3.0 Can't download doc in a sync database

Three days ago I have sync a 3.0 database between desktop and notebook using dropbox, and most of the folders/files in the database are index to iCloud or local HD. Today I tried to access the files in my notebook and found out that some but not all of the files from the same index group are available for view. Some files show a message “file not yet available” and a button “download”. I clicked on the button a few times but nothing happen. Is that normal?
Thanks in advance

DEVONthink doesn’t synchronize files/folders in indexed cloud folders (e.g. iCloud or Dropbox) on its own on the Mac, only the metadata is synchronized. It’s up to the cloud client to handle this, otherwise e.g. Dropbox would create duplicates.

If the indexed items are located outside of cloud folders, then please ensure that the sync location on both Macs synchronizes indexed items and that the path exists on both machines.

My apology if the question is naive:
I thought the option “Synchronise content of indexed items” will pack all files of the index items (from iCloud or dropbox) into the sync store for online access? I thought “download” button is just sort of “download on demand” to reduce the amount of time or resources in synchronisation.

That’s correct but in case of cloud folders it’s only used by DEVONthink To Go (as there are no indexed items on iOS) but not on the Mac to avoid the mentioned conflicts.

To clarify, in the setup of all macOS computers
(1) If a DT group is index to a cloud folder, and the cloud folder is accessible by all synchronised computers, there should be no issue in accessing any data? (In fact, that’s what I did for 2.n and I never have any issue)

(2) However, if a DT group is index to a folder that is located in the local HD of one computer, then the other “synchronised” computers can see the index group but not the access of the items within?

Ah, I might have misunderstood what you said. What you are saying is:
If I index folder1…folderN into DT3 on one macOS machine, I need to replicate the same path/folder structure on the HD of the other synchronised MacOS machine/s in order to access all items?

There are two different scenarios:

  1. Indexed items located in a cloud based folder. The cloud client has to transfer the actual files/folders, DEVONthink on the Mac synchronizes only the metadata of the items.

  2. Indexed items located in any other folder. It’s only important that the same volumes (e.g. of external discs) exist on the destination machines. Items on the startup volume or in the home directory are of course always unproblematic.

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Got it. Thanks for the patience and very detailed explanation.

One addendum:
DEVONthink’s syncing indexed items syncs to the same relative location on the other Macs. If you index a folder on your Desktop on Mac A, Mac B will end up with the same folder on it’s Desktop when it syncs.

Regarding indexing local files used with a cloud service like Dropbox, the local folder should be in the same relative location.
Dropbox suggests ~/Dropbox by default and we suggest this location is used. If you use a different location, like ~/Documents/Dropbox, on one of the machines, you will get missing file errors.

Thank you.
I name my desktop’s HD as “Macintosh HD” and those of notebook as “MacBook HD”…! After changing the two names to the same one everything is smooth now.

Interesting… Where are you indexing files from?

Just folders under the normal path ~/users/username/documents.
I used to have a “misperception” that the sync package will include the actual files of those non-cloud index items (which is correct) AND DT will simply extract those files directly from the package on demand (which is incorrect for macOS based synchronisation). But now I understand that for macOS sync the process will need to first mirror those non-cloud folder/s on the sync computer’s local HD (to establish same path) before being able to access the files. In 2.n, I only index folders in iCloud files and therefore never encounter issue relating to index files on local HD.