Sync failure?

I've been trying GoodTask for a couple of days – not the first time, but I think it will stick this time.

However, I'm running into a sync problem. I've customized Smart Lists on my Mac but the customizations do not appear on the iPhone or iPad. Worse, I'm finding smart lists returned to what appears to be their default settings when I return to the Mac after using GoodTask on the iPhone or iPad.

I have tried turning sync off and on again, resetting the appropriate upload and download settings, but I can't get smart lists to sync.

What's the fix for this, please?

Hi @MitchWagner, , thanks for using GoodTask.

Lists are synced through 'Preferences'. Preferences are synced through 'iCloud Drive' with files.

First on your Mac, open Finder and go into 'iCloud Drive/GoodTask/Settings' and see if lists.plist file is there.

You can also check inside the app's Preferences - Sync. On that page, it'll show you which device and time the file has been created.

If it's not there or the data is not the one you're expecting, click 'Upload' to change it with the data on your Mac.

After that, go to iPhone app and check 'Settings - iCloud Sync'. If it's not automatically changed, tap 'Download' to sync the data.


Earlier today, the same bug recurred. I opened the app on the iPad, then returned to my Mac to find that all the changes I'd made to smart lists had been lost. Smart lists was returned to factory default, as far as I could seek.

So I tried your instructions, and they did not fix the problem. On the Mac, I changed the built-in 5 scheduled tasks to 10 scheduled tasks, changing both the name and the number of tasks shown. I checked for lists.pists, and it exists in the right place. I checked preferences, and it showed the right sync time.

I opened the app on the iPhone and the changes did not show up. I downloaded the sync file from iCloud – the file showed as having updated at the appropriate time, but the changes did not show up on my iPhone.

I am still showing the correct, current smart list configuration on my Mac, but the incorrect, older lists on my iPhone. I haven't checked the iPad recently but I don't expect that will change – indeed, I expect that when I open the app there, the iPad smart lists will overwrite the Mac smart lists and restore the Mac to its factory settings.

What's our next step to fix this?

Thanks again!

Thanks for the details. Try editing your list on your Mac and see if changes come in on iPhone. Normally changes should be reflected if it's shown on 'Settings - iCloud Sync'. If you don't have 'Automatic Preferences Sync' turned on, you may try 'Download' directly.


I followed your instructions, and also rebooted my Mac. I'm still not syncing between the Mac and other devices, though I do seem to be syncing between the iPhone and iPad.

I am no longer having changes to the Mac app overwritten by changes from the iPad, so that's a step in the right direction.

What shall I try next to fix the problem?


Hi @MitchWagner, thanks for the explanation.

  1. Sync runs on file base which is shown on 'Settings - iCloud Sync' (Preferences - Sync on Mac). Device and time needs to be same on all devices. If not, you can check 'iCloud Drive/GoodTask/Settings' in Finder or Files app on iOS.

  2. If you have 'Automatic Preferences Sync' running, it should sync automatically but if not, you can tap 'Download'. If it's not working automatically, you may try turning it off and then make some changes. Check if date status changes and then try downloading.


Trial 1:

iCloud sync times were set the same for both Mac and iPhone. I'm not even looking at the iPad for now – I'll deal with that later.

I switched off sync on both the iPhone and Mac.

I created a smart list on the iPhone.

I turned on sync on the iPhone, and set it to upload.

I turned on sync on the Mac, and set it to download.

Result: Failure. The iPhone and Mac are out of sync.

Trial 2:

Sync times are the same on both the Mac and iPhone.

I turned off sync on both devices.

I deleted two smart lists on the Mac and then created smart a list.

I switched on sync on the Mac and set it to download.

I switched sync on for the iPhone and set it to download.

Result: Failure. The iPhone and Mac are out of sync.

Trail 3.

I completely uninstalled Goodtask from the Mac, thinking that maybe a problematic file or permission is causing the failures.

I plan to reinstall it if I want to continue the trial, and if the sync problems recur I'll return to this forum. But for now, I'm going to see if I can make do with basic Reminders.

Thank you for working with me on resolving this problem, even if it proved unsuccessful. And on Christmas too!

Thanks for the details.

  • Sync status showing device and time will change as you edit lists.

  • If you have 'Automatic Preferences Sync' turned on, you don't need to tap Download or Upload. It'll be done automatically.

  • Download and Upload buttons are used to manually upload or download current status. All sync are done for range of checked items below. (Lists, Themes, etc)

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

I reinstalled GoodTask from SetApp, and the problem seems to be resolved. I created a Smart List on the desktop, and it synced almost immediately on the the iPhone, and vice-versa. Still haven't tried on the iPad but I do not expect a problem there.

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