3 iOS devices with same databases report huge differences in file size?

There are two database A and B synced by iCloud CloudKit to three iOS devices (one iPhone and two iPads).

For each device the DTTG top screen “?”-icon and the iOS setting are reporting different sizes!!

iPhone11: 94,35 GB / 36716 objects and iOS size 122,77 GB !!!
iPad mini 4: 55,51 GB / 36707 objects and iOS size 55,78 GB
iPad Pro 10.5: 65,04 GB / 36705 objects and iOS size 137,12 GB !!!

It seems that the iPhone 11 and the iPad Pro occupy to much storage.

To complete the picture, here the info for the corresponding databases on my Mac Mini:

Database / DT 3.6.2. / Finder size
A / 35.224 objects & 38,1 GB / 43,36 GB
B / 64 objects & 7,4 GB / 7,43 GB


  1. What is going wrong on my iOS devices?
  2. Is there an optimise or rebuild command for the iOS databases?
  3. There is also a difference for the number of objects.

BR Herb

Only the sizes and numbers shown in File > Database Properties are comparable, the Finder sizes might vary (e.g. depending on internal backups and includes also index & metadata).

So, only the info provided by DT desktop app are valid?
Of course, the finder size will differ. Database A has a lot of groups, replicantsetc., so 38,1GB of data reported by DT account for 43,36 GB on the file system. Fair enough.
Database A is containing mostly video files, so the overhead is almost zero.

But black to the figure on the iOS devices:
iOS and DTTG “?”-icon report huge differences within the three devices.

Okay, iOS reporting on storage consumption is not rocket science, but it proved to be true, when the device is running out of space.

How about the reporting of DTTG in terms of objection numbers and storage consumption?

I had hoped you would jump in and give some advice how to reduce the huge storage consumption on some of my iOS devices.

On DT desktop there are the tools:

  • Datenbank überprüfen und reparieren (verify & repair)
  • Datenbank optimieren (optimise)
  • Neuaufbau der Datenbank (rebuild)

Are there tools for DTTG 3 as well?

What can I do?

No those tools aren’t available in DEVONthink To Go (and a verify & repair wouldn’t reduce the size much anyways).

If DEVONthink To Go 2 deleted in the devices?

Also you can disable Spotlight and preview generation in DEVONthink To Go’s Settings, as those contribute to the space reported in iOS.

And what kind of sync are you using?

The sizes displayed here are the actual size of the data store on disk. This includes the metadata database, the full-text index database, and all downloaded files. So if you synchronize shallowly you’ll see much lower numbers here.

You can check the “official” size of all items in a database when you tap the (i) button on the top level of any database. This should give you the same numbers as DEVONthink gives you for that database.

I learnt the other day about the left swipe on the database listed within the sync location.
And it is actually offering “Überprüfen”, “Gründlich überprüfen” and “leeren” ??

Yes, deleted an all iOS devices.

Okay, disabled spotlight. Should be okay for me – I usually search only with DTTG.
Okay, disabled preview generation as well – What is the trade off here?
Result: It did not reduce the storage figures.

I using only iCloud CloudKit sync.

The (i)-buttonts reports for database A / B the following:

iPhone 38,4GB / 7,4GB
iPad Pro 38,4 Gb / 7,4 GB
iPad mini --* GB / 14,4 GB !! * even after 5 Minutes no result for size
(and for both database the switch for “Dateien laden” was set on “manuell” and movable to “immer”)??

So, iPhone and iPad Pro are in line.

The results for the (?) button / iOS were

iPhone 94,85 GB / 123,3 GB
iPad Pro 65,61 GB / 137,68 GB
iPad mini --* / 56,3 GB * even after 5 minutes waiting no result

Note: There are the same database on each iOS devices freshly synced by CloudKit.

Any advice,

  • how to get reasonable storage consumptions?
  • what is wrong with the “Dateien laden” setting on the iPad min under (i) button?

The item and size numbers for the databases from the Info button are looking okay for your iPhone and iPad Pro, I presume?

Similar for the actual file consumption stats from the (?) button:

  • The size reported by DEVONthink To Go on the Help screen is the real size of all files in its data store including the metadata database, full-text index, manually downloaded files, previews, thumbnails, sync data, and temporary files.
  • The size reported by iOS’ Settings also includes, e.g., the Spotlight index and the version 2 data store. The latter is copied using a APFS copy to create the V3 data store. It is listed here but does not really consume twice the space. APFS makes shallow copies that only begin to take up more space when you save a new version of a file. Therefore, APFS volumes can technically contain more data that their real size and size calculations in this brave new world are not what they used to be in earlier times.

Hi Eric,
thanks for this further explanation.
At the moment, I am in the comfortable position with enough headroom (iOS with256 GB storage).

Beside some hiccups I am very happy with the new CloudKit and the great improvement with DTTG !!
Especially, the ability to run other apps on DTTG files is a major step.

I am going to disable preview generation and spotlight on all iOS devices and wait some time to see if the storage figures are going back to normal.
Suggestion: Please add some information in the manual what the above two settings really mean and what the trade-offs are.

I am curious to for @BLUEFROG feedback on my DTTG database maintenance swipe options within the sync location.

BR Herb

1 Like

Oops, I couldn’t see my nose in front of my face :grimacing:
Thanks for helping me.

No worries and you’re welcome :slight_smile: