Archive Database- What is its funcitonality


I do an archive database everyday after completing my work.

Today, I lost a folder and for some reason it was not in the trash.

I wanted to retreive it thinking I can use the Archive database.

How do you use the archvie database? What is it’s purpose if I cannot use it to get a folder back.

Should I be doing backups instead? or Both?

The very best

DEVONthink does not automatically protect you from data loss – that is your responsibility.

Whether you use File > Export > Database Archive…, or backup your computer and DEVONthink data using some other method, you should backup your databases at least daily.

If you have indexed folders and/or files into your database, make sure your backups include those external folders and files.


After I have done the Database Archive, how do I restore from the Databse Archive zipfile that has been created?

The very best,

You don’t restore from it. When you decompress the ZIP file it yields a copy of the database.

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I did unzip the file. What was generated was 10 DEVONthink-1.dtMeta files with the one changing incrementatlly for each file up to 10.

What do I then do with these files?

The best,

When you archive a database you should have a zip file such as:

When you unzip that, you should have


This is the database. It is a “package”, a type of macOS folder whose contents are not normally visible. What you describe is what happens when you either (a) remove the “.dtBase2” extension and cause the folder contents to be exposed, or (b) choose “Show Package Contents” from the contextual menu and cause the folder contents to be exposed.

In either case, do not muck around inside the .dtBase2 package.

If you want to restore an archive, close the database that was archived and move it to a secure location. Open the database that was just unzipped.

Do not open both databases at the same time – because of unique identifiers for the database and its contents, you should only have one instance of a database in use at any given time.

Which edition of DEVONthink do you use?


I am unzipping the files and there is no “.dtBase2” file.

I have DEVONThink Pro Office.

How can I get the database file?


You shouldn’t see “unzipped files”. You should see either a .dtBase2 file or a folder with the database’s name. If it’s the folder, add .dtBase2 to the end of the folder name.

PS: Please try not cross-posting. Thanks.

I got it!


Very much appreciated!