Keeping DTTG responsive


As I add stuff to my database, DTTG is slowly becoming unresponsive, with a lot of delays in the UI. What’s more troublesome to DTTG: Many files and/or a big database (measured in GB)? What can I do to improve the overall speed?

Currently, my main database has 13k items, being 14 GB in total. 11k and 13 GB are in folders that are only downloaded on demand.


The filesize doesn’t matter, the number of items and the number of words are more important. In addition, how do you file your items? In lots of groups?

17 million words, 402000 unique. 708 groups in total.

Should I be fine, or is this numbers that reveal why the UX experience is somewhat sluggish?


The numbers aren’t extraordinary. What kind of iPhone/iPad do you use and which version of iOS? E.g. on very old devices iOS 9.3.x is always sluggish.

I’m using an iPad Air 2 and an iPhone 6S.

I’m still struggling with this. Any suggestions on what I should try to get a better user experience? As it’s right now, I have to remember to open DEVONthink on my iPad at least fifteen minutes before I should start working in the app so that everything is synced and ready. And even if I remember that, I still get occasional UI freezes.

Perhaps related: Right now I can’t even open DTTG, neither on my iPad nor my iPhone. The app launches, hangs, and after a few seconds the device returns to the start screen.

The next release will be more responsive and will be available later this month. If you’re interested in a beta, just send us an email.

I’ve pretty much stopped using DTTG because it takes so long, not so much to sync, once the initial one was done, but to respond to any input. To change from one database to another, or to a different group within a database.

Is there a way to organise things to make it faster? Would it be better if I gave up on the idea of syncing everything and just picked one database? Or set up small databases holding the things I really want to sync? Or just stop being such a digital packrat?

Ask yourself why you’d want to take everything. I think this is something most people do when they don’t have to. IMO, the point isn’t to keep duplicates of all your Desktop data, it’s to have data that’s pertinent to being portable.

This is not a bad idea.

Gathering a lot of information isn’t a bad thing, but ask yourself if you really need it all mobile. I’ll bet the answer is No.

I’ve ditched the idea to have all things in one database, instead created a new one named DTTG with the stuff I want to have mobile access to. This has made a big difference in speed, but comes with it’s own set of issues:

In one of my folders I store text notes with article ideas, which I need mobile access to since I do some ideation working with my iPad.

But most of my ideation takes place at my desktop, with my computer. The reason is that I rely on See also a lot when I am in “creative mode”. I select an recent idea in my idea folder and have Devonthink help me find relevant articles I’ve saved in my reference folders or even articles I have written on the topic myself, a few years ago, and then forgotten.

Since See also doesn’t work between databases, I can’t achieve both? Or is there a way to mirror a folder between two databases, so the folder exists in both places, with the same information?

I’ve tried to search the forums for an answer on this, but obviously, searching for anything related to “sync” leads to threads about syncing between devices, not between databases.

I’m not trying to keep everything stored locally on my iPad. In fact at the moment I haven’t got it keeping anything locally. I thought that indexing the entire database and then choosing a couple of groups for local storage would work, but I think that was a misunderstanding of how the setup should work. I’ll disconnect everything and try adding things very gradually.

@Amber: If you find yourself too lost, feel free to open a Support Ticket. Cheers! :smiley:

Version 2.0.4 will improve UI responsiveness quite a bit. Please try it again when it’s out (hopefully next week) and let us know if that version is better.