Restoring from Backblaze


I would be grateful for advice on whether it is possible to rely on Backblaze for DEVONthink backup in the event of computer failure.

My Backblaze account picks up the content of my DEVONthink, since it copies Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 2.

However, given the rather scrambled appearance of the metadata and folders in Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 2, I am uncertain whether it would be possible to restore DEVONthink from here.

As an experiment (perhaps of faulty design) I copied one of the PDF folders from Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 2/Files.noindex into a folder in my DEVONthink interface, and the contents of the PDF folder failed to sort themselves into their original categories.

Does anyone have advice on this question?


This would not work and you really shouldn’t be messing about in the internals of the database like that.

Also, if Backblaze is doing a “continuous backup”, it wouldn’t be considered data-safe for DEVONthink databases (though it may be safer with DEVONthink Personal since it’s not a package file). However, you should use an online backup service that uses a snapshot-type backup.

I suggest you read this blog series we recently posted:

Thanks for your response.

I gather though that I could put the “Database archive” zip folder onto Backblaze, right?

If so, can I ask how one would go about restoring DEVONