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[Fixed in Version 10.3] Offline Notebooks take a long time/too long to download

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  • Level 5*
9 hours ago, southernforge said:

My largest notebook contains approximately 10,000 notes.  Major instability and download times occurred  - more than once.

Were you able to successfully get it to complete the download?

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Still doesn’t work. Gets stuck even on small notebooks, and offline status cannot be changed -toggle turns back on by itself if I try to cancel the downloading. It’s now February. 

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  • Level 5

iOS 14.4 ?

EN iOS 10.5 ?

Good internet connection ?

First: Complete uninstall, dumping all data. Switch i-device off and on. Reinstall, log in, let it sync.

Now set all notebooks to offline download. Turn autolockscreen off, let the app in the foreground and wait for the download to go through. If it takes longer, put it to a charger.

Worked for me. Still works, all fine.

Bonus track: The little switcher needs patience. You switch it off, it says „I will think about it“ and switches itself back on. Then it will elaborate what to do - and will all by itself switch off again. With a small notebook it may take a few seconds, a large one longer. Max reported in the Forum was above a minute.

Reported as a bug, not yet fixed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I removed Evernote Thursday because of perpetually stuck web clips not importing, and  installed ver 10.5.1 for iOS yesterday.

Downloading selected notebooks is a very different experience now:  so far, my largest notebook, which contains more than 11k notes, is almost 60% downloaded since yesterday.  This is a new and welcome change to initiating offline availability.  

Hopefully the company will continue fixing what they broke, with subsequent releases.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't see this fixed yet. I'm on the latest iOS update and the notebooks are taking forever to download. And we're talking about small notebooks with like 130 notes on one notebook and 60 notes on the other that I set to download.

I did the uninstall and reinstall, but still same extremely slow download

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  • Level 5

Update: Since I got stuck with the updating of the offline content, I started it all over on my iPhone. It is an 11 Pro Max, running iOS 14.3 (at that time, now 14.4) and EN iOS 10.5 (now 10.6). My internet is Gigabit cable, fast mesh WiFi. Not to brag about it, but because the physical condition may play a role.

With the uninstall I dumped all EN data. Then I switched the iPhone completely off, on again, and checked the iPhone memory. All gone ... Then I reinstalled the app, and checked again. Still all gone, only the app itself now. Then I logged in, and waited for the initial sync do end. App must be open and in the foreground for this.

For the night I then put the iPhone to a charger  (better by cable, it may get a little warm), switched the autolockscreen to off, opened EN, and set „All notebooks“ to download for offline. Download started. Set the screen brightness to its minimum now.

The next day it was through, had taken appr. 12hrs. It had downloaded nearly 19GB. It is since neatly and fast updating when new content is added, but needs to be the active app to update itself.

I have no clue why updating the downloaded data stalled back then.

What do I take from this ?

My download speed was between 1and 2 GB per hour - which means there was some local processing as well

The computing power of the device may play a role, as the internet connection. My iPhone was warm to the touch, so it was not only loading data.

No change with 10.6, still updating new stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again, PinkElephant for your analysis !

I was already on 10.6 but the "color bars" for the supposingly offline notebooks had not completed since weeks.

So I deleted the app, restarted the phone, re-installed the app. No offline notebooks shown.

Then I started to download, one by one ... seems to work, but still painfully slow: 200 notes, mostly text, take about 30 mins to download. During that, barely any traffic can be seen on my 50 MBits/ sec internet-connection. My router states about 700 MBit 5GHz ac, so should not be an issue either.


can we get paid for completing all these tasks manually which the evernote app should automatically do by itself ?

Btw #2:
Just found an older Android phone with EN V8.13.3 installed and selected a notebook for offline usage: took barely 10 sec to download the very same notebook which is downloading on iOS since roughly 30 Mins ....

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  • Level 5

You need to keep the app open and active (in the foreground) during the download.

This has nothing to do with EN - iOS limits the background activity of apps (with little exceptions) very much, to save energy. A few minutes after being pushed back, download stops. Android is more generous to allow apps to do what they want.

