Is it possible to encrypt an unencrypted Database?

Hi all,

I’m a new user, and trying surpass the learning curve with Devonthink pro.

I have a question which may be naive for most of you, but I am completly riddled by it. I created 1 Database a couple of months ago, containing 20 groups, 68 tags and about 100.000 words. I didn’t encrypt it at the time, but now I think it should be encrypted.

So, is it possible to encrypt an unencrypted database; and in that case, how? Otherwise, would you have in mind a way to do it manually?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your help!

It took

The easiest solution is probably to create an encrypted database and to move the items from the old one into the new one. Another possibility is to create an AES-256 encrypted and HFS+ formatted sparse image, then move the old .dtBase2 package in the Finder onto the mounted sparse image, unmount the sparse image and change the extension to .dtSparse.

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Thanks cgrunenberg for your quick answer!

I thought about the first option but I was not sure how safe it was. I think I’ll do that rather than your second possibility, as it looks a bit more complicated for me. Unless is better your second option. Do you think the final result in both cases would be the same?


The result should be identical. Just ensure that the specify a sufficient maximum size for the encrypted database or sparse image.

Oh yes! I found out that and also made me wonder? Let’s say I choose 6GB for the maximum size and after 2 years I discover I need more space. Would it be possible to change the max size of the encrypted database then (say, after 2 years) or this first decision can’t be changed?

Sparse images use only the required disk space, therefore it’s better to specify a larger maximum size initially as the size can’t be changed afterwards.

Got it.

Last 2 questions:

  1. Does choosing the max size of, say 6gb, means that those 6gb become actually ‘used’ already since the moment you create the encrypted database? Or selecting the maximum size only limits the actual space that can be used?

  2. Is there a recommendation as to how much a Database should be in terms of space?

I really appreciate your help with this.


This depends on the nature of the contents of course, e.g. audio, video & pictures require much more disk space.

Great. Thanks a lot!