Problems folders & files disappear

For no reason that I can see DT3 looses files now and then, then I have to hunt them down (that is when I notice they are missing, which is when I need the files so some I don’t even know are lost) in TM or past backups. Then I end up with a few thousands of duplicates, and many hours to fix them. It just happened again and now when I use the script to verify the Db it tells me it is “damaged”, close it, “Rebuilt” it and I end up with a munbo-jumbo of folders such as Folder Automobiles now contains Social Media files etc.
Any suggestion on how to rebuild the base?

I am responding in your support ticket.

thanks Jim for your help, all solved now.


I may be having a similar issue: since switching from DT2 to DT3, select RTF files disappear from my database. Maybe this is a syncing issue: I use Dropbox sync store, and the disappearance was apparent on my primary machine after accessing (then closing) the database on my secondary computer. Fortunately I was able to recover the files — or at least the ones I noticed were missing — from the secondary computer, but they were not on the computer on which I originally created the files. And now this has happened a second time, with the same files. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Do you use any smart rules?

This has happened to me numerous times using a sync store on Dropbox with DT3.
Support was never able to resolve this for me (or reproduce it).
Unfortunately I had to abandon DT Pro and begin using Foxtrot Pro with Dropbox as my solution.
I do miss the categorizing functions in DT Pro, but the sync problems were unbearable.

Can you tell us a bit about Foxtrot Pro

Is it either or?

There are many features of DT3 which no other software has - it is essential to my workflow. That said the screenshots look interesting - can it search within Devonthink? Are there benefits to using both?

I agree that there are aspects of DT3 that no other software has and I miss some of them. The sync issues prevented me from having a trusted repository, unfortunately. FT Pro doesn’t do OCR, convert document types, or make suggestions on where to file things, but I’ve found nothing better at locating information on internal, external, or network drives.

In any case, they are not either/or. Foxtrot Pro, while far more powerful than Spotlight for search, uses Spotlight resources so if your DT3 database has Spotlight indexing enabled, then it is capable of searching those. Foxtrot Pro is capable of indexing everything and you have fine control over what gets indexed or not.

I don’t recall offhand if DT3 tags are also Apple tags. If so, they are indexed as well.

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Do you remember whether the files were indexed?

My issue was with files being out of synchronization when using a sync store with Dropbox.
The files that actually synced were indexed, but of course those that failed to sync were not.
This is never an issue when just putting my files into Dropbox folders and then using FT Pro for searching these files.
It’s not clear to me why file syncing via conventional Dropbox folders is flawless, but in a Dropbox sync store with DT Pro, it failed for me every 2 months or so with no error messages, just through recognizing that there were files absent on one or 2 devices. Trying to merge the various versions to get back to a “ground truth” version was a nightmare of duplications and cleanup.

It’s not clear to me why file syncing via conventional Dropbox folders is flawless

They are not using the same mechanism.

Short update.
I’ve been using the iCloud sync option for the last 2 months and it has worked flawlessly.
For anyone else having Dropbox sync store issues, you may want to give this a try.
I appreciate that we have several different options to sync.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. :slight_smile:

Is WebDav sync in DT known to be less finicky/error-prone than iCloud or Dropbox syncing?
I know there are a multitude of factors that can influence each of these, but I’m not clear if there is any consensus on one being more reliable broadly.

In my experience, WebDAV is fast and reliable. Using it with my own Synology NAS.


I use Bonjour and WebDAV on the local network, and Dropbox via the Internet to sync four devices routinely and reliably.

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The actual sync is the same one in all cases, only the up/download handling is different (and in case of iCloud even asynchronous). Especially a WebDAV server running on a NAS can be a lot faster & more reliable.