Restoring a Backup


I have been unable to use DevonThink for some time. I am now starting to use it fairly regularly and wanted to pull out some old archive files. (I presume they are archive files!)

However, when I look under the Tools - Restore Backup, it is greyed out. Also DT Pro does not seem to recognise the files.

Any suggestions and would anyone allow me to send them the files so they could check I haven’t written the wrong thing on a slip of paper!?



Backup files that can be used with the menu command “Restore from Backup” reside in the database package in folders called “Backup”, “Backup.0” etc. Inside the Backup-folders you can see 10 Devonthink database files – same as the original database.

Your menu command “Restore from Backup” should be greyed out if either there is no backup folder in your package – you can check that – or if the backups are corrupt. This is a nice feature adding to DT’s security.

As you are talking about archives, I assume that you made archives via finder or so, so these cannot be restored with DT, but perhaps with the app you used to create the archive (Finder, Stuffit?)

Hope this helps?

Hi Maria

That is really helpful because that is exactly what I have in front of me - the ten backup files. The problem is the original database is the one that is missing! So I opened a new database assuming that I could then restore the old database to the new one. Unfortunately I end up with the greyed out menu.

Is there anyway around this?




if the ten files are in a folder, you can add “.dtBase” to the name. The icon will change and the whole thing has become your DT database.

Problem 1: Where are your external files? They are not backed up with DT’s backup command as far as I understand, and they need a separate backup – I use a backup utility for that since it has several GB on my HD.

Problem 2: Your command is greyed out, so there is a chance that the backup files are corrupt. Still, corrupt files may be better than no files, try it and export and rebuild the database in that case.


Maybe this is not necessary. I assume that you worked with not database open, and this was the reason why the menu command was greyed out. So, everything should be fine if you open your newly created database.



Let’s try something. You have a folder that contains a DT PE database. Hopefully, your information is stored in that folder (probably named DEVONthink).

Select the folder (not its contents) in the Finder. Open the Info panel. In the Name… field, add the suffix .dtBase to the folder’s name. Press Tab or Return and close the Info panel.

Now double-click on the package file. It should open under DT Pro.

Did that work?

Hi Bill

As ever I bow to your amazing knowledge. I am now looking forward to actually spending time with the database files.

Should be paying the upgrade fee shortly as well!

Thanks Bill