Problems with syncing Papers 2 for Mac and Papers 1 for iOS

Troubleshooting syncing issues

Before posting a support request, please go through the following checklist which should help with most common syncing related issues:

  • Have you read the Syncing instructions?
  • Does your Mac have Papers 2.8.3?
  • Does your iOS device have Papers 1.9.10?
  • Are your Mac and iOS devices on the same network?
  • Have you enabled syncing in Papers for iOS? Go to Settings > Syncing to do this.
  • Is there a firewall in the network that prevents network service auto-discovery?
  • Is there a firewall in the network that prevents your Mac from connecting to the iOS device?
  • Does your issue correspond to any of the frequent issues listed below?

Working around networks issues (device autodiscovery / firewall)

You can create a computer-to-computer network using your Mac and connect to it with your iOS device to work around most networking issues. Make sure there are no firewall rules on your Mac itself that prevent device auto-discovery or linking.

You'll find instructions for setting up an adhoc network from here:

If you normally connect to the internet via Airport on your computer, this will interrupt access to internet, but this is only needed until you have synced Papers, and you should then disable the internet sharing.

Papers for Mac and Papers for iOS currently require the Mac to be auto-discoverable using Bonjour). This mechanism does not work in some institutional networks where the Mac and the iOS device cannot necessarily be placed in the same subnetworks with link-local addresses. Creating a computer-to-computer network is currently the only workaround for this issue.

Frequent issues with syncing requiring no software updates

The issues noted below can be resolved with no software updates. We will however improve the syncing workflow with upcoming updates to Papers for Mac and iOS to avert these common sources of confusion.

  • ** Network connection is unstable or slow even when using an adhoc connection**: upgrade the device to iOS5. Alternatively enable the airplane mode or disable Bluetooth on your device. In cases where users have reported network connection stability issues, turning off Bluetooth has been reported to improve both connection stability and speed.

    • The computer running Papers for Mac is not seen in the list of computers in the Sync Settings view on Papers for iOS, which shows simply "Searching...". This is normal, and does not indicate network issues or the inability of Papers for iOS to link with your Mac. When syncing with Papers 2 (as opposed to Papers 1.x) you instead find the iOS device listed in the "Devices" Preferences tab, where you can link the two devices. We realise it is confusing that the Mac is not seen in the device list, and will improve this in the next update.
    • "Preparing library..." remains on the Papers for iOS screen for a long time. This is caused by Papers for iPad analysing PDFs in your library prior to the first sync. This processing can take a long time on the first time you sync with a large number of PDFs on your iOS device that have never been opened for reading.
  • A "Waiting..." message is seen indefinitely on Papers for iOS screen with a spinning wheel. This indicates that the device is waiting for you to configure the syncing on the Mac, or for Papers for Mac to finish processing the synced library. This can feel confusing, and we hope to improve it in the next Papers for iOS release.