Mobile sync in the background

Hi all,

I know the issue of mobile sync in the background was discussed in the past. This is critical to help Joplin go mainstream.

Not having background sync renders the mobile app useless. And in today's times, a seamless cross-device experience is a must have for note taking apps.

Here's how the mobile experience looks today:

  • When I open Joplin on mobile, I need to wait for everything to sync. This could take a few minutes.
  • Once I'm done using the app, I need to invoke a sync manually and wait for it to finish before switching to another screen. Otherwise, my notes will not appear on my desktop.
  • Overall, jotting a quick note on the go, goes from something that'll take 5 seconds to > 10 minutes

I understand that the solutions are far from perfect. But this is so critical, that I don't think there's a choice. An ok solution would still provide a much better experience than the current option.

So, I suggest we pick up this PR and do the work to merge it.

Any thoughts?


I'd like to see a background sync feature as well


+1 vote for this feature. I just switched to Joplin Server from webdav sync. I deleted/reinstalled the mobile app to prevent sync issues, but now I need to sync thousands of note back to my phone.

The problem with not having background sync is that I use my phone for personal and for business, so I can't just not use it during the 12+ hour sync time without quitting my job.

Having background sync would fix this issue as then I only need to keep my phone charged for the sync process to compete.

That said, I don't know the level of effort involved with enabling background sync, but it would definitely be useful, especially for the initial device sync.

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It seems like this is was built here. It was just never added to Joplin.

The issue is that it's not 100% reliable but I still think that a background sync that works 50% of the time is much better than no sync at all.

I hope @laurent will give it another thought


I believe the concern is not that it's unreliable but rather that it can cause data loss.

I believe the concern is not that it's unreliable but rather that it can cause data loss.

AFAIK this shouldn't be the case. The background sync simply run Joplin regular sync function periodically. Even if the regular sync function is interrupted midway, data should not be lost.

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Actually I had data loss a few times on my phone because sync wasn't completed or data wasn't be stored properly.

It usually starts with some notes that can't be decrypted.
On good days I can go to "sync status" and tap on "retry".

But on days like today it doesn't work and these errors just come back after a retry with another note hash.
Maybe it's also just the general architecture of the application that causes this and the existing sync implementation is just prone to errors.

There are also various sync issues that lead to a terrible user experience. LIke the sync spinning wheel running forever while you have errors in the log.

Everytime I'm running into such issues, I'm deleting data from phone and start syncing again.
This means I need to have the mobile display on for roughly over an hour.

I like Joplin for having encryption and markdown but syncing (and the UI) is certainly not one of its strengths.