How to migrate the DTProO to a new computer?

  1. For those custom databases, I guess I can first quit DT and copy the database files to the new computer, and Open the db files from the DT on the new computer? Pls confirm

  2. The trick is the automatically DT’s automatically created “GLOBALS” database. How do I migrate it from the old system and merge the information inside with the GLOBAL on the new computer?

  3. By the way: is the creation of GLOBAL database a mandatory behavior of DTProO? Why can’t we customize a user default db?


The Global Inbox approach allows one to use the Sorter to add new content even when DT Pro or Office is not running.

Even more important, to me, is that by adding the “Inbox” place in the left column of Finder windows, I can save files created in external applications directly to the “Inbox”, and that new content will be added directly to the Global Inbox on that computer.

I view the Global Inbox as a temporary holding place, rather like a GTD (Getting Things Done) inbox from which items should then be filed into an appropriate database.

From that perspective, the answer to your question would be to empty the Global Inbox before migrating DT Pro/Office databases to another computer.

But if you prefer not to do that, you can also move the Global Inbox and its contents to the new computer:

  1. Quit DT Pro/Office.

  2. Locate the database file named “Inbox.dtBase2” at ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/ and move it to the same location on the other computer (where, if you have previously launched the DT application, an empty Global Inbox database would have already been created at the same location, and can be replaced by the database from your older computer).

Dear Bill,
I need updated info on this. I am moving from an older Mac to a new one and want to transfer my data.

On my new Mac (Air 13) I have os x 10.7.2 and I downloaded DTProO 2.3 onto it. I also moved, via a thumb drive, several DT dbs. So far so good. The app works, the databases open and contain my stuff.
But: on the new Mac I cannot find the “right” place to move my old Inbox.dtBase2 to (I had a lot of stuff in there). There is NO such folder as ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/ (or it is perhaps invisible!?) In fact, there is no such folder as ~/Library ! This must be new in Lion.
I also searched for Inbox.dtBase2, no such file on the new Mac. Doesn’t (shouldn’t) DTProO create such a file when it is first used?
In the app itself, there is a Globals/Inbox folder in the left pane (empty), as it should be.
Please advise. Thanks in advance!

in DTProO

dee, the user Library folder is hidden by default in Lion. To get the contents of your old Global inbox to your new Mac you can:

a) Do a Google search on “show hidden library folder lion”, follow the steps in one of the links to display the Library folder, and then follow Bill’s recommendation above.


b) Copy the contents of the old Global Inbox to a group in another database in DEVONthink, then move the contents of that group to the Global Inbox in DEVONthink on the new Mac.

The way to access your Library folder under Lion is to go to the Finder, hold “Option” and click on “Go.” Click on your Library folder to open it.


Thank you, Greg! I quickly found the Library… And in it the new Inbox db.

One more weird (?) thing: I copied the old Inbox from the old computer’s Library folder to my thumb drive, renamed it there to “OldInbox” and opened it on the new computer from the thumb drive. It opened fine, data appear intact, but it was still called “Inbox” in the left pane directory (in other words, I now had three inboxes…).

This seemed to me not right and I worried that this may lead to a mess, so I renamed this old Inbox db in the DB properties window as well, and now it is called “OldInbox” in the left pane directory.

Do you see anything here that will lead to problems later? Is there a better, proper way to rename a built-in folder, like the Inbox?

Thanks, and sorry for being so ignorant!..

Great! Glad that helped.

As you discovered, databases have an external package name (what you see in the Finder) and an internal name (what you see in the app, and change in db properties). This is normal, but what might be curious is what do you mean when you say that you now have 3 inboxes?

The Global Inbox is more than a built-in folder-it is a database similar the ones you create, although it does have some special features, such as adding it to the Finder’s Sidebar. As such, I would not be comfortable with renaming/moving the Global Inbox database as a standard practice-seems like a safer practice to me.