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What gives? Evernote changes overwritten by sync between iPhone and Mac


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After spending hours making notes for an upcoming project in Evernote on my iMac (running 6.10 under Mavericks 10.10.5), I hit the sync button to make sure the changes were sent to the server under my Evernote Plus account. On my iPhone 5S (iOS 10.2.1), I found the same note but it hadn't updated. I then let Evernote (8.1.352228) sync by swiping down in the Notes section. Still no change so I went to the Account section and tapped Sync Now, no change again on my iPhone. Then looking at the note on my Mac, it had reverted to my phone's version and all of my work was lost. I wasn't given a Conflicting Changes notice or anything.

Seeing as I pay for this service and did, what I assume, are the correct steps to ensure notes are synced, I'm supremely upset by the apps losing my work and forcing me to start over.

Is there a way to access interim versions of notes or revert the changes? Did I do something wrong or is this a common problem with Evernote / Evernote for Mac/iOS?

Edited by dugost
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  • Level 5*

Hi.  It's not comment,  but it can happen. 

You may have been too quick to check for changes on your phone,  and syncing its older version of the note actually got to the server before the PC content got there.  (The fact you pressed Sync doesn't mean that the operation was completed instantly - there may have been more data to send,  or the operation was delayed by internet traffic.)

The 'fix' is to check via the browser version by signing in at Evernote.com before you try syncing any other devices - or just give it a little more time.

The other possibility is that opening the note on the iPhone you inadvertently added a space or otherwise amended the original note enough to make it the 'most recent' version which was then saved over the previous changes.  In that event check the Note History to see if your changes were saved.  The chances are not good however..

A belt and braces workaround is to use a word-processor for any detailed changes so that you have a local backup copy of any lengthy edits.

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Thanks, @gazumped. All of that makes sense and, in the future, I'll go the local file route as you suggested. I noticed the Note History option but I can't afford to spring for the Premium features at this time.

I do maintain a backup of my Mac using Time Machine but, for some reason, it never occurred to me until now to check my backup drive for a previous version of my notes.

I opened the Evernote database folder as described here:

In the database folder, within my account number's "content" folder, I was able to do a Spotlight search for the note that would have contained the work I had done. Unfortunately, the work doesn't exist in my backup. I had added it all at a time between backups so it was overwritten when I forced a sync with the server from my iPhone.

At least I know I have this as an option in the future of checking that folder, and I might even start initiating a Time Machine backup before I try syncing devices from now on, just as a precaution.

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  • 9 months later...

Hi,

this thread is almost a year old and probably not useful to the OP anymore, but I just had almost the same problem.

I was working on my iPad, synced everything, and went back on my desktop and saw that the old version was open on my desktop evenote app, at which point evernote synced using the old version, completeling erasing the work I'd done with the app without any trace.

I went to my note on evernote app, which also showed the older version, and this is what I did:

1. Press the note info (the circle icon with an "i").

2. Press "View history"

3. and pick the version right before the "current version" to get the last synced content from my iPad.

Maybe this is a feature they added recently, but it's still worth sharing.

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3 hours ago, galvy said:

Hi,

this thread is almost a year old and probably not useful to the OP anymore, but I just had almost the same problem.

I was working on my iPad, synced everything, and went back on my desktop and saw that the old version was open on my desktop evenote app, at which point evernote synced using the old version, completeling erasing the work I'd done with the app without any trace.

I went to my note on evernote app, which also showed the older version, and this is what I did:

1. Press the note info (the circle icon with an "i").

2. Press "View history"

3. and pick the version right before the "current version" to get the last synced content from my iPad.

Maybe this is a feature they added recently, but it's still worth sharing.

Thanks for sharing. This feature is only available in Evernote Premium but a worthwhile option to know about.

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  • 2 years later...

I still frequently have exactly the same problem whilst sharing notes with a client.

I manually sync and check all my changes have uploaded, but then my client goes to view the note often many hours later and it reverts all my changes. This has been going on for a very long time.

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15 hours ago, Blueclover said:

I still frequently have exactly the same problem whilst sharing notes with a client.

I manually sync and check all my changes have uploaded, but then my client goes to view the note often many hours later and it reverts all my changes. This has been going on for a very long time.

Hi.  Sorry to note the situation,  but you're a subscriber,  so could raise this with Support (that's not us - mainly users here...) to get a resolution. Sounds like it has to do with how many active devices are connected to the account you're using that are actively syncing their copy of your database at the same time you're editing.  By the time you save your edits,  your version of the note already pre-dates the server copy,  so gets overwritten on the next sync.  You can,  presumably,  recover your edits from Note History.

Given that Evernote easily connects to Google Docs files,  it might be more reliable to use a Google Doc for your edits - any changes there are immediately saved to the server,  not stored locally and saved on a schedule;  and multiple devices aren't linked to that file unless people are actively looking at it...

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  • Level 5

In general syncing conflicts can arise when simultaneously opening and working on the same note(s) on several devices at the same time. For example, if I open a note on my iPad for reference and modify the same note on my Mac, a syncing issue will probably arise.

EN always syncs through the server database. This is what you see when opening your account in the web client. This is the master file for EN, and when it gets several versions of the same note, it will show a problem.

To avoid this, the best way is to run EN on one client at a time. Make sure your notes are fully synced before switching devices. If you are on two devices at the same time, don’t open the same note twice.

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