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Troubleshooting Data Syncing Problems
Troubleshooting Data Syncing Problems

If your data isn't syncing, here are some things to check.

Dan Fellman avatar
Written by Dan Fellman
Updated over a week ago

ContractorTools automatically syncs its data between your devices. To do this, these conditions must exist:

  • You are signed into the same ContractorTools account on each of your devices, or you are signed into an account in the same company as the account(s) that other devices are signed in to.

  • Each of your devices are connected to the internet, either by a Cat5 Ethernet wire (Mac), or through WiFi (Mac, iPhone, iPad) or cellular data (iPhone, iPad).

  • If a device (iPhone or iPad) is connected to the internet by cellular data, then the option to allow ContractorTools to use cellular data must be turned on. To check this, go to Settings and scroll down to and select ContractorTools in the list of installed apps. Make sure "Cellular Data" is turned on.

When these conditions are met, ContractorTools will sync its data between the devices.

That said, there are three potential issues that affect the speed and success of syncing data between your devices.

1. The Age and Speed of Your Devices

Older iPhones and iPads are considerably slower than newer ones. Older devices also tend to have less memory, and that can cause apps to run slower and even crash when they run out of memory.

2. The Quality and Speed of Your Data Connection

As with any other internet activity, the quality of your data connection will significantly affect the speed of data throughput. If you are having problems syncing ContractorTools data, you should try to sync while connected to a good WiFi network. Syncing over a cell data connection works, but it can be much slower.

3. The Amount of Data You Are Trying to Sync

Most of the data in ContractorTools is in jobs. There are two reasons you may have too much data in your jobs: a) Too many jobs, or b) Zero quantity items in jobs.

Too Many Jobs

If you've been using ContractorTools for a while, you may have accumulated a number of jobs that have been completed, or were never awarded. In this case you don't need to delete old jobs, but you should "archive" them. Archiving jobs moves them to another database which you can access if you need them in the future, but it removes them from the active database so that ContractorTools will run and sync faster. Please see this article about how to archive old jobs. And see this article about how to access jobs that have been archived

Zero Quantity Items In Jobs

ContractorTools allows you to create jobs by copying a list of items from an estimate template, or by starting with an empty template and entering items manually. Many users create estimate templates with a large number of items, but only end up using a few of those items in actual jobs. 

When you copy from a template to create a job, ContractorTools copies all of the template items into the new job. Template items have zero quantity, and do not appear in the job until you enter a quantity for each item, but they are there and will be synced to all other devices

For example, if your job template has 250 items in it, and you copy that to create a new job, even if you only enter quantities for 10 items, all 250 items from the template still exist in the job. 

For this reason, we have provided the "Delete Zero-Quantity Items" button in the lower right corner of the Estimate entry screen. We encourage you to tap "Delete Zero-Quantity Items" when you are done editing a job estimate. This will remove all of the unneeded zero quantity items from the job.

If you are not consistent about deleting zero quantity items when you're done editing job estimates, we also provide a method to delete zero quantity items in all jobs simultaneously: 

  • Go to the main menu, tap on Company Settings. 

  • Then tap 5 times in any grey area of the Company Settings screen. 

  • Enter "deletezeroquantityitems" (all lower case, no spaces) in the prompt for "Enter Support Code". This will delete the zero quantity items in all jobs.

If you are having trouble syncing, please follow these steps:

  1. Bring all of your devices to a place with good and fast WiFi internet connection (not cell data).

  2. Sign out of ContractorTools on all devices except for the one which is the fastest. You will use this one to fix the problems with the database. This will be referred to as the "main device" below.

    If you are unable to sign out of ContractorTools (because the syncing is taking too long or does not finish), you may chose to delete ContractorTools on that device.

    PLEASE NOTE: If you delete ContractorTools from a device, all data entered on that device that has not been synced to other devices WILL BE LOST.

    If you are not able to sign out of a device, and you must delete ContractorTools from it, be sure to email or print jobs on that device that are not on the "main device" before you delete ContractorTools. Another option is to send us a copy of your data and ask us to export your jobs so that you can re-import them after the data has been reset from the copy on your main device.

    To send a copy of your data... On an iPhone or iPad go, to the ContractorTools main menu (iPhone/iPad), tap on Support, then "Report a Bug". On a Mac, select Help in the toolbar (at the top of the screen), then go to "Report a Bug". Enter a brief note in the email to be sent to describe the problem so we'll know what it's about. For example: "Please export my jobs".

  3. Once you are signed out (or have removed ContractorTools) from all devices except the main device, follow the next steps on the main device:

  4. Disconnect the device/computer from the internet! As long as ContractorTools is connected to the internet, it will continue to attempt to sync the data. The easiest way to disconnect a Mac from the internet is to power off the router it is connected to. iPhones and iPads can be set to Airplane Mode. After disconnecting the main device from the internet, proceed to the following steps:

  5.  Now, delete zero quantity items. Please follow these steps to delete zero quantity items:

    Mac Computer:
    - Click Help in the dropdown menu at the top of the screen
    - Click on "Enter Support Code"
    - Enter "deletezeroquantityitems" (all lower case, no spaces) in the prompt for "Enter Support Code". This will delete the zero quantity items in all jobs.

    iPhone or iPad:
    - Go to the main menu, tap on Company Settings.
    - Then tap 5 times in any grey area of the Company Settings screen.
    - Enter "deletezeroquantityitems" (all lower case, no spaces) in the prompt for "Enter Support Code". This will delete the zero quantity items in all jobs.

  6. Once you have deleted zero quantity items, now run the Archive Utility to archive old jobs from your database.

    Please see this article for information on Archiving your data.

    Once you have deleted zero quantity items and archived your old jobs, now you are ready to re-sync the database from the "main device" to your other devices. To do that, we are going to reset the copy of the database in the cloud so that the other devices can get a fresh copy of it.

  7. Re-connect the device to the internet. (Turn on the router, or turn off Airplane Mode.)

  8. Reset the cloud data:
    - Select Company Settings in the main menu in ContractorTools
    - Select Sync Status
    - Click "Reset Cloud Data"
    - Wait until it finishes.

Now, launch ContractorTools on all of your other devices and sign in:

  • If you deleted ContractorTools from a device, re-download it from the app store and sign in. It will retrieve a fresh copy of the database from the server.

  • If you only signed out of ContractorTools on a device, when you sign in, ContractorTools will notify you that the "Cloud Data Has Been Reset", and ask if you want to "Reset Local Data from Cloud Data" or "Merge Local Data with Cloud Data". IMPORTANT: Be sure to select the option to "Reset Local Data from Cloud Data"!

Please let us know if you still have problems syncing after following the steps above.

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