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Resolving repeated “The server ‘Omni Sync’ requires authentication” prompts

OmniFocus needs a password to access your Omni Sync Server account, and an encryption passphrase to decrypt the synced copy of your OmniFocus database stored there. For most OmniFocus users, the password and passphrase are the same (linked). The prompt The server "Omni Sync" requires authentication is a request for the password to your account.

Once you’ve provided OmniFocus with the right account password, it stores that as an entry in Keychain Access, and it should not need to prompt for authentication again unless you change your password. That said, we’ve seen some instances where OmniFocus unexpectedly continues to prompt for authentication even if the correct password is provided.

If you appear to be encountering this, please try the following troubleshooting steps:

Check for correct password

You can quickly check to see if you are using the right password by attempting to log into your account’s Manage page.

If you can sign into that webpage, but OmniFocus continues to prompt for authentication, continue on to the remaining sections.

If you are unable to sign into that webpage, please reference the following support article for help recovering your password: Resolving Omni Sync Server password issues.

Delete Old Keychain Entries

Sometimes an issue develops between OmniFocus and your Mac’s keychain that stores your password. In these cases, deleting the existing entries that OmniFocus has added in the past, so that it can recreate a new entry, can help to get things working correctly again. Here is what to do:

**Make sure you know your current OmniFocus password/passphrase before trying these steps**

  1. Quit OmniFocus if it is open.
  2. On a Mac, open Keychain (found in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder).
  3. In the search field, type omni.
  4. Find any entries that match the following:
    •|your_account_name|Omni Sync
    • (your_account_name)
    • sync[#] (your_account_name)
  5. Delete all the matching keychain entries.
  6. Restart your Mac.
  7. Reopen OmniFocus. You will be prompted for authentication again since there is no password on file. Enter your password, and click OK which will recreate a new keychain entry storing your password.
  8. Quit and reopen OmniFocus again. If it doesn’t ask for your password after opening, you should be all set.

Try a Safe Mode Reboot

It sounds like a technical support cliché, but we have seen this help in a lot of situations, especially if you have recently updated your operating system. Instructions for booting into Safe Mode can be found on Apple’s Support site, here. Make sure you reboot into normal mode again after doing this!

If you’re still seeing repeated prompts…

…please contact our Support team at! We’re always happy to help.

Last Modified: Jul 25, 2019

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