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Watch out! Failed sync led to 197GB of download

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Among several computers, I have a handy little Dell Inspiron 11 3000 laptop, which has just a 32GB eMMC as main storage (and I have an additional 32GB Micro-SD card, where I keep my 6GB Evernote database).

The Inspiron runs Windows 10 home, and, on that system, Evernote for Windows 6.4.2.

At some point, the Micro-SD card filled up, and Evernote wasn't able to complete synching -- but it kept on trying.  According to the usage monitor on the laptop, Evernote downloaded a total of 197GB trying to repeatedly synch that 6GB database.  ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY-SEVEN GIGABYTES.

I have a limited-bandwidth account, and this racked up hundreds of dollars in extra charges from my ISP. Fortunately, the law in my Canadian province caps overage charges at $200 a month, and, very kindly, my internet provider (Rogers) waived even that amount.  Still, I lost hours tracking down the data leak (my ISP notified me of the overage), and in dealing with the ISP.

I'm deleting Evernote from that laptop (and may just give up on it all together, even though I'm a long-time paying customer) ... but am posting this here as a warning to others who might also have low-storage systems.  Evernote apparently has no proper error handling (and throws up no message except the usual red X in the sync icon) in such circumstances.

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Presumably you've reported this bug through official channels -- the forums are certainly monitored, but in this case, I'd try to cover all of the bases -- that's something that should be fixed.

In the meantime, what I'd do is recommend a second account, and use it on the Dell, sharing only the notebooks you need there to that account. Eventually, when On Demand syncing gets sorted out (it's in the current beta; discussed here: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/105063-evernote-for-windows-65-ga-released/, latest beta thread here: https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/107843-evernote-for-windows-66-beta-3-released/), that might be a better option for that device.


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As I say, a separate account (it can be free), can be a good option, at least temporarily, provided you can reasonably limit the number of note's you need on the smaller device. I do something similar with my work, though for a different reason: I want access to my personal software development library (somewhat large), but I don't want my personal stuff visible in my work account. I share work notebooks with my personal account freely, useful because I do work at home semi-regularly. One drawback is that you cannot create new tags in the other account, but that's pretty minor in my usages, since I don't create new tags very often.

The other option would be to use the web client, of course, that that seems to be languishing in terms of development efforts these days...

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1 hour ago, RobertJSawyer said:

At some point, the Micro-SD card filled up, and Evernote wasn't able to complete synching -- but it kept on trying.  

Thanks for sharing your story with us.  Hopefully Evernote will resolve this at their end, and it’s a notice for us to check our free space.

I’d echo @jefito, if you don’t have the free space you can use the web platform.  We’re also waiting for Evernote to implement Selective Sync so we can control what gets downloaded

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For what it's worth, Austin G in Evenote tech support has been very responsive to my support ticket.  I've sent him my Evernote log files -- one of which had swollen to half-a-gigabyte in size with all the sync attempts -- for Evernote to review.

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Just to wrap this up, the final reply from Evernote tech support:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the logs and additional information. I've reported this to the development team for further review. Additionally, I've submitted a request to display in-app messaging when this error appears in the logs.

Currently the client doesn't check the available size on the PC VS the size of the database. As you mentioned, when the SD card maxed out, the client continued to try to finish the downloading the rest repeatedly, thus racking up the large bandwidth usage. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

This scenario has shed light on a way Evernote can improve and again, I appreciate you reporting this. Due to the limited space on this PC, I recommend using Evernote Web moving forward.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or issues with Evernote.


Austin G.

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