How to move DTPO to a fresh OS X install?

I have to do a clean install of my system. I will not be migrating my user data automatically, but transferring it manually.

What files/folders do I need to transfer to get DTPO running as usual on my new installation?


Copy your database files to the new installation. (Note: if these are Finder copies, they should have been made when the databases were closed.)

Install a current copy of the DT application and allow it to run "Install Add-ons when first launched.

Enter your registration information from your license code email and you should be up and running.

I’ll be using a different location for the databases on the new installation. When DTPO opens, it will look for the databases in the old location? Then how do I tell it where the new location is?

A fresh installation of the application on your reformatted disk won’t “remember” the locations previously used. Note: But supposing it did, the answer would be to choose File > Open Recent > Clear Menu.

Use File > Open Database to load each database for the first time. Now File > Open Recent will remember the locations (and so will the Sidebar).

Also, check ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2 for content you might want to copy, e.g. Inbox and Inbox.dtBase2 if your Global Inbox isn’t empty.

And it can be handy saving screen images of DTPO Preferences on your old system for reference to reconfigure them on your new system. That’s what I do instead of copying ~/Library/Preferences/com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2.plist. I’m not sure what com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2.LSSharedFileList.plist is used for and whether it might be worth copying.

Thanks both for the tips. I like the screenshot idea.

It’s the best solution I could think of for retaining a record/history of Preferences, etc. in apps configured with a GUI, after switching from UNIX (Solaris) and apps configured with text files. :slight_smile:

GUI-only configuration management is convenient if you’re the only one doing it, but can be painful in shared “IT” environments without any method of tracking everyone’s changes.

I know this is an old tread. I am just now upgrading to Lion (currently at 10.6.8 ). I want to also do a fresh install with Lion. I understand that the global inbox lives in ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2.

My question is this:

  1. Do the databases’s inbox also live here or are they part of the package contents of each respective database file?
  2. Would it be prudent to copy the entire folder: ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2 directory to the new install?
  3. I am going to make screenshots of all the preference screens which is a great idea.
  4. Of course I have a two super duper startup backups.


With a fresh install, will you have Lion migrate data from Time Machine, another machine, or some attached drive?

A database’s inbox is inside that database’s package. Copy the whole package.

If your migration to Lion includes migrating applications, then all of the folders in Application Support (including DEVONthink Pro 2) are going to come across to the new installation. If you are not migrating applications, but intend to install applications one-by-one, then I suggest having a backup of the existing DEVONthink Application Support folder, but letting DEVONthink manage its configuration except for:

  1. Copy the Global Inbox
  2. Copy the Scripts folder only if you have any custom scripts that are not part of the standard installation package
  3. Copy the Templates.noindex folder if you have any custom templates
  4. Copy any other folders that are not part of the standard installation package

That is the info I needed. I plan to NOT migrate apps, but do a clean install and go back and reinstall all apps individually.