One database not syncing

I have 8 databases syncing via Bonjour to an iPhone and iPad. Some are laptop originated and some are mostly iPhone originated files.

One database that is made up of mostly markdown files, created on my phone, one per day, is not syncing to the iPhone. Or at least it says it isn’t based on the Locations/local network info. According to that, the last time it synced was Feb 1st. But the md file I created this morning on the iPhone is on the laptop and I haven’t touched the iPad all day. I’ve verified and repaired the DB on both the phone and the laptop. And it still isn’t syncing. Because I use time stamps within the md file I can tell that the file on the laptop has a timestamp entry at 10:47AM today but the entry in the locations/network still says 2022-02-01 1:30AM which was two days ago.
I updated to the Desktop client this morning and the iPhone is up to date. Everything was a fresh restart this morning as well.
Any clues?

Where do you always start with a potential sync issue, other than Help > Documentation > Troubleshooting > Sync Issues… ?

  • Is there anything reported in DEVONthink’s Window > Log?
  • Is there a triangle on the sync icon in DEVONthink To Go’s bottom toolbar? If so, touch it and tell me what it reports.

I’ve been working on other issues all day since my first post that required two reboots of the laptop. (New installs of non-OS software). Just now, when the laptop and iPhone were in Bonjour proximity again, the sync betwixt phone and laptop worked as expected for all databases.

As I recall, when I was experiencing this earlier today, all that was in the log was successful verifications of the database in question. There were no errors recorded. The DTTG sync screen had a solid circle ‘flag’ and I could force a sync but the one database never synced. I could see the progress of the syncing of the other databases but that one would never sync.

I’d gone through the list from the Help and done them all other than the ones that were about not having ANY connection, as I had connection but not sync for this one database.

It’s fixed now but I don’t know what changed to make it work. There wasn’t time to do a granular check of every fix to figure out which step provoked the successful sync. This afternoon I needed to be able to leave the laptop with someone to upgrade production software with the knowledge that I had everything synced between DT and DTTG.

The one puzzling thing to me was that DTTG said the sticky database was last synced on Feb 1 when the laptop clearly had data that was created on the phone from earlier this morning, Feb 3. I wish I had grabbed screen shots but it was a little hectic at the time.
If this happens again I’ll try to grab a screenshot and do a more diligent process of recording the steps taken.

Might there be a network issue on one of the devices? I mention as you re-booted and that often fixes any hardware/software mix-ups on the system. Or perhaps resetting SMC?

Just a thought. Might or might not make a difference.

But would a network issue prevent one database from syncing while all the others are syncing just fine?
I think I compared all the settings on DT and DTTG for all the databases, they’re all import-only (i. e. not indexed), full sync (i.e. not partial or on-demand or shallow sync or whatever it’s called).

The one difference I can think of is that the db in question is made up almost entirely of markdown files that are created by an iOS shortcut that pulls weather info and formats it with some boilerplate text and creates it in a group named for the year and month.
The other dbs are mostly PDF scans, bookmarks, raw fountain scripts stored as markdown, and long markdown files of chapter drafts and tons of little notes.

Normally I would have more time to trouble shoot these issue but today was a confluence of a new DT version, production software updates being approved, and a last minute trip out of the office and a problem that didn’t make sense to this harried brain.

Good point. Just a thought I wanted to share.

Last wild suggestion … do a re-build on the troublesome db when this happens again. I don’t think (but maybe) the content of the db files makes any difference, but all the other stuff behind the scenes that DEVONthink makes and uses to do its magic all has to be in sync.

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I had the same issue: one database of many not syncing. Here’s what worked:

  1. clean database
  2. rebuild database
  3. verify and repair database
  4. sync

The rebuild isn’t necessary unless there are no zero-byte (Empty) files reported and/or there are major errors reported. However, it’s also not a harmful thing to do.

The verify & repair is something we advocate people do at least weekly or bi-weekly.

It may have been necessary in my case. I completed a verify and repair before rebuilding and came up with failed repairs.

Thanks for the tip on verify and repair frequency. I’ve often wondered. By the way, I don’t comment often here but I have come here over the years for answers and am always pleased with the results. Thanks to all who contribute. And thanks to all the DT staff, I live in the DT app. Don’t know what I’d do without it.


Glad to be of service and thanks for the nice feedback, especially about the forums. We try to keep it a light and friendly place, even for the less frequent visitors.