sheets not downloading


Seems to be mostly the same ones on each device. They just permanently say “Downloading”. The other half of my sheets are downloading and syncing just fine.

Ulysses tech support is looking at my icloud logs, but getting the impression that they don’t work weekends.

Has anyone else had this problem and solved it? Just when I made the decision to go all in on Ulysses for all of my notes and writing. I thought I was home free.

Le sigh.


Not had the problem but I am curious about cause and solution. Please post the resolution.


Don’t seem to have that issue with my subscription.

I’d contact Support.


I had a similar problem with Ulysses and their solution was basically to delete everything and start over.

I met them half-way: I deleted everything and switched to another app (Bear, which doesn’t have as many features, but also doesn’t lose everything I’ve written in a sync snafu.)

I now have Ulysses free as part of SetApp, and I still won’t go near it with anything I really care about.

YMMV. I hope it does, in fact. Just beware of what you’re potentially facing. It’s not as if they have some magic wand to fix syncing issues when they occur.



I hope they have a better answer this time.


Me too! Good luck. I should add that this was over a year or maybe two ago, so I’m guessing / hopeful things have improved since then. I just don’t see myself going back to find out.


So here’s how it was resolved:


Your Mac seems to be affected by a bug that creates new groups when there are sync conflicts. In these groups, an important file of Ulysses is missing which is why the groups aren’t downloaded. Can you still find the files on other devices (insofar you own other ones)? If so, could you please move them to another group and see if they are synced?


The syncing issue appears to be across all of my devices. MacBook Pro, iPhone 8+, iPad Pro, iPad Air.


Since the issue is appearing across all devices, it would be best if you do the following:

  • Create new groups in Ulysses’ library
  • Go to the menu “File” › “Browse Backups…” and select a date when the groups were still synced
  • Drag the content from the backups to the new groups in the main window

So that’s what I did. Everything seems to be in order. I think I will start a redundant weekly plaintext backup in Dropbox or Devonthink to be extra double sure, though.


Glad the issue got addressed. But … ack.


I’m having issues with Ulysses sync again on my MacBook Pro. Changes that I make on my other devices aren’t syncing to my MacBook. All other apps on my MacBook sync with no problem which tells me that this is a Ulysses problem and not iCloud. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem on my MacBook.

Ulysses support has been no help with this issue. I’ve found that disabling and enabling iCloud sync in Ulysses settings or starting a new sheet forces a sync. It’s a work around but doesn’t give me feeling of confidence with Ulysses sync.

Now I’m sorry that I just renewed my subscription. I’m going to follow the lead of @tjluoma and move to Bear.


A major upgrade Ulysses 15 is around the corner. (Don’t know how big/long the curve is.) Even though, I have had no problems with sync, maybe this will clear up the difficulties.you have experienced.


Sorry to hear that. You might find this interesting reading.


Thank you for the link. I’ve contacted Ulysses support with this issue in the past. They were unable to resolve it for me so regardless of whether the issue is Ulysses or iCloud I can’t trust the syncing of my Ulysses sheets.


I’m still using Ulysses. But I’ve been giving a long, hard, awkward stare at IA Writer over the past few days.

  1. Partially because I have The Fear now.
  2. Partially because IA matches the features in Ulysses that I use, and I don’t use many of the features in Ulysses.
  3. Partially because I could then index those files in Devonthink, and also use The Archive and 1writer for the same files.
  4. Partially because I already own it and it’s not on a subscription model.
  5. Partially because the blending of folders and tags seems like it combines the best of Ulysses and Bear … and I could stop using Bear as well.

And frankly, I’m worn out from fiddling around with apps. Plain-text might finally allow my soul to rest.


I made the switch from a Ulysses/Bear combo to iA Writer. Since you mention tags specifically I’ll note that one tag-related feature in Bear that iA Writer does not implement is the ability to nest tags (a “work” tag with separate tags within it for individual projects, for instance). That’s one that I really miss.