"opening remote store" and then nothing

Excited about the new sync functionality, however it seems to work patchy on my databases. Some have sync’ed perfectly. Others haven’t worked at all. In two cases, I have set up a sync and as soon as I hit the ‘sync’ button a progress window pops up for less than a second saying ‘opening remote store’ and then nothing happens: no sync, no failure message, nothing at all. The window is the same as the progress window for other syncs, but it flashes on and off. Any thoughts?

A second question: Any size limits on database syncs? These databases are about 2-3 gb. But I have other larger databases too.


We need more information about the problem. You say some work, some don’t but don’t distinguish what type of sync is failing.

Please open a ticket here DEVONtechnologies Support Ticket System describing the types of syncs and please follow these instructions and send the Console report as well.

To enable logging, type the following in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app and restart DEVONthink:

defaults write com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 DTSyncDebug -bool YES
defaults write com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 DTSyncDebugHigh -bool YES

This will log an excruciating amount of detail to your system log, which can be viewed in /Applications/Utilities/Console.app. Just open Console, type “DEVONthink” in the filter field in the upper right-hand corner, and copy and paste ALL of the window’s contents into a new text document. Attach the document to your reply.


Thank you for this! I just now may have solved the problem: a failure to verify and repair dbs before syncing them. That seems to have helped. However, this has provoked two other questions:

  1. Will it be excruciatingly slow if we try to sync large databases this way? E.g. 30 gb dbs?

  2. Is the best way to sync between different macs to sync the db ‘up’ to Dropbox from mac and then import the db ‘down’ to the second mac even if copies exist on both macs?

Thank you!

30GB databases will tax any network transfer, Sync Plugin or no. Fortunately, it only hurts the first time - ok, it hurts the second time too: the pull to the second machine.

If you have an existing copy on the second machine, the plugin will warn you of the issue. It may sound painful but I would take the existing one out (temporary archive possibly) and sync a fresh copy FROM DropBox to make sure it’s sharing the same sync data.

Hi Bluefrog.
Why would you recommend syncing a fresh copy from Dropbox instead using the Direct Connection option? Wouldn’t Direct Connection through the LAN be much faster?

I recommended it on the basis that I didn’t know you were on a LAN with direct connection available. In my experience, most people using DropBox are for syncing machines off a LAN.

You could do a direct connection to transfer one to another machine… but why would you be using DropBox too for this?

If you need to Sync to DropBox for remote machines, that’s feasible - though again, 30GB will be painful the first upload.

If there’s a machine on your LAN to sync to, I would set up a direct connection and Sync that way.

I suppose there’s a potential the second machine will be off the LAN at some point, so could you direct connect Sync, then “convert” it to a DropBox Sync? I’d have to defer to our Sync dev on that question at the moment.

Absolutely. It’ll save a lot of time. Unfortunately, imports are somewhat faster than the first “export” to Dropbox, so it’ll be a little less than 50% time saved. But when it comes to syncing a 30GB database with Dropbox, any time saved is a good thing.

First, prevent the Dropbox client from syncing your database back to your machine. (In the Dropbox client > Preferences… > Advanced > Selective Sync > uncheck /Apps or at least /Apps/DEVONthink).


  1. Set up a direct connection from Mac A to Mac B.
  2. Open your enormous database on Mac A and sync it to Mac B. Alternatively, you can copy it through another method, such as an external hard drive. This would save an immense amount of time too. If you do this, just open the database on Mac B.
  3. Sync once or twice to make sure everything is working properly. It shouldn’t really do anything, but it can’t hurt.
  4. Remove or disable the direct connection from Mac A to Mac B for the database in question (otherwise, when Mac B is unavailable, it’ll just throw an error).
  5. Sync the database from Mac A to Dropbox. Note that this will take an awful amount of time. It’s entirely possible that Sync will fail at some point due to network issues, obscure screwup of logic, etc. Don’t despair – just try again and Sync should resume where it left off. It will probably “commit” for a horribly long time as well. Just be patient and let it work. Unfortunately, if there’s an issue here, resuming it is much more difficult and can’t be done automatically. The good news is that it’s not very likely to fail, since all it’s doing is telling Dropbox to move files.
  6. Add the connection from Mac B to Dropbox and sync. This sync should be pretty fast, but could still take a few minutes.

So you can do it. But in all honesty, syncing 30GB via Dropbox is going to be an agonizing experience at first. It’s just going to take a tremendous amount of time to get set up. Also, Sync hasn’t been tested with 30GB databases, so there are quite possibly problems that will show up for the first time – and problems that, because of the size of the database, will require a significant amount of time to track down and fix.

NO!!! NO!!! Do not uncheck /Apps/! It might cause serious problems, including data loss (see elsewhere in these forums)! Instead uncheck /Apps/DevonThink/.

Really, I don’t understand why the DevonThink team continues recommending unchecking /Apps despite the warnings in the comments on Erik’s blog and the problems reported in this forum.