Move .md files to external folder and re-index? will loose all metadata?

Hi all

been using DT for a few years now and love it more then ever :slight_smile:

for a specific DT database (my food recipes .md files) it seems it makes sense to have them outside the main DT database so i can share with family, quick view them in other apps and so on.

i have spent a lot of time rating, and adding metadata within DT to these files. If i as the title says move the .md files to an external folder (dropbox/icloud) and re-index will i loose all the metadata? if not is there a correct way to do so since i don’t want to mess this up?

any other significant cons i should be aware of before i do this?

thx a bunch


Yes, if by “move” you mean “export” and afterwards indexing the exported files. This will loose all metadata and the new records will have new UUIDs.

To turn imported records into indexed records:

Not sure whether there’s something special to consider with dropbox/icloud.

Read about indexing in DEVONthink’s help.

1 Like

thx @pete31

to be honest not sure 100% i get this

do i need to move the file from the DB to a normal MAC folder? or open a new DB called 'external`, add to that external folders (from dropbox in my case), and move the files there?

Also how does DT plat with indexing files stored on dropbox?

thx again


No problem.

  1. create a new subfolder in your Dropbox folder. Let’s call it “My indexed files”

  2. index the “My indexed files” folder into your existing database
    (e.g. via menu File > Index)

  3. move your records into the indexed group

That’s it.

If you don’t know how things work

  • create a test database
  • duplicate some records into it
    Note: do not duplicate indexed records for testing
  • try whatever you like

There’s nothing that can go wrong in a test database as long as you made sure that the records you duplicated are not indexed.

@zeltak stop! I never used Dropbox so I’m not sure whether your sync setup is ok. @Blanc, @rmschne, @chrillek could one of you please take a look?

1 Like

I stopped using Dropbox long ago. Regardless: I’d first try the setup with a small set of records in a local folder. There’s no principal difference between a purely local folder and one that is “on” Dropbox or OneDrive etc. and simply locally mounted. Except, of course, for the obvious pitfalls of synchronization etc.
So, to answer @zeltak 's questions:

First, create duplicates of those records in the database, preferably in a new group for only these files.
Then move them to a new folder on your Mac (no, a MAC is something utterly different :wink: This is described in the documentation, I believe.
Then, index this folder in DT
But this is exactly what @pete31 described already …

Sync is not related to indexing. In any case, I’d rather use Dropbox than iCloud. Or a WebDAV server that I have control over – even better.


@zeltak @pete31

Completely agree with @chrillek. Files “in” Dropbox are in the local file system. Dropbox synching them with it’s own services is purely a Dropbox thing (with DEVONthink kicking it off sometimes). It is indeed the case that quite a few people don’t “get” that.

I index some of my Dropbox files (in ~/Dropbox/[subfolders] routinely no issue. And like @chrillek is preferred to some of the other sync services for which they provide no way to influence when they run.


thx guys!

really appreciate the answer. will try to follow @pete31 example now and see if it works on a sample



I’ve just got out of bed :see_no_evil: But I see all is under control :+1:

1 Like