Advice/clarification for changing sync from iCloud to Dropbox

Hello, DevonThinkers-

Some of my DT (Mac) databases sync via a sync store on Dropbox, but one syncs via iCloud. I’d like to change that one to sync via Dropbox. I don’t see anything in the sync section of the manual specifically addressing recommended practice for changing the sync store for a database (maybe I missed it). A web search on the topic turned up two documents on DevonTech’s web site with slightly different advice:

DEVONtechnologies | Transition to a New Sync Location (2018 Devonian Times post)

DEVONtechnologies | How do I switch sync methods? (undated support post)

The former says it’s just a matter of turning on the new location, waiting a while for a sync to complete, and then turning off the old location. The latter says to first clean the current location, and then set up a new location. Neither say what to do on the other Macs syncing the same database.

The manual says not to simultaneously sync to two cloud-based services like iCloud and Dropbox, which it seems to me rules out the approach in the 2018 post.

Please advise on how best to handle this, including what to do on the other Macs, once I’ve changed the store on one of them.


No great mystery or secret sauce here.
Both are correct and either approach is fine in DEVONthink. The point of the cleaning, whether it’s done first or last, is letting people know they can free up the space in the old sync location. This is important if a lot of sync data is present.

Thanks for the quick response. I’m presuming on the other Macs I just do the same thing.

Just to highlight what was confusing about whether the two approaches were both okay: The manual explicitly says not to have two cloud-hosted services active simultaneously. I guess here it’s okay because it’s brief and the user is presumably not doing anything that would trigger any sync activity.

Correct about the short period they’re both enabled.
And I would remove the sync location from the other device(s) before cleaning on the server Mac. That way they don’t start syncing to the old location again.

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Hmm. I turned off sync for the relevant database on the other Mac (MacBook) syncing.

On my main Mac, I ran File > Synchronize Database (just to be sure things were in sync). Then in DT Settings, I tried to clean the iCloud (Legacy) store, but got a dialog box:

The local databases contain not yet downloaded files.
Do you want to remove all sync data from the sync store anyway?

I cancelled the operation, ran the sync again, and this time in Settings I first clicked off the relevant database in the iCloud (Legacy) database pane, and tried cleaning the iCloud location again. I got the same message.

A search in this forum led me to this post: Cleaning sync locations with "not yet downloaded files"

There, a search for item:pending located a file that couldn’t be downloaded; removing it from the database (and clearing the trash) fixed the sync block.

I tried that and it worked. But the puzzle for me is that there was just one pending item, and it was in another database—one being synced via Dropbox—not the database being synced via iCloud. Is there a reason the pending item in that other database in another store is blocking cleaning the iCloud store?