Troubleshoot MobileMe sync on Mac, Windows

Learn how to access MobileMe sync logs in Mac OS X and Windows to help make troubleshooting sync problems easier.

If you ever need to troubleshoot a MobileMe sync problem, you'll need to access your MobileMe sync logs. While Mac OS X actively logs MobileMe sync data, Windows does not. Either way, this guide arms you with some good information to help troubleshoot MobileMe syncing problems on both platforms.

Mac OS X 10.6

You can find the MobileMe sync log file mobilemesync.log in the following location: ~/Library/Logs/Sync ("~" represents your Home folder).

You can always view a log file by using the Console application, like so:

  1. Launch Console by double clicking its icon, located in /Applications/Utilities
  2. Locate "Show Log List," and click it near the upper left corner of the Console window
  3. Expand ~/Library/Logs, then Sync by clicking their disclosure triangles
  4. Locate the mobilemesync.log file and select it

You'll see all the most recent sync activity in this log file for prior sync sessions (if they exist), and you can view the archive files of previous mobilemesync.log files that now end with a number.

Mac OS X v10.4.11 - Mac OS X v10.5.8

You can find the MobileMe sync log file dotmacsync.log in the following location: ~/Library/Logs/Sync, or view it via the Console application by substituting the log file name as needed. Archives are also stored, as in OS X 10.6, with numbers appended to the end of the archived log files.

All Mac OS versions of the Console application will let you save a copy of these log files to your desktop by choosing the "Save a Copy As" option from the File menu. If you currently use Mac OS X 10.6 and you upgraded to this release from an earlier version of Mac OS X then don't be surprised if you find copies of these log files using both names since the Mac OS X 10.6 update doesn't remove the older versions of the log file.

Microsoft Windows XP or Vista

Windows MobileMe syncing is a bit different from Mac OS X because Windows does not log to a file that you can refer to later. You have to generate a log file manually while within a Windows Command Prompt.

  1. Open a Command Prompt in Windows
  2. If you are running Windows in 32-bit mode, enter the following DOS command or skip to step 4
  3. type: cd "\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin" and press return
  4. type: cd "\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin" and press return
  5. Now enter the following DOS command to run a sync manually: dotmacsyncclient.exe sync, then press return

Your Windows computer will start to sync with MobileMe. While doing so, you will see logging information scroll past in the Command Prompt window. You can cut and paste this information into your favorite text editor and save a copy for future reference.

Once you've collected a copy of your MobileMe sync log on either computer platform, you'll be prepared to troubleshoot sync issues on your own, with your favorite expert, or with AppleCare support.

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We recently received a review copy of an e-book titled "Take Control of Syncing Data in Snow Leopard" from Take Control Books and it offers a great in depth look at syncing on your Mac between another Mac, iPhone, iPod, mobile phone, or PDA. The publisher has offered a 30 percent discount on the e-book for CNET readers who visit this link. Clicking the Buy e-book button will add it to the shopping cart along with the discount applied. This offer doesn't apply to the print-on-demand version of the book.

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