How to properly switch from Dropbox to iCloud Sync?

Oh help.

I love DEVONthink; it’s become my repository for EVERYTHING, and I use it daily in place of Finder.
My database syncing between two Macs via Dropbox has worked fine, but I closely followed directions to set that up, and haven’t touched it since. I am not confident about what is going on behind the scenes for iCloud sync, and I’m afraid I messed things up while moving from Dropbox to iCloud because the most recent things that have been added to my primary computer Inbox that aren’t syncing at all with the Inbox on my second computer, even though the second computer reports that synchronization has taken place. (And I’m not sure what’s going on with iPad and iPhone at all; the iPad continues to be unable to sync many files . . . . I’ve decided to just focus on the macs for the time being.)

I apologize for my lack of understanding, but I wonder if there are steps I should have taken in a certain order to move from Dropbox to iCloud? I simply checked the iCloud option on my macs, (and iPad and iPhone for the first time) pretty much at the same time, and unchecked the Dropbox sync. Did I do this wrong? Perhaps I should have only done one at a time? Is it possible that I accidentally created two different sets of databases in iCloud that aren’t talking to each other? Both Macs list the Databases under Local; neither have anything under Remote. What is the best way to fix things, now? I have four large databases, plus the Inbox.

There are no steps to move form one to the other. Turning on the iCloud option is reasonable, as DEVONthink supports multiple sync locations. However… DTSync is done locally, then iCloud uploads to Apple’s servers, then to devices using your Apple ID. This means databases may not be immediately available to sync on the other devices. The initial sync requires patience, as we have no control over the speed and reliability of iCloud’s process.

May I ask why you “moved to iCloud” if Dropbox was working as expected?

Okay…I’ll be patient . . . . nervously patient LOL.

I switched because I thought it would be easier, and I try to keep things consolidated with Apple iCloud being my primary storage area. I don’t know if that’s the best approach, but that is why I switched. :slight_smile:


iCloud is no easier. Other than not having to authenticate and create a Store Name, once a Dropbox sync location has been set up, they are operationally the same from the User’s point-of-view.

One benefit of Dropbox is a synchronous transmission, essentially the sync stays focused on syncing until its done. When it’s done successfully syncing, the sync data is on Dropbox’s servers. iCloud is synced asynchronously, so it syncs “as fast as possible” but not necessarily as fast as you might expect (and over which we have no control).

On the other hand, once the initial sync between devices is done, we have seen good general performance with iCloud syncing.

As they say, YMMV. :smiley:

If I choose to stick with Dropbox, is there anything I need to do, or watch out for, besides turning that back on, and turning iCloud off?

Thank you for your kind responses; I appreciate it.


I’ll chime in with why I did switched to iCloud and a few others that I know: cost.

Rather than pay $10/month for Dropbox, I can now pay $1 or $3 for iCloud depending on the space needed.

So far, with about 7 gigs of data over about 10 databases, iCloud sync has been very quick. I’m routinely editing decent size PDFs and sometimes large videos and the sync time has been pretty good.

Of course, if I have to guarantee a quick sync or I am offline I will use a wired or wireless bonjour connection to sync!


You should right-click the iCloud sync location and choose Clean Location to free up space, if you’re not syncing with it.

@StephenL: I agree. iCloud’s storage prices seem pretty reasonable.

Another potential disadvantage of iCloud is if you need collaborative syncing. Here a service like Dropbox, etc. would still need to be used.