Zettelkasten Forum

Sync issues when using VPN

@ctietze, I have been having sync issues for at least two months and was finally able to isolate the problem to TA.

Here's my setup:

  • MBP (10.13.6)
  • iPhone 6s (12.4)
  • iPad Air (12.4)
  • Mac Mini (10.12)
  • TA on MBP/Mac Mini
  • 1Writer is my primary writing App on iOS
  • NordVPN on all devices
  • iCloud for sync services


  • Unable to sync TA/1Writer across devices when NordVPN is active. No problem syncing when NordVPN is deactivated.

Submitted a ticket to NordVPN but decided to do further testing and discovered that I am able to sync to the TA iCloud folder when using any other writing App such as iA Writer. I have tested this on all devices and syncing works as expected with no issues.

I am unfortunately not certain when this problem began because my syncing has been a bit funky for awhile but I ignored it thinking that it was not major. It's really become a MAJOR problem over the past couple moths and is affecting my workflow.

Greatly appreciate any insights...


  • Wow, that's a weird problem :)

    First: What exactly do you see? Outdated notes in The Archive? Sync conflicts? Duplicate files?

    So 1Writer receives updates on iOS just fine. I haven't used NordVPN -- is your iOS device connecting via VPN as well, or just the Mac, and the iOS stuff is on cellular?

    I wonder what happens when you look at the iCloud folder in Finder. The Archive doesn't do anything fancy, it just reacts to changes to the local directory:

    • When you create a note in 1Writer, does the note show up in the directory when you look at it with Finder? Does it take super long?
    • And when you delete a note? (Creating and deleting are easier to observe because the file just pops in and out.)
    • When you edit a note in 1Writer, how long until the file contents change? (Observe via Quicklook or TextEdit)

    If the low-level iCloud file syncing works reliably and as you expect, I can investigate what The Archive is doing.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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