Wi-Fi sync troubleshooting guide

The steps below apply to our Android and iPhone mobile apps when syncing locally using Wi-Fi mode only as well as for  (the now discontinued) YNAB 3 which was Wi-Fi Sync only capable. If you own YNAB 3 and would like to try Cloud Sync you can download a 34 day trial to see how amazing Cloud Sync is before deciding to upgrade. 

YNAB 4 can open your YNAB 3 file, but YNAB 3 cannot read a YNAB 4 file. If you do decide to go back to YNAB 3 (we think it's unlikely), you will have to re-enter the data you entered in YNAB 4. The good news is you can run YNAB 3 and YNAB 4 side-by-side to make comparison of the features and re-entry easy.

If you already own YNAB 4 and would like information on how to enable Cloud Sync there check out our Cloud Sync guide.

Syncing YNAB Mobile over Wi-Fi

First things first

  • Update your mobile app to the latest version (check the App store for updates). Update your YNAB for Desktop application as well. (go to Help>Check for Updates).
  • Your computer and mobile device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Apple does not allow apps to sync over the USB connection. Android phones won't either.
  • WiFi-sync may not work in a public Wi-Fi hotspot on a wireless business network as they often have restrictions in place that prevent device-to-device communication to prevent hacking.

Normal syncing steps

  • Make sure that your mobile device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.
  • iPhone: Tap the menu bars (top left) then the sync icon next to the budget name.
  • Android: On the main screen tap the sync icon in the top left corner.
  • Both iPhone & Android: Follow the onscreen instructions from there.

Still not working?

  1. Make sure that you have updated your mobile app to the latest version by checking for updates in the App store. Also, make sure that you have updated your YNAB for Desktop application by going to Help > Check for Updates.
  2. If you don’t have a wireless network in your home for your device to use, but you do have wireless capabilities on your computer/laptop, you can sync over an ad-hoc network but only if you own an iPhone.
    Create an Ad-Hoc network in Windows.
    Create an Ad-Hoc network on a Mac.
    Please note: Android phones do not support ad-hoc connections.

  1. If your device is connected to Wi-Fi, and your computer is connected to the same network, it’s possible that something else is preventing the sync:
  • Just to make sure, completely shut your device down (press and hold the power button until a slide appears then shut it down) then restarting it as well as rebooting your computer can get it to work again. Also reboot your wireless router. You do this by unplugging its power for 10 seconds and plugging it back in. Please don’t skip this step. It really does work sometimes, and can be an easy way to fix the problem. That will make sure we’re starting with a clean slate.
  • Make sure you don’t have any network security or firewall software that might be overzealously blocking YNAB. Try temporarily disabling them to see if it helps.
  • If you are using the Airport Extreme from Apple, and you have the Guest network enabled, temporarily disable the guest network. If you do not, your device can connect to your guest network, and your computer will connect to the real network, which causes sync not to work.
  • If you have done the above steps make sure that your computer and device are on the same network and can see each other.
  • If YNAB still can’t sync, go ahead and try to sync over an Ad Hoc network to see how that works.
  • All iPhones before the iPhone 4 (iPhone, 3g, and 3gs) are only 802.11b and 802.11g compatible. They are not 802.11n compatible. If you have a wireless router that is 802.11n, we have had reports that even though it might be set to “compatibility” mode to allow for b/g devices to connect to it, the router can get confused. Our suggestion: Log into your router and set it to use 802.11g instead of 802.11n. If you’re comfortable with things like this, consult your router’s manual for instructions on how to do this. If this feels overwhelming, or your not sure what any of the above means, please skip to the next step to contact us!
  • If it still doesn’t work, please contact our support department and tell them what symptoms and error messages you are seeing. If you can tell them what model of wireless router you are using, that would also be helpful. They’ll help you get to the bottom of it!