Moving Devonthink to a new computer Mac

I would like to move devonthink to my new MacBook Pro and I thought I only had to move the DEVONthink 3 folder from application support and the databases.
Is this wrong?
Searching I am finding a lot of Devonthink files in this location: /Library/Metadata/com.devon-technologies.think3 and I am not sure what to do with these files.
I would be grateful if anybody could help me out here!
Thank you and kind regards Per

See here


Would a ‘migration wizard’ be something to develop in the future?

I assume most users switch devices now and then, and copying all the folders etc. mentioned in above thread, sounds to me like it could be done by DT as well. Or do I underestimate that?


It’s theoretically possible but nothing is planned at this time.

No backlog with user suggestions? It’s just something I think users might be interested in or delighted by when the time comes they need to migrate their data.

First suggestion I’ve ever seen in almost 9 years actually.

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Maybe that speaks to how technically minded most users are. Or how many simply restore from TimeMachine when setting up a new device. But yes, to me a tool which automates transferring DT from one device to another would really make sense (settings, scripts, rules & groups, known databases copied automatically to a location of the user’s choice and restored from there to the necessary locations by starting the “Restore DT App” which is handily also placed in the same location).


You seem to be not the only one. The link to the thread explaining how to move DT to another device has been clicked 26 times since you placed it (I was 1, :grinning:)


I’ll be upgrading my MacMini (BigSur 11.6, DT3 3.8) in a few days. And I do not use “To Go”. I don’t know which MacOS will be on the new machine. I’d like everything, except the new hardware, to be the same after the switch. I use TimeMachine on an external drive and plan to “restore” to the new MacMini. Note that I have 2 DT3 seats, with both in use - 1 for the MacMini and 1 for my MacBook.

Q1: Will I need to remove a device in order to do the install?
Q2: Indexes - Is there anything I need to do ahead of time to be sure they still work on the new machine?

I’m concerned that the linkage to all of the indexes will remain in tact. I have some indexes contained within my main database and I have a couple DT3 databases that are indexes of folders on my Mac’s hard drive. And, I’ve added content to those directories (notes, bookmarks, etc) using DT3.

Have you looked into Apple’s Migration Assistant? Move your content to a new Mac – Apple Support (UK). I don’t know if it works on MacMini, but you can check. I’ve used it for past new Mac purchases.

Surely will have to migrate the license. Login to your account at DEVONtechnologies to do that.

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Thanks, I’ve looked into the Migration assistant and plan to use it as my guide. My main concern is the integrity of the DT3 indexes after the restore to the new machine

This note from BlueFrog indicates there is something special needing to be done with index files for a fresh install. Hence my question.

The Migration Assistant is not a “fresh install” but a “clone”. But you don’t have to use it. Up to you to let the computer take care of it or do it all manually. I suspect your question already answered when @BLUEFROG says “you’ll have to locate and move those items …” in support of doing it the fresh install way. In whatever way, the indexed files need to go back into the file system into new folders with same name as DEVONthink’s they are in.

I’ll leave others including @BLUEFROG to comment.

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If you have encrypted databases, you should probably search for both .dtBase2 and .dtSparse.

Are global smart rules and groups synced with the inbox?

Q1: Will I need to remove a device in order to do the install?

You will need to deactivate a machine in order to apply the seat to the new machine. However, this is not necessary for the migration as it can be done while DEVONthink is in the trial period on the new machine. You can switch seats after you’re situated.

Q2: Indexes - Is there anything I need to do ahead of time to be sure they still work on the new machine?

I don’t know what indexes you are referring to here. Based on your later comment, I think you’re referring to indexed items but I’m not sure.

Thanks for your perspective. I’ve re-read @BLUEFROG’s comments on the earlier post and can see that he’s trying to explain locating all the files on the old system and putting them into the proper location so that the indexes will work. Since I’m interested in a “clone” and not a “fresh install”, hopefully, all the file names, paths, etc. should be the same.

Thanks for the info on device activation. The indexes I’m referring to are the elements that are created within a DT3 database when using the File>Index Files and Folders menu item. I thought they were called indexes - sorry for the confusion

They will be the same if you make them the same.

See this n ew post from @LewInVT who used the Migration Assistant which to me seems to be what you should do to achieve what you expect. It’s only the MacMini that is uncertain to me.

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Thanks for your response.

Good point about the .dtsparse files. But I’m hoping the cloning effect of restoring from my current Time Machine backup will take care of things.

And I don’t understand your question about the global smart rules & groups being synced with the inbox. And I don’t know how to check for that condition. Please expand. When I check Sync in the DT3 help, it leads me to information about “To Go”, which I do not currently use.