Troubleshooting WiFi Sync

The Desktop WiFi service lets you sync Codebook on a mobile device (e.g. Android, iPhone) with Codebook on a Mac or Windows PC over your local WiFi network. WiFi Sync is initiated from the mobile device. If you are having trouble running WiFi Sync, please try these troubleshooting steps.

Before we get started, be sure that:

  1. You have enabled WiFi sync under Codebook preferences on the Desktop.
  2. Codebook is currently running on the Desktop and you are logged in.

Are you running the Windows or macOS firewall, a VPN client, virus protection software or a similar product? If so, please try to configure your software to allow Codebook to accept incoming connections, specifically to port 57419. This should allow connection attempts from Codebook on your mobile device to Codebook running on your desktop to pass through a firewall.

At times we've seen mobile devices fail to establish an actual WiFi connection even though the WiFi bars in the status bar indicate a connection. And some customers don't realize that they have to be on the same local WiFi network as their desktop/laptop in order to make the sync connection from their mobile device. First, ensure you are connected to the same WiFi network as your desktop. If it appears to be connected already and sync isn't working, try turning your mobile device's WiFi feature off and on again.

It often happens that home networking products like WiFi routers have bugs and need to be restarted once in a while. Many of our customers who report that sync suddenly stopped working find that rebooting their WiFi router does the trick. Usually this can be accomplished by disconnecting power from the device, and then reconnecting it to cause a restart.

On Codebook for Windows there is a status area at the bottom of the window that shows what port the sync service is running on (57419) if it's running, or an error message if not. If you see the message "Unable to register Bonjour/Zeroconf provider" then Bonjour for Windows is not installed on your computer. The Bonjour protocol (also known as Zeroconf or mDNS) is used by all of our platforms to initiate synchronization over WiFi networks.

Bonjour is usually installed alongside iTunes for Windows, but users who do not (or do not wish to) install iTunes must download and install the stand-alone Bonjour for Windows package from Apple here:

Once installed, re-launch Codebook for Windows and you should see a status message that says "Started listener on Port 57419". You may be prompted during startup from the Windows firewall to "Allow access to port 57419 for Codebook.exe".

Note: Installing the Bonjour service is not required to use Codebook as a standalone application or for synchronization using Dropbox or Google Drive. In these cases this warning message can be safely ignored.

By default Windows should prompt you to Allow Codebook through the Windows Defender Firewall when selecting WiFi sync. Sometimes the default selection to "Allow Codebook" isn't proper, or your network classification has changed since you first "Allowed Codebook". Here are instructions for ensuring that your Firewall exception matches your network classification: Adding Codebook to Allow Apps for Windows Defender Firewall

Starting in iOS 14, you need to allow Codebook to access other devices on your local network. You should be prompted the first time you attempt to sync at which point you should choose "Allow". If you accidentally choose "Deny" or are receiving an error when attempting to sync, please visit iOS Settings > Privacy > Local Network and turn on the switch next to Codebook, then attempt to sync again.

If you run two copies of Codebook at once on your Mac, and you have enabled the Desktop WiFi sync service, you will receive an error from Codebook, stating that it is "Unable to start sync listener on port 57419."

WiFi sync error alert

The error alert advises you to Quit the other copy of Codebook to resolve the issue. However, if the issue persists, it may be the case that some other software on your Mac is already using port 57419. To check if this is the case, run the following command in the Terminal app:

lsof -n -iTCP:57419 | grep LISTEN

When a program is using that port, the command above will display output like the following:

Codebook 21641 mmalibu 15u IPv4 0x69be530d558fb0f 0t0 TCP *:57419 (LISTEN)

The output begins with the process name, the process ID number, and the login name of the user running the process.

In other cases specific issues are introduced with router configurations. For instance, in the past we've had positive results by disabling "Wireless Isolation", Enabling RIP settings to RIP1, and disabling IPV6. It might be worth trying some of those options (or their equivalents) on your router.

If after ruling out the above possibilities still can't sync Codebook on your Android or iOS device with your computer, it may be worthwhile to try to enter the desktop's IP address into Codebook to see if a direct connection works:

  • Start by finding the IP address of your computer. There are great instructions here: Knowledge Base - Finding your Computer's IP address.
  • Ensure Codebook is running on your desktop, signed in, and that WiFi sync is enabled.
  • Launch Codebook on your iOS or Android device and sign in.
  • Bring up the Sync view, tap "Choose a computer", then at the top of the network browser view, tap on the Edit/Compose icon in the navigation bar.
  • Enter either the IP address of your desktop (or a host name) and click "Done".
  • Tap the Start button at the top-right of the Sync view, in the navigation bar to start sync.

If sync succeeds, the issue is probably that something is blocking Bonjour on your network. If Codebook fails to make the connection via IP this tells us that for whatever reason there is no route to that host on your network from your mobile device.

Feel free to contact us directly for help.