DT + Dropbox (Single Computer)

I’ve searched the forum and all Dropbox questions seem to revolve around accessing DT databases from multiple computers, which does not pertain to me. I have the Dropbox application installed on my laptop and have placed my DT database within the Dropbox folder. Essentially, when I open up DT I am always accessing the file in the Dropbox folder (which is both a physical entity on my computer and a synced version in the cloud).

I’ll reiterate, I do not wish to have access to this information from any other computer than the laptop the database is stored on. I’m merely using Dropbox as a third form of backup (Beyond Time Machine and SuperDuper!). I’m wondering if I’m still facing potential corruption, or if this is an acceptable arrangement?

Also, while I’m at it, for any of you Scrivener users: I also store my .scriv files in the Dropbox folder with the same model of access - a single computer. Any ideas as to the potential corruption there?


I’ve been wondering the same thing.

I have had my DT databases in my Dropbox folder for a considerable time (for single computer use, as in the OP’s query) and have experienced no problems whatsoever.
I have also installed the Dropbox app on the iPad, and I have marked, as a favourite, one particular file in DT’s Files.noindex folder that I access frequently. This downloads the file from the Dropbox server whenever I need to look at the current version on the iPad. It works great!

Worse case is Dropbox ceases operation, but you’ve got the local copy and two backups, so that case seems to be well mitigated. Next worse case is corruption due to contention. But you’re not sharing the file, so that’s mitigated. Finally, is corruption due to the Dropbox sync process. The database is a package with indexes, infrastructure files, and data. (See this FAQ from DTech that explains.) You’ll need to satisfy yourself that Dropbox cannot corrupt packages, or the probability is minuscule. Personally, I think the probability is low, but I’d never trust Dropbox with my data in that way because the probability is not zero. I am a luddite when it comes to clouds I don’t control.

Scrivener users have had some issues with Dropbox corruption, although mostly when using multiple computers.

The key seems to be to make absolutely sure that Scrivener (or DevonThink) is closed when you run Dropbox, and equally sure that Dropbox has finished syncing before you shut the computer down. Incomplete synchronization can lead to corruption when Dropbox later tries to reconcile the two versions.


Yup, like I questioned in a relatively recent post, somewhere, that maybe I never posted since I can’t find it anywhere now. :wink:

Katherine nicely summarizes the key point I remember making (or only thinking I had):

In addition, Dropbox keeps a large number of recently synced versions of every file, so I assume if my DT database or .scriv files were to be corrupted somehow, I would be able to revert to the synced version just prior to corruption (similar to Time Machine).

With recent discussion of DT + Dropbox usage here I wanted to mention:

FYI: Dropbox security

Followups there, please. :slight_smile: