Accessing DEVONthink database's documents without a running version of DEVONthink

My trial period of DEVONthink finished and I think I will buy a license – I am very impressed with the program –, but it surprised me that, without a license, I do not see a way to export my documents. What worries me is the future. One of the things that I have read about DEVONthink’s approach, and it is something that is important to me, is that your documents are not locked in someone else ’s proprietary format.

So, let’s say that in 10 years I find a DEVONthink database in a harddrive and want to see its contents. Is it really necessary to have a running version of DEVONthink in order to access them? Or how could it be done?

Thank you for any insights.


You should not mess about in the internals of a DEVONthink database, but you can Control-click the .dtBase2 file in the Finder and choose Show Package Contents. The files are stored in the Files.noindex directory. However note they are not stored in groups as you had them in the application.

At the moment you don’t want to use the program anymore, you can drop the files outside of it. They are stored in complete original format.

OK, understood :slight_smile:

I am very happy to hear this. It is good enough for me.

Thanks for answering so fast and congratulations for your software!


Thank you.

It was the sudden realisation, when the trial expired, that I didn’t know how to recover files from databases without a copy of DEVONthink running.

You’re very welcome :blush: