Can't sync my database no matter what backing technology

Hi guys.

I recently got started with DT and bought both DevonThink Pro and the To Go Premium Features.

I’ve been trying to sync a database to To Go for weeks and I simply can’t make it happen. The database is around 64GB in size.

I have it synced from the desktop to Dropbox and iCloud. I’ve tried using both on the mobile and neither ever completely syncs. I also tried bonjour, and it synced around 48GB, but never finished.

Today, I completely deleted the app again and tried Dropbox again, but this time with “On Demand” downloading instead of Always. The database still won’t sync. Currently it says it’s syncing the Global Inbox.

I really, really want to like using DevonThink, and there’s a lot to like. But I simply have to have the ability to access my documents from the mobile and it’s been a very frustrating experience.

Can anyone help?

I’d really appreciate it.


Did DEVONthink To Go show/log any issues? Or did it fail silently? In addition, how much space is available on iOS?

Personally I would first try reducing the file size of your database into multiple databases. Pumping 64GB over a network takes time, no matter what. And that enhances the chance of a time-out somewhere.

You can try and start with creating an extra database, duplicate or move some files (say 500MB) and sync that.

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Sorry about that. No exclamation mark appears, so I assume that means no errors in the log.

Regarding space, I have plenty. Currently, I’m using 135.6GB of 256GB total.

I have submitted a ticket on support to this as well. Ticket 457417.


I appreciate the suggestion.

Worst case, I’ll do that, but every new database adds administrative overhead I’d rather avoid. I bought DevonThink so that I could process and use a lot of data without having to subdivide it all the time. This kinda defeats the purpose.

My suggestions was primarily intentioned as a troubleshooting step: does a small(er) database sync yes or no?

Whether it’s wise to ‘put all eggs in one basket’ with one large databse I leave to you. The main benefit of one database IMO is the possibility to replicate records, which you cannot do across databases.

Both DTTG and DT search across databases AFAIK, but the choice to use one large database might be very situational I presume. Also see page 12 (Adding your files) of the DT manual written by @BLUEFROG.

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Ah, sorry. Yes, I have a smaller database and it synced just fine. There’s something about this larger one that’s preventing it…it’s just hard to know where to start in terms of troubleshooting.

Is there a way to force the log to show? Of if there’s no exclamation mark, does that mean it’s completely empty? My hope is that there’s some way to show detailed progress…perhaps it’s getting hung on one particular file…

Are you keeping the iOS device awake with DEVONthink To Go in the foreground?

I haven’t tried to ensure that I keep it awake, but I can try that.

Is this really necessary though (keeping the app in the foreground and your phone awake)?

My ultimate goal is to sync the entire 60+GB database to my phone…I suspect that will take many days.

Is this really necessary though (keeping the app in the foreground and your phone awake)?

Yes. DEVONthink To Go should be in the foreground and the mobile device awake for the initial sync. The Background App Refresh option is controlled entirely by iOS and only allows approximately a 30 second window, when it allows it to happen. This means we can’t control if, when, or how long it happens. Subsequent syncs are faster since there’s less data being transferred.

Also, 60GB is not a small amount of data to sync - by any method. It’s going to require serious patience to accomplish the initial pull.

Ok, I was finally able to sync in “On Demand” mode by keeping the screen active. Unfortunately, it sounds like syncing 64GB might be unfeasible. I’ll try to make due with leaving it in “On Demand” for now.


No problem