Questions & Answers

iCloud Synchronization

| By Alexander der Große

Having iCloud syncing problems?

There may be several causes for iCloud not syncing properly. Please try the following steps, as they may already solve the problems:

  • First, please make sure iCloud is enabled on all your devices and that you are logged in with the same iCloud account(not necessarily identical to your Apple ID). Additionally, iCloud Drive must be enabled in System Preferences (macOS)/Settings (iOS) and “Ulysses” must be checked under “Options…”  and *your account name* › “iCloud”, respectively.
  • To test if iCloud is fully functional, please add a random file from your hard disk (DOCX, PDF, JPEG) to the “iCloud Drive” folder in Finder on Mac and check if it shows up in the Files app on your iPhone/iPad and vice-versa. If the file is not synchronized across your devices, your iCloud setup might be corrupted in general and you should contact Apple's iCloud support directly.
  • Please verify you don‘t exceed your iCloud storage limit. Otherwise, Ulysses is not able to sync your subscription or your sheets across devices.
  • Please ensure that no firewalls such as LittleSnitch are blocking iCloud services.
  • To guarantee that the iCloud background synchronization services are up and running, please restart your Mac and your iPhone/iPad.
  • Please make sure that the groups you’re trying to sync are in the “iCloud” section in Ulysses on Mac. Sheets in “On My Mac” are only stored locally, but not synced to Ulysses on iOS.
  • Please make certain you’re properly connected to the Internet. If you’re on a cellular network (3G, 4G, LTE, E), please verify that the options “Cellular Data”, “Ulysses” and “iCloud Drive” are activated in iOS Settings › “Cellular”. If iCloud syncing is slow while you’re on a mobile device, try connecting to a Wi-Fi and charging your device. iCloud syncing is optimized for saving power and might run slower on low power.
  • Please have patience. Sometimes, iCloud just takes some time to fully sync sheets between devices. It might be necessary to keep Ulysses on iOS active because iCloud will stop syncing after a while when switching to another application. For the initial sync (i.e. first time, after installation), you could also set “Auto-Lock” in iOS Settings › “Display & Brightness” to “Never” in order to prevent your iOS device from going to sleep.
  • In very rare cases, iCloud might be slow or even inaccessible due to server issues. You can look up its status anytime on Apple's system status page.
  • If you checked everything, but your sheets still don’t finish (or even begin) syncing, please use our contact form.

Please be aware that all iCloud syncing is handled using Apple’s background services. Therefore, our capabilities and insights regarding iCloud problems are limited: Ulysses is not able to force a sync, for example. Also, please note that Ulysses uses iCloud only to synchronize data across devices. iCloud is not a backup service - this is done using Time Machine.

Why is there no Ulysses folder in iCloud Drive?

iCloud Drive is Apple’s solution for providing file storage in the cloud - similar to Dropbox or Google Drive. iCloud, on the other hand, is Apple’s sync service, used by Apple’s own products (look at Calendars, Notes) as well as third-party products. While Ulysses uses iCloud for syncing your sheets, it does not provide a public folder on iCloud Drive to display those sheets. This does not mean that your sheets are not in the cloud, they’re just not visible in the iCloud Drive folder.

How can I manually transfer Ulysses’ sheets or groups between devices?

On Mac, you can simply drag a sheet or a group from Ulysses to Finder or your Desktop. If you drag out a group, you can then compress the folder by right-clicking it and selecting “Compress <Folder>”. You can then send the sheet file or the zipped folder via Mail to your iOS device. Open the file in Ulysses on iOS to import it.

To transfer from iPad/iPhone to Mac, swipe left on the sheet or group you want to transfer. Tap “More” › “Share…”. Then, use a share action such as AirDrop, Message or Mail to send it to your Mac. Finally, drag in the sheet file or the unzipped folder into Ulysses on Mac.

How can I use my Setapp subscription on my mobile devices?

In order to use Ulysses on your iPhone/iPad, you must register your mobile device as an additional device on your plans. Once you’ve done that, you can check out the iOS/iPadOS versions of Ulysses that appear in the “Available on iOS“ category section of the Setapp store. Further information is outlined in a comprehensive article in Setapp’s help section.


This article was last updated on August 11, 2020.

iCloud Synchronization