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[Spike] Investigate reading lists disappearances
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Both apps teams (iOS and Android) have gotten a significant number of requests to improve the stability of reading lists. There are occasional reports of data loss - people their reading lists. There presently isn't a way to backup reading lists and the teams aren't entirely sure of the use cases in which people lose their reading lists. These issue effects the validity of our apps.


  • Chronicle the use cases reported by uses where reading lists fail
  • Investigate from a tech perspective, why the app is failing in these use cases

Nice to Have

  • Establish solutions for fixing the root cause of crashes
  • Estimate level of effort to fix root causes of crashes based on preferred root cause
  • Estimate level of effort to offer exporting reading lists

User Stories

As a Product Manager for the apps, I would like to know in what cases reading lists fail and what level of effort it would take to fix the crashes, so that I can scope a project that resolves reading lists failing and mitigate losing app users.

Event Timeline

JTannerWMF triaged this task as Medium priority.Feb 8 2022, 11:39 PM

@ABorbaWMF Could you come up with any testing steps we might suggest to users who report this problem?

@MattCleinman Could you add any technical details that would be helpful for users to provide?


I'm a bit confused by the title and description of this task mentioning "crashes" -- I don't recall seeing users reporting crashes, but merely observing reading lists disappearing.
It's precisely because we haven't seen any crashes that makes reproducing this issue so difficult.

MattCleinman renamed this task from Investigate reading lists crashes to Investigate reading lists disappearances.Feb 11 2022, 12:41 AM
MattCleinman updated the task description. (Show Details)

@Dbrant Good point. I've changed terminology here to call it an "issue" and "disappearance".

Hello, I have tried a few things, but so far I have not been able to reproduce this issue. I tried the following combos as a logged-in and logged-out, with and without restarting the device, and with and without the app running while updating. I will keep trying.

Builds -
10-25-21 to 02-10-22
08-03-21 to 01-24-22
02-17-21 to 02-07-22

I'm getting the builds from here:

@ABorbaWMF thanks for looking into this - apparently it's not going to be an easy one to find. Thank you for looking into. the upgrade paths. Hopefully folks who have experienced it can help us narrow down the cause - we'll start sending those follow-up questions out to people shortly.

Update from user with 5000 Yellowstone articles saved:;TicketID=11788718#14921459

Occurs on the most recent App Store version: (6.9.2)

image.png (1×2 px, 417 KB)

+1 user sent this to us via the Android support email:

No syncretization between 3 Android devices

Screenshot_20220913-172950_Wikipedia.jpg (2×1 px, 409 KB)

Screenshot_20220913-173135_Wikipedia.jpg (2×1 px, 179 KB)

Screenshot_20220913-173250_Settings.jpg (2×1 px, 115 KB)

Screenshot_20220913-173330_Settings.jpg (2×1 px, 79 KB)

+1 user from Znuny:

Unfortunately, since the latest iOS update, the saved articles in the app are not showing
in offline mode.

Version: WikipediaApp/ (iOS 15.7; Phone)

+1 through the iOS support email:
After update, my saved articles disappeared from the in app list, and all related data is not viewable.
I didn't have sync enabled, so only the local data exists.
I viewed the data usage of bookmarked articles in the app, and it said that feature was using 170 megs—despite not having any of these pages viewable.

I exported my app data via the built in tool, and checked the saved pages in the sql file—and it only showed the ones I added after the data loss. Hundreds of pages of vital information were saved here, so I would appreciate any information regarding it.
I can provide the related files if requested.

Seddon renamed this task from Investigate reading lists disappearances to [Spike] Investigate reading lists disappearances.Sep 26 2023, 2:10 PM