File version / Version History

Does Devonthink keep a file version / revision history of files that I can find? Either in the DB or in the application?

No, DEVONthink does not support versioning beyond manual versioning via duplicate and rename functions.

Ok thx! That’s actually really a shame for an otherwise excellent app that have most of the other features. At least to have that for notes would be awesome!

Hello, I would also find a feature like a version history great. Yesterday Word made me sweat. I was working in a Word document saved in DEVONthink.
I made some changes and then I couldn’t undo them - but that was apparently due to Word itself.
I regularly make backups of my files - which I’m working on - but there were no backups of this intermediate step (a study of intensive work).

Would a version history of the last few hours be possible? That wouldn’t increase the size of the database too much, but it would be a great feature.

Kind regards,

It’s actually doable using smart rules. See screenshots of the rules I’m using for edited plain/rich texts in one of my databases:


How were you able to add an “Any” group below the Tag criteria? I can’t seem to replicate that option

Option-Click on the plus in the top “All” line

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Thank you! I would never have figured that out

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Very, very nice - thank you

If you are computer savvy you could make a git depot in your root directory and then save versions into git using either command line tools or then a GUI tool. Note that binary files easily bloat a git depot (such as Word documents) so I would use this mostly for text files such as markdown. Or then just due incremental copies of DT3 database (self-contained) or the indexed folder. Like at least 2-3 times a week.

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[edit] ok ignore below, I need to get better an reading :slight_smile:
it was option-click I needed


for the life of me I cant get to have the any option show up. I tried pressing the + button but that only adds a all line wether I have all or any selected. See:

its probably me being an idiot but can anyone try to help me figure out why im an idiot :slight_smile:



It’s a cool feature but not obvious

You need to do a Command-Click on one of the plus signs

You mean Option-click?

yes - sorry

No worries :slight_smile:

Okay I am missing something here. In Create Version, where are Sortable Modification Date and ModificationTime coming from?

Control-click in the text field and choose Insert Placeholder and go down into the dates section and choose the date format. Sortable should be 3/25/2020, for example.

:+1: I knew I was missing it somewhere

Great inspiration, thank you very much, @cgrunenberg!

I am just getting acquainted with smart rules and I have noticed some odd behaviour where I suddenly find myself in an older version of a versioned file, but at the same time a file copy appeared in the file’s folder (not in the versioning folder!) that has my latest version in it.

I also have a few files in the versioning folder that are not marked locked which irritates me.

Could this be some kind of race condition? Is there a log file to help me debug this behaviour?

Are you syncing the database you’re working with?
If so, do you have Preferences > Sync > Conflicts set to Duplicate documents?