Log of Document Deletion?

Hi, is there a log of documents being deleted? I had a bit of a scary moment today where I went to pull up a document that I knew was in my Inbox and I couldn’t find it. It led me to realize that I have a multi-month gap in my Inbox.

I went to my backups and restored an older version of the Inbox database and sure enough, it contains the document I was looking for, along with lots others.

How do I figure out what happened?

Welcome @insaneirish

No, there’s no log of deletions available.

Where is your database located - the file path on the machine?


This happened to be the Global Inbox, so ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 3/Inbox.dtBase2

In case this is in question… I have no automated syncing of this folder via OS, cloud service, etc. Only syncing I do is via DEVONthink itself.

You’re welcome!

  • Do you have other databases than the Global Inbox?
    • If so, did you search for the file(s) in those?

I do have other databases, and confirmed the files were not moved in there.

I bisected my backups and narrowed down the period when the items disappeared from the database. I also confirmed that the files were removed from their respective places in the “Files.noindex/pdf” folder within the database.

It would be highly unusual for DEVONthink to remove files with no permission or interaction of some sort. We’ve seen it in cases where someone’s hard drive was failing, but not in normal circumstances.

Do you have any smart rules running?

I do not.

Indexed or imported files?


What actually caused this is anyone’s guess. I certainly don’t blame DEVONthink without proof given that this seems like an odd occurrence.

But if I can parlay this situation into a feature request :wink:… a transaction log would be nice. Being able to show that a GUI or sync-related action did or did not cause the items to be removed would be good to know.

I would even be in favor of different deletion semantics for the database. (e.g. a delete operation doesn’t delete any data, but only metadata, and actual data deletion only occurs via an affirmative event, like a compaction.)

Please don’t take any of this as criticism; I love the app and clearly rely on it! Fortunately I’m also in the camps of ‘sync is not a backup’, ‘RAID is not a backup’, etc.

No worries and constructive criticism is welcome!

No promises but the request is noted. Thanks for the suggestion.