Moving from imported to indexed


Inwould like to convert my database from all imported files to all indexed. I understand I have to export to filesystem and then import again, correct? (Is that the only way?)

Two questions:

  1. What happens to the sync store? Will it have to completely resync? I would like the indexed objects be part of the sync if that makes any difference.

  2. What happens to replicants?
    I have some duplicates that I wanted to leave as duplicates but I equally have many replicants. Will I be able to keep those in the process?

Thank you!

Ex- and importing is one option but not the best one as the UUIDs will be different and therefore item links will be also invalid afterwards. A better option which retains UUIDs and replicants would be to…

  1. Index the folder (or multiple folders) that should contain the currently imported items

  2. Move the imported items to the indexed group(s)

But backing up your database first might be a good idea too.

Nice, exactly what I was looking for. So basically create the Folder Structure and Index that one. Then move the items. Can I move subgroups (nested groups) as the complete group or does it have to be on item level?

I was worried that exporting and importing would break all links and replicants but that should be taken care of when moving them to indexed within the database like you described. Perfect!

Will definitely backup before trying this out.

Complete imported groups can be moved of course too.

Thank you! Will try that!

Very helpful!


Have you read the In & Out > Importing & Indexingsection of the Help and manual? Or the indexing tutorial in Help > Tutorials?

Ok, agreed, I should have. I keep forgetting about the manual. That would have made it clear without asking in the forum.

My Apologies!

No worries. Indexing isn’t something to blindly jump into, hence the admonitions and (over)documenting the subject.

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Along with @bluefrog, am curious why you are doing this? From your original post, the things you are concerned about all get more complicated with indexed files. What problem are you fixing?

I would like access to the files on the filesystem or at least I think I do. Haven’t actually made the move yet. Need to consider the new information now.

I’m not being challenging (makes no difference to me if you import or index :joy:), but it’s worth thinking through what “[I] would like access to the files on the filesystem” looks like for you. I’m guessing you have come across some friction that you’d like to address - what is the problem, how is Finder the solution, and is it worth the trade-offs to switch to indexing? (There are various reasons why the answer to the last question might be yes. A common example is needing a folder of files that is accessed by multiple apps, not just DT.)

If you occasionally have need to find a specific file via Finder, are you aware that Spotlight will index imported files in DT? If you search in finder you should find the file you are looking for. (Though be very careful about editing or moving it given it’s in your database.)

For what it’s worth, I treat Finder as completely separate from DT, and DT is my de facto filing system. If I need to find a file I open DT, not Finder.


Take a look at how DEVONthink uses the defaults to launch apps when clicked and the “open with…” feature.

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That makes sense.

How about if you want to sync files that you share with someone else that doesn’t have DT?

Can you please elaborate on that question. I’m not quite sure what you are asking about or trying to do. Example?

Basically share some of the documents I manage with DT3 with someone that is not having DT3 using a file sync tool like for example Syncthing. I could just Index a few directories which I think I will do. Will keep the rest imported in the Database.

Would be easier if everyone involved was using DT but Operating System limitations prevent that unfortunately.

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