Can't sync DTTG with DEVONThink Pro on my Mac


I’m new to DEVONThink and run DTP on my Mac. I just purchased and installed DTTG on my iPhone but can’t seem to figure out how to open my DTP database (where I have all my notes) on my iPhone.

When I launch DTTG on my iPhone, I see no place where it asks me to sign in or identify who I am – so I’m stuck trying to figure out how would DTTG on my phone even know where to look?

DTP on my Mac has iCloud (CloudKit) sync active, but DTTG on my phone doesn’t find that database.

This is all I see when I look at the sync settings on my phone.

I’m probably going about this the wrong way being new to DEVONThink so would appreciate any help at all.


Welcome to DEVONthink and the Forum.

Perhaps start by reading the chapters on setting up Sync in the “DEVONthink Manual” for the Max and “DEVONthink To Go Manual” for the iOS device. No need to repeat all that here.

Also see other posts here about using Apple’s Sync services. Unreliable for some.

Perhaps second step would be to get Bonjour sync going and after that do an internet sync setup if in fact you need it. You might not after seeing the speed and reliability of Bonjour syncing.

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I second the welcome and will add to @rmschne’s sage comments, start with this forum post…

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I’ll try to give an answer more specifically to what the OP asked. If you want to sync with iCloud (CloudKit), please press on the corresponding green + button shown in the screenshot to activate it on iPhone. The databases will become visible in a later step.

I assume the identification “who you are” is done by CloudKit via your AppleID. So if you are signed in on your Mac and on your iPhone with the same AppleID you don’t have to worry about that.


First of all, they should determine if they need remote sync. If not, bonjour might be better.
If remote sync is required, iCloud might not be the best solution.
In any case: learn and think first, press button later.


This question, or some form of sync problem shows up monthly if not weekly on the forms.
Assuming the need is there (that is why we are at this form) and we are working remotely and desire to have our data available on our home computer, work computer, iPhone, iPad accessible anywhere in the world. What is DT recommended sync options? From what I have read over the past months (years) iCloud appears to be at the bottom of the list.
Given all the choices, paid or free, what would you, DT, recommend for your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices for the best reliable sync? (Dropbox, box, OneDrive, BackBlaze, Amazon S3 to name a few).

I rely on Bonjour primarily and secondarily Synology NAS. No internet synching used. Not on your list above.

Don’t need internet synching when out and about. Everything catches up on return. If I need “everything” when away, I take the MacBook. Otherwise it’s only a selection of stuff for the iPhone or iPad that i’m reading and/or working on.

Keep it simple.

Those are not sync options, afaik. But you can use them for backup.

Although you didn’t ask me: I’m syncing with WebDAV to a Synology NAS. Without a glitch.

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box, OneDrive, BackBlaze, Amazon S3 to name a few

As noted:
None of these are options for syncing.
Also, BackBlaze and using S3 with Arq are for doing backups, not syncing.

While we don’t advocate any particular service, Dropbox has been more consistently reliable on the average. Read that again: on the average.

And yes, a WebDAV server running on a properly set up NAS is also a possibility.

Thank you all for responding. I will look into Bonjour first, then DropBox, then WebDAV on Synology. I would rather devote my time to using the power of your application than dwelling on sync issues.

I am a little surprised that Apple’s two approaches to iCloud sync never make the list and is often the leading cause of frustration. Two of my goto apps both originally written for the MAC, DT and, both say use iCloud at your own peril.


The iCloud Legacy sync is actually the more reliable of the two; CloudKit is definitely less reliable for many. That’s not to say CloudKit is unreliable for everyone. But we have far more reports of CloudKit issues than any other sync method.

Bonjour worked well for me, except I often left home with my iPad forgetting to sync.
I need a remote option

Contrary to the other reports, iCloud/CloudKit is working well for me
and is my best choice since I don’t have a Dropbox account

Something happened to CloudKit at Christmas, and lots of people started reporting sync issues online, even with Apple’s own apps (Notes in particular). Before then, I know people had problems, but I’d personally not had issues and found CloudKit fairly reliable (it wasn’t 100%, but maybe 90%). Whatever happened at Christmas though, they seem to have fixed with some tape and a bit of WD-40. I get error messages at least once a day and see other people still reporting problems too.

I switched to Bonjour when it was failing a lot (January I think?) but it didn’t suit my way of working because I download on demand on DTTG and I don’t know in advance what I might need.

So I ended up switching back to CloudKit because I didn’t know what to do instead. I try to make sure I keep devices in sync, but otherwise it’s a roll of the device whether a file will actually download. I’ve not monitored, but my impression is that maybe 7/10 times it will download on the first try. If it fails, I’ve found that closing DTTG and waiting a few mins before trying again will usually get CloudKit to buck up its ideas.

It amuses me that Apple have invested all this money in a business model of multiple devices that “talk to each other”, and then made a mess of the implementation :rofl:


And it’s certainly a source of frustration for us (and other developers) that it isn’t as robust and reliable as it once was. When we first started working with it in our apps, it was fast and reliable. Over time, with Apple’s mad rush to market and their lessening QA, the shine has been tarnished for many.

And adding to the frustration… the issues are sporadic. If something fails 9 times out of 10, that’s great. If it fails, 9 times out of 100 or 1000, that’s way more difficult to deal with.


Great point. Cloudkit works great for me and is more reliable than even Bonjour. Hard to understand.

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I started using WebDav sync to my Synology NAS and seems workable but not sure how many devices can sync at any one time.

I don’t think there is a practical limit but for your CPU, memory, bandwidth and the sync algorithm which I believe will adjudicate amongst multiple queries.

Try it with all your devices at once and see what happens.

I doubt you’d have enough devices to reach a limit (which is controlled by the NAS, not DEVONthink).

thanks both, the reason I ask is that sometimes I get this error. I cannot tell whether it is related to WebDav to NAS issue but I saw this discussion where Dropbox was mentioned

CleanShot 2023-06-02 at 04.00.48@2x

the other issue I can think of when using multiple devices ((not unique to WebDav I guess) ), eg. I made changes on Mac 1, Mac 2 , iPad 1 and iPad 2 but all changes are to different records on the databases (may be same or different databases) , will WebDav sync merge all the changes and update all devices?