DTtG 3: Broken Global Inbox

Hello All;

After noting some odd sync notification behavior, I discovered that the Global Inbox in the Devonthink to Go instance on my iPad is misbehaving; with no documents in the group, it reports 117 items and a size of nearly a gig. It also shows many duplicate tags, tho the overall tag count for the Global Inbox is almost the same as on my other devices. Repeated runs of Verify & Repair report ‘3 duplicate tags fixed’, but doesn’t seem to change anything else. I am not seeing any issue with Devonthink 3 on my Mac or with Devonthink to Go on my phone- I would guess that the iPad issue arose from my habit of importing docs via the iPad, and limitations within iOS.

My question: is there any operation to try besides Verify & Repair on my Global Inbox? I’ve not found anything in the forums or int he docs so far. When starting out with DT I was breaking things left & right, and had to reinstall Devonthink on my iPad regularly. Thanks to good docs and excellent advice from here, I’ve been running smoothly for a long while now, and the sync still seems to be working fine with the iPad- it just keeps showing sync continuously running and never completing, or the small dot indicating a minor issue in the sync. Reloading Devonthink to Go on my iPad will take days, but if there is no other fix, I will do that, to prevent the possibility of further corruption later on.

Thank you again for your help.

Version 3.5.6 had an issue with tags/groups which could lead to effects like these. However, version 3.5.7 should fix the issue automatically, and so should Verify & Repair. Have you updated to the latest version of DEVONthink To Go?

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Yes, every client is up to snuff; in a fit of pique I wiped the iPad’s Devonthink to Go, and I am rebuilding. the Global Inbox is reporting normal size now, tho there is a paticular missing manifest reported on most my devices- that a sync store clean to fix, as I understand it.

Thank you for your reply

What kind of sync are you doing?

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My sync is iCloud (Cloudkit), I’ve tried using Bonjour but it didnt seem reliable.

In the meantime I found that after my initial sync last night, one of my databases appears to have been restructured on the iPad- top level groups appear duplicated, with their original subcontent seemingly divided up between the dupes. Certain groups are showing up in entirely unexpected places. The original database on the Mac does not appear to have been changed.

So, I will close the app on the ipad, shut down Devonthink on the Mac, back up the databases as they are now, then turn it on and clean the sync store out- sound good?

Yes, that sounds reasonable.
However, I would suggest you use the Legacy sync if you’re going to use an iCloud sync. CloudKit has not been reliable for many people (and developers) in the past several months.

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Alas that it is so. It is a very fine set of apps, seemingly hamstrung by issues far beyond your control. that it works as well as it does is a wonder and a testament to your skill. Thank you again.

FYI I and others find Bonjour fastest and most reliable. Needs to be on the same network but that for me is not a constraint. When Bonjour fails, based on evidence here in this forum is usually caused when more than device on the network is set to accept incoming connections.

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Goof advice, thank you. Most of my sync is in house, so I shall work with getting that to work more smoothly

It’s really very simple. But see Bonjour Simplified for @bluefrog’s sage advice.

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Indeed we all use Bonjour to some degree or another in here (though obviously we have different needs due to development and support). I’d say 90% of my personal syncing is fine via Bonjour on my network. The other 10%, WebDAV via a Synology NAS, but again only on my network.

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Ah, I went through and set up the Bonjour per the doc linked above (I used to turn it on for both sides), but Bonjour connection still times out and I can’t get it to restart. I’ve been digging though the old reports of such here, and so far checked:

  • App versions are up to date
  • network is the same IP range, subnet and router (it is a busy subnet, with some 30 clients)
  • Devonthink Bonjour is off on the iPad, and turned on for the Mac, per the above ref doc
  • both devices have been restarted
  • verified VPNs & Apple Private Relay are off on both devices

The only thing that restarted the bonjour sync so far was to erase and restart the connection on the iPad- but that seems to restart the sync from scratch, and it can’t complete in time. I will try an extended shut down for both to see if it will help, but meantime, did I miss something?

Update: Tentatively good. Full shutdown for both devices, then bring up the Mac fully, then the iPad, and the sync has held long enough so far to finish at least 1 database. Got 12 more to go, so here’s hoping.

Well, I got further, but the bonjour sync still timed out- is there a way to restart it, barring a full shutdown / restart sequence? Will it recover on it’s own?

Generally speaking, a sync will try to resume automatically after a time.
Does the iPad have cellular data available?

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It has cellular but no plan. Our WiFi is a bit wonky but we had no outages this afternoon. I’ll give it time & see. Thank you for the reply.

FYI, you mention “outages” which suggest Internet service “out” via the router your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you. WiFi hosted on that router is internal to your residence and should work even though the Internet connectoin is "out*. My assumption though.

Sounds like the Router is wonky. Technical Term. Can you get another from the ISP? I don’t use the ISP’s WiFi here at Global HQ. I bought a set of Eero devices to provide fantastic WiFi and since then no “user support” calls from my colleagues (family). Yea!

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Our internet service is a 5g home router that sits on a fan box on a high shelf and drops out once every few days- before the fan, it was several times a day, for a while. It usually comes back within a few minutes

The router is an Airport Express cablec to the router- the housenet stays up even if the internet doesn’t.

I’ve been testing the Bonjour sync with both of my iOS devices- it’s wicked fast, until it fails, and then its Local Network (Offline). One device, the iPhone can reconnect, but the iPad Pro Bonjour has been offline since this afternoon. Earlier this year I was using Backerkit+Bonjour, but the latter would hammer me with connection failures til I turned it off.

Our housenet is busy; lotta apple stuff, lotta HomeKit stuff- I assume something is interfering with Bonjour. Tomorrow, I’ll try to set up a direct cable connection, maybe a localized subnet- now that I know Bonjour should work, it’s a goal to work for. Thanks.

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Whew. Those sort of network problems make my head spin. Good luck.

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Let us know what you find. Thanks!


Left to its own device, the iPad didn’t reconnect on its own, alas. Comparing iPhone & iPad settings, i could only find one thing that differed significantly, and so with some trepidation, I went to the beta site and put iOS 16 on the iPad. Afterwards, Bonjour connectivity was considerably better, tho it did eventually disconnect on its own, again. I’d guess that the update shook something loose rather than iOS 16 being somehow better than 15 at Bonjour connectivity.

Recovering the connection was easier- force quit the iOS app, turn WiFi on the iPad off, and then reverse seemed to do the trick, tho it hasn’t failed enough to test well. Also, internet sharing from the Mac to the iPad with a cable (just the right cable, discovered with some trial and error) seemed to work very well- the only disconnect from that was my pricy usb hub saying the iPad was drawing too much power and disabling the port.

Still, I’ve synced most everything in half a day rather than half a week. Bonjour in the house still appears iffy for unknown reasons, so I may need some other sync option (especially for offsite sync too). Is iCloud Legacy as good as it gets as a sync service currently- or as close to good as any of the options get, or is their a clear best service I should consider?

Thank you all again

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