An observation after restoring from Time Machine. Is this normal behavior?


after switching to a new macbook, I’m encountering some sync behavior via iCloudkit, which I can’t explain.


  • Create full ‘time machine’ backup and use migration assistant to restore it to new macbook
  • Set iCloudKit as sync storage and enter password (none was selected, even though everything was synced via iCloudKit on the old macbook)

What happened:

  • Unexpectedly, the sync mechanism self-activated, even though everything was in sync previously and I had not made changes. Various uploads took place.


  • The iCloud storage taken up by devonthink databases is 50% larger than the actual databases on my hard drive
  • Other than that, everything is now working fine
  • There are no duplicates in my databases

It’s not a major issue, except that I’m running out of space on iCloud and don’t necessarily want to upgrade to a higher tier.

Is this expected behavior, or can I somehow ensure that the iCloud backup is the same size as my databases, as I’m pretty sure it was before? The databases are very large, so it would take a long time to re-upload everything.

Thanks in advance for any insights.

This is correct, the new computer has a different identifier and therefore the transactional data of the sync copied from the old machine to the new one is not valid anymore and ignored. Otherwise copying the sync data from one computer to another one and still using both could cause all kinds of major sync issues.

Okay, that makes sense, thanks.

I’m still a bit confused about the size of the DT databases on iCloud being 1.5x that of the size on my local disk.

In any case, this is really no big deal. I may end up deleting iCloud data and re-uploading from scratch after all, just to get back that extra space taken up on iCloud.