Getting started with Wi-Fi syncing - Papers 3 for Mac and iOS

We are excited to bring back the much awaited Wi-Fi sync feature to Papers 3 for Mac and Papers 3 for iOS. You can now sync your library between devices multiple (Mac + iOS, Mac + Mac, iOS + iOS) that are in the same local network. Wi-Fi sync is available in versions 3.3.0 and higher of both Papers for Mac and Papers for iOS.

You can download the free Papers app for iPhone/iPad here.

1. Enable Wi-Fi sync on Papers 3 for Mac and iOS

  • Go to Papers → Preferences → Sync → Local Network on your Mac.

  • In order for Papers for Mac to discover and be discoverable for syncing by other devices in the same local network you need to enable local network sync by selecting "Enable syncing with other devices on this network". Papers 3 for iOS is automatically discoverable when the app is open in the same local network.

  • Open Paper 3 for iOS in the same local network and the iOS device will appear in the Local Network settings.

  • To see available devices in the same network on Papers 3 for iOS, open the Sync Settings panel.


There are two ways to link devices together. You can either send a link request from your Mac to your iOS device, or send a link request from your iOS device to your Mac. In both cases, a linking message is sent to another device awaiting for an approval. Once you accept the linking request by selecting 'Approve', sync between the two devices is initialized automatically.

How to send a linking message from your Mac to your iOS device

  • Click 'Link' next to the device that you wish to sync with.

  • You see a dialog on your Mac showing a four digit number.

  • A link request dialog with the same four digit number will appear on your iOS device asking you to approve the linking of the two devices. Make sure the the digits are the same on both devices before accepting the linking request.

  • Tap 'Approve' on your iOS device and the sync is automatically initialized.

How to send a linking message from your iOS device to your Mac

  • Tap on the three dotted icon to open the Settings panel.

  • Tap 'Set up Synchronization'

  • You can see all the available computers and devices under 'Local Syncing'. Note that in order to see your Mac available, you need to select 'Enable syncing with other devices on this network' in the Local Network preferences in Papers for Mac.

  • Tap 'Link' next to the Mac that you wish to sync with.

  • You see a dialog on your iOS device showing a four digit number.

  • A link request dialog with the same four digit number will appear on your Mac asking you to approve the linking of the two devices. Make sure that the digits are the same on both devices before accepting the linking request.

  • Click 'Approve' on your Mac and the sync is automatically initialized.

You need only need to link your two device together once. After the initial linking, the linked device will automatically appear on the list of devices, shown in the Local network sync preference when the two devices are in the same network.


How to trigger a sync and how to enable automatic sync between two devices

When you link two devices together, the first sync between them is triggered automatically. If you want to make sure that the devices sync automatically between each others when they are both open in the same local network, you can enable this in the sync settings. Automatic sync occurs every two minutes from the time when the last sync has finished.

  • On Papers for Mac, select 'Automatically sync new changes' in the Local Network settings.

  • On Papers for iOS, toggle 'Automatic Library Syncing' in the General sync settings.

In case you want to sync right away, you can trigger a new sync on either of the linked devices.

  • On Papers for Mac: go to Papers menu → 'Sync Now' menu option, or go to Preferences > Sync > Local Network and click 'Sync Now'.

  • On Papers for iOS: go to Settings → Syncing and tap 'Sync Now'.

How to download PDFs to your iOS device

When you sync your library from your Mac or from another iOS device, only the metadata is synced across by default. In order to get access to the PDFs associated with the papers, you have three options to download the PDFs to your device. Note that you have to have the other device available in the same local network in order to download the PDFs to your iOS device.

  1. Tap on an individual paper in the library screen and the PDF is downloaded from the other computer.

  2. Tap on the cloud icon in the library screen, then select 'Download PDFs'. The cloud icon switches to a spinner wheel and the PDF download for all the publication starts. Please note that this may take a while depending on the number of PDFs.

  3. Go to Sync Settings → General and enable 'Automatic File Downloads'. This means that the PDF files are always automatically downloaded when another device is connected and available for syncing.

See also our Wi-Fi sync FAQ article.