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✔ SOLVED: after update: Evernote on Android phone unusable

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a couple of weeks ago, after an update, my email address and password were correctly identified, so I seemed to be inside the app. But there were no notes any more. When trying to do a sync to see my notes I got the following message on my Android phone:


"Reading/Writing error in data base

The data base file cannot be created by Evernote. If the problem continues, restart the device and make sure that the storage card is not full.

android.database.sqlite.sqliteexception: unable to open database file"


(Original German text: "Lese-/Schreibfehler in Datenbank
Die Datenbankdatei kann nicht von Evernote erstellt werden. Wenn das Problem weiterhin besteht, starte das Gerät neu und stell sicher, dass die Speicherkarte nicht voll ist.
android.database.sqlite.sqliteexception: unable to open database file")

The SD card has 64 GB, an only about 10 percent are used so far.


I uninstalled and reinstalled several times - which did not change anything.


I am a little bit dependent on Evernote, so I would be really pleased if someone could tell me how to fix this!


Hopefully: bond1cht



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  • Level 5*

Depending on what version of Android you have,  any space left on the external SD card might be totally academic.  AFAIK only photos,  video and music can -reliably- be stored there in recent versions,  and if your device is low on storage,  that means the device internal storage,  and/ or what used to be USB storage,  but now seems to come up as 'internal' SD card storage.


To make sure your notes are OK,  login via Evernote.com in a desktop browser,  or install the Evernote desktop client.  To see your notes on the Android,  try freeing up some device storage and cancel any 'offline searchable' notebooks you might have set up.

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Thank you for your quick reply, gazumped! It seems I made things seem more dramatic than they are - but it is still quite puzzling.


- My Evernote notes obviously have not been altered or deleted, thank goodness. I am able to access them via browser or desktop client. The only problem seems to be Evernote on the mobile.


- Maybe I should stress that on the mobile I seem to be able to log into my Evernote account: After typing my email address and my password, the empty notebook structure with my alias appears. So the program knows my alias - but is not able to retrieve my notes.


- I made an attempt to install Evernote after I removed the external SD card. I got an error message telling me that Evernote requires an external SD card. So although Android suggests a storage problem, I do not think this is the point (about 50 percent of internal storage and 90 percent of external storage seem to be free - this is what several indicators tell me).


- I looked around to find out how to cancel 'offline searchable' notebooks, but did not find any hints. (As the notebook on the mobile is empty, I cannot do this on the mobile.)

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On your mobile,  swipe the Evernote main screen to the right and choose 'notebooks' from the listing.  That should give you a list of your notebooks.  Tap the three dots to the right of a notebook name to enable/ disable offline sync.

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As I said, the problem is that after that update Evernote on my mobile is empty:


Notes   0

Notebooks   0

Tags   0


If Evernote cannot write anything onto the SD card, syncing is not possible, so I cannot transfer the notes I am using on other devices onto the mobile.

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By default your notes are not downloaded to devices without permanent (HD) storage.  A "sync" for Android is normally just an index of available notes so that you can search for,  and download a note temporarily to view or to edit - although the phone should show the same total notes in all notebooks that your desktop/ web apps do.


It is possible to set one or more notebooks to 'offline searchable" which means you get the whole shebang downloaded to the phone. 


If you're not seeing any notes at all then sync apparently hasn't happened yet.  For starters I'd suggest uninstalling the app,  restarting the phone and  trying again.  This may be tied in with internal storage,  or it might just be a hiccup with a new version.

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My smart phone does have an internal storage card plus a 64 GB SD card. And as I wrote, Evernote seems to need the latter - the app refused to install onto the internal storage. You wrote: "By default your notes are not downloaded to devices without permanent (HD) storage." So if there is permanent storage available, why does Evernote not put its data base there?


You suggest uninstalling and reinstalling to enable syncing. As I wrote in my original post, I have uninstalled and reinstalled Evernote several times. Since the problem appeared, the phone has been turned off and restarted at least a dozen times. But syncing is still not possible.


There's something else that I find quite strange. The message I quoted in my first post appears not only when I try syncing, but each time after I start up the phone - even if I do not call up the Evernote app! (Message translated from German: "Reading/Writing error in data base - The data base file cannot be created by Evernote. If the problem continues, restart the device and make sure that the storage card is not full. android.database.sqlite.sqliteexception: unable to open database file".)


Maybe I should stress that before that Evernote update maybe 2 weeks ago, the app worked perfectly fine on the mobile. All notes were accessible, like on my PC - and on my Android tablet! I forgot to mention the latter so far! Why would Evernote have access to the data base on the Android tablet, but not on the Android phone? I am quite sure that when updating the app I followed the very same procedure on both Android devices.


Is it possible to do a COMPLETE uninstall of Evernote on the phone, i. e. to erase all user data? That might create a basis for a clean reinstall. What do you (or others) think?

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I appreciate you already said 'uninstalled and reinstalled several times',  but sometimes just that one more time...


In theory,  uninstalling Evernote does remove all data.  In practice if you go to Evernote > Settings > General Settings > Search and Storage,  you can clear search history and the cache.  You might also want to check the Applications settings in your Android Settings too - does Evernote show as installed on the SD card or device storage?  If it's on the SD,  move it back to device storage before you uninstall / reinstall (again).


This fixation on the SD card suggests there's a problem there - whether it's an Android issue or an Evernote one though is above my level of expertise!

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Like PhillipeD, I had a faulty SD card on my SG3 several months ago and it took several weeks of random problems with various apps before I figured out it was the phone, not me or any of my apps. You might want to consider having your tablet looked at.

I give up. This is just eating up my time and totally futile.

Maybe the problem will be fixed with a new version of Evernote.

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Thanks a lot to PhilippeD and Wordsgood! In a way, giving up helped.


I just didn't expect this would be a simple hardware problem. After changing the SD card (maybe 64 GB were just too much??) and reinstalling Evernote, the app called up all my notes by itself. Great.


Thanks to gazumped, too, for continuing the discussion.

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