"Cleaning up" a database -- how?

I got a database that is approx. 15 years old which I use daily. There are approximately 31k items in it, BUT when it syncs it syncs approx. 61k items… I did “verify&repair”, also “optimize” and “rebuild” database in the file menu. The database is approx. 48GB in size. The database used to be in iCloud and has now moved (back) to dropbox (there I got further problems, but I will mention those in a different threat at a later point) (moving back to dropbox took me about two weeks in sync time with a fiber 1GB/!GB u/d per sec line) where the syncing took place before I used iCloud… first the classic method later with the cloudkit method… btw, all databases together take up approx 300gb of syncing in each method… that is HUGE and must also be addressed.
So, first things first, how do I get the amount of files shuffled forward and backward from 61k to 31k?
and yes, I am willing to delete anything anywhere as long as I don’t loose it all… :wink:

Sync does not display the number of files but rather the number of items being synced. An item in this case is not identical to an item within the database itself, but rather represents a chunk of a file.


If you’re wanting to reduce the size of the database, you should consider what data you acutally use daily. Whatever you’re not actively using, e.g., in the last three to six months, perhaps delete it or move it to a separate database as an archive.

yup. done… that’s why I got 15 databases today, no longer one :smiley:
that does not solve my problem, though…
Deleting the old data would mean DT would become redundant… DT is my way of archiving 25 years of documents… and finding them at the click of a mouse again… I have been a DT user as of version 1 … just saying… and now I need to get 300 GB+ under control. and no: deleting is NOT an option.

How are you seeing this? Is it possible there is data left over from previous syncs (so, maybe you used to sync Database A, but then split that up into B and C; A no longer exists on your Mac, but the data would remain in the sync store unless you cleaned it out)? And what is the total size on the disk of all currently synced databases?

What is available at home is not necessarily what is available down the line, and certainly not necessarily the speed at which a host will allow you to proceed.

it’s what DTTG resp. the iPad is telling me… I got an 2TB iPad extra and only for DTTG …

and now, I like to do a cleaning of all the data junk that is sitting around just getting send forward and backward for no reason… in the hope that the syncing will take place faster and the space on e.g. (now) dropbox will be reduced.
regarding speed: speedtest.net agrees with my provider as long as I don’t use wifi :wink:

DT is my way of archiving 25 years of documents… and finding them at the click of a mouse again

So you need to find things that are 25 years old?

Why don’t you determine what you actually need to carry and consolidate that to a syncing database?


yup. there are (already) databases that don’t get synced… for that very reason.

correction: the size on dropbox.com is 846GB as we are “speaking” …

If needed and despite age you still need GB of files …what is the issue?

i do not think technology will come to the rescue.

From your postings it is not clear to me whether you

a) you feel your database is too large and you want to prune its contents, or
b) you feel the size of your sync store is disproportionate to the size of your database(s).

If b, than please respond to my previous question re. size of your databases and the size of your sync store. Otherwise, perhaps you could paraphrase what you are trying to do.

Whilst that may be the case, it doesn’t mean that your cloud provider will allow you to communicate with them at that speed, especially regardless of the quantity of data you are moving.

the databases, in sum, are about 300gb
the sync store on dropbox is about 850gb… that’s the one I want to reduce.

It is likely you have accumulated sync data over the years. I would suggest you clean the sync location. After the cleaning has been successfully reported in Window > Log, enable syncing only the database(s) you need to sync.

1 Like

what do you mean with “clean the sync location”?
the same uncertainty is in the manual. there it says “you can clean the sync location”… what does that mean? Shall I simply delete all the data resp. all the files on my dropbox in the sync folder (the name that I gave it)?
Or do you refer to the ctrl-click of the database in the preference/sync window and then hit the “clean database” option?

abgesehen davon, dass ich bei der einen Datenbank tausende von “missing… manifest” (engine: dropbox) bekomme, bekomme ich also die Warnung (andere Datenbank), dass die “lokale Datenbank noch nicht heruntergeladene Dateien enthält”/“The local database contains not yet downloaded files”… was tun, sprach Zara…

in DT on macOS DEVONthink 3 > Preferences > Sync > ctrl-click the appropriate Location and select Clean Location…

There are numerous threads and a section in the handbook covering that; it is, however, moot: cleaning the sync location will most likely do away with that problem too.

I would recommend that once you have cleaned the sync location you reactivate sync for the databases you want to sync on one device only; only once the initial upload has finished would I recommend activating sync on all the other devices.

To the best of my knowledge that should not be a problem so long as at least one device has a local copy of the files in question.

1 Like
  • You get the message in what application?

  • The files should exist on one of your devices, correct?

App: DT 3.8.5
the files exists of course in all devices that contain the databases …

I would do a File > Verify & Repair on each database on Mac to check their health.

hours later: all dropbox items have been clean. all (former) iCloud items have also been clean. DTTB iPhone, iPad and iPad mini have been deleted. Databases still on three desktops.

first try to sync the iPhone with the inbox by bonjour: 45’000+ items it wants to sync. the reality: 200 files are in it… database verify&repair, database optimised as well…

… please advise!

btw: dropbox keeps asking for permission to access it… kinda s*ckx

ahhh… AND: I just check the size of the dropbox folder: it shrank to “only” 257GB… speaking: all is deleted now and it still chews up 257GB :confused: