Bonjour Simplified

To help clarify the conditions under which Bonjour can be used, as well as show the simple steps to setting up such a sync, here are notes and steps to follow.

Bonjour can be used to Sync between devices, IF:

  1. The devices are on the same network, noting it will not work over VPN.
  2. The network is private or one that allows Bonjour connections or non-standard ports. (Public and corporate WiFi sometimes disallow these.)
  3. Your firewall or an application like Little Snitch is Off or has exceptions added for DEVONthink’s traffic.
  4. Both devices are On and running DEVONthink / DEVONthink To Go (and DEVOnthink To Go must be active, regardless of the Sync method).

Note: In situations where Bonjour traffic may be disallowed, you can connect an iOS device to your Mac via a standard Lightning cable to create an ad-hoc network for Bonjour syncing.

If you are going to be using the Mac as the Bonjour server…

On the server Mac…

In DEVONthink……

  1. Preferences > Sync > Bonjour Options…
    • Check Enable Incoming Connections.
    • Leave the Port blank unless you have a known port to assign.
    • Enter a mandatory Password to be used to authenticate connecting devices.
  2. Leave DEVONthink running.

On a client Mac…

In DEVONthink…

  1. In Preferences > Sync you should see the server Mac available.
  2. Check the checkbox to enable the connection and enter the Bonjour password you specified on the server Mac.
  3. Databases that are open on both Mac will be shown in the Local section. Enable ones you want to merge and sync.
    Databases that aren’t open or are importable are shown in the Remote section. Double-click databases to import them, saving them to the ~/Databases folder in your Home directory.

On mobile…

In DEVONthink To Go…

  1. Go into Settings > Sync: Locations and press the Edit link if you already have a sync location enabled.
  2. You should see a sync location for the Mac. Click the green plus button next to it.
  3. Set the options per your choice and touch Save.
  4. Enter the Bonjour password you entered on the Mac.
  5. When it has connected, touch the sync location to show the databases list and flip the switch next to database(s) you want to import.

The scenario above is the most common when using Mac and mobile.

If you are iOS-only or are going to be using DEVONthink To Go as the Bonjour server…

In DEVONthink To Go…

  1. Go into Settings > Bonjour.
  2. Enter the mandatory password to be used to authenticate connecting devices.
  3. Leave the Port blank and let DEVONthink To Go self-assign one.
  4. Flip the switch on Enable incoming connections.

Then follow the appropriate steps above for the type of client you’re using, Mac or mobile.


NOTE: While it is possible to enable both DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go as Bonjour servers, you should not set up both as the server for the same database(s).

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