On my iPhone 11 Pro Max it took less than 12 hrs to complete the download of 6.000 notes, many of them with attachments of some MB each. In total it downloaded 19GB of data. In fact it terminated while I was still asleep, so I don’t know exactly how long it took.

To avoid being interrupted, I turned autolockscreen to off, put the EN app in front, dimmed the screen to lowest and connected the phone to the charger. I had chosen „all notebooks offline“, so it was completely up to EN to control the complete download.

This works since 10.5 - before there were problems.

P.S. Since I was sleeping during download, I would have a hard time to justify a payment for my effort 😎

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  • 1 month later...

I contacted Evernote support about this issue and got the following response.


If you are experiencing a slow download of notebooks for offline access. I'd like to let you know that we are aware of this issue and are now working for a permanent fix.

As a workaround, please refer to the steps below to download your offline notes.

Select one notebook at a time in Evernote Settings > Notebooks > Offline notebooks

Open iOS Settings > Display and Brightness > Auto-Lock > press Never

Plug the iPhone or iPad to a power source

Leave your phone plugged with Evernote open for a few hours

Repeat with more notebooks

I did what it said and downloaded each notebook one-at-a-time and it worked for me, although the process did stall once and I had to shut down and restart Evernote to continue. It's looking good for me now.

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  • Level 5*

I have similar connectivity and use the same process as @PinkElephant and still have trouble with offline downloads. The variable seems to be notebook size. When trying to download one with 8000 notes, at some point during the process the app will close.  Once that happens, it becomes unstable and I have to reinstall.  Smaller notebooks up to about 1000 notes seems to work ok.  Happens on both an iPhone and iPad.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Level 5*
On 5/3/2021 at 11:43 AM, PinkElephant said:

Don’t have such a notebook size - my largest one holds something above 1.000 notes. But good to know.

I use few notebooks and don't need many.  I have plenty of storage on both my iphone and ipad and it is very handy to have all notes available offline. I was able to do this pre V10 and no longer can.

What you are suggesting is that I restructure my data to work around this problem.  I may have to do that, but shouldn't.  Evernote has not announced limitations on offline notes.  Until they do, I will expect this to work as before.

There was a comment in the latest v10.10 release notes that gave me some hope this was fixed.  Unfortunately, no.  The app still shuts down during some point of the large notebook download.  A restart will allow it to progress a little farther but shuts down again.  After a couple of restarts the app becomes unstable and I have to uninstall and reinstall again.  This is consistent on both the iphone and ipad.

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  • Level 5

In fact I am not suggesting anything - I just try to add a lower margin to the discussion - a margin at which the offline database still work as expected.

Sure EN should offer a solution that works within of the limits of EN; currently at a maximum of 100k notes in a single account.

I assume you are in contact with support about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys,

I‘m not sure whether that’s the best solution, but it worked for me: I turned off all offline notebooks and turned it on again one notebook at a time. I then noticed that the one single notebook wouldn‘t download. Again. Not good.

I opened the respective notebook in the regular way (not the „offline notebook setting). There was a very tiny green dot on the progress bar visible, which didn‘t move. 

I then pulled down the notes liste until the spinning wheel appeared. After that the stuck notebook refreshed and finished downloading perfectly. 

Maybe that could work for you too?

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  • Level 5

The app will only download when it is active. It is an iOS restriction that downloading will be cut a few minutes after an app goes passive.

There is a better solution to download - works since 10.4. The best time of the day is on the evening, when you don’t need the phone during the night. 

  1. Set „autoscreen lock on“ to off in iOS settings
  2. Open the EN iOS app. Go to settings, notebooks, offline notebooks. Set „all notebooks“ if you want it all, or select the notebooks you want to download.
  3. Turn the screen brightness way down
  4. Put the iPhone to a charger
  5. Now let it run over the night. EN must be the open app on the screen.

My download for appr. 6000 notes / 20 GB took less than 12hrs.

The update of the downloaded content is much faster, will happen while you use the app.

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