Questions and Answers
Can't I use sync for backups?
While sync can be used to restore a database in an emergency, sync should not be your only backup. The sync data is chunked, DEVONthink-specific raw data about the databases and is only useful to DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go. A proper backup should be application-agnostic.
Can I use multiple Dropbox accounts?
No, we’re afraid. The official Dropbox API only pairs with one account at a time.
Can I use OneDrive, Google Drive, …?
Not yet. If you would like to use DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go with a service that is not yet supported, feel free to let us know. We might add support for it in the future.
Do I have to sync whole databases?
DEVONthink for Mac always uploads complete databases. You can exclude indexed items, though.
DEVONthink To Go always syncs the metadata for whole databases but you can select for the location, the database, or individual groups if you want to sync their content files too. If you sync only the metadata you can download the actual content later on demand.
How do I switch sync methods?
There is no direct switching between sync methods, e.g., between iCloud and Dropbox sync locations. The sync data isn’t shared between locations.
In DEVONthink: Control-click the sync location in DEVONthink’s Preferences > Sync and choose Clean Location. This will remove the sync data in that location. Enable the new sync location, adjusting the options for the location as desired, then sync a database. Enable other databases as needed.
In DEVONthink To Go: Tap the Edit link in DEVONthink To Go’s Settings > Sync: Locations. Add the new sync method, adjusting the options, and saving it.
If you are using a shallow sync, i.e., Download Files: On demand, and you are not syncing to a new location already synced by your Mac, you must leave the old sync location active. Tap the new location and sync a database. DEVONthink To Go will pull the contents from the old location to upload to the new sync location. If you are syncing to a new location to which you’ve already synced your Mac, the contents of the files should be in the sync location already.
If you are using a full sync, i.e., Download Files: Always, the content of the files in fully synced databases is already local to DEVONthink To Go, so tap the new location and sync a database. Repeat as needed.
After you have synced successfully, you can left-swipe the old sync location, and choose Clean to remove the sync data from the old location.
How safe is my data during a sync?
If you set an encryption key for a sync store all data is AES 256 bit encrypted before leaving the device and is stored in encrypted form on the server. It can only be retrieved using the correct key. The same is true for direct connections where all data is encrypted using the key set in the Bonjour options.
In addition, the username and password you set for newly created databases is used as soon as you sync the database to another device. The database cannot be retrieved from a sync store or via direct connection without entering the right credentials.
I have lost my encryption key. Can you recover it?
Unfortunately no. The encryption key is never shared with us. If we could recover your encryption key anyone else could do this too. We’re using strong encryption to ensure that your privacy (at the time of this writing) can’t be cracked without substantial computing power, if at all. Are you sure that you don’t have noted it down on some piece of paper somewhere?
What is CloudKit and should I switch to it?
iCloud comprises several components. One of them is the file service with iCloud Drive being its user-facing part. Another component is CloudKit, a database service that works behind the curtain and can only be used by applications directly.
DEVONthink’s old iCloud sync was based on the file service which did not let it live up to the maximum possible performance. Contrary to that, the CloudKit sync uses the backend database’s capabilities for a fast, single-pass sync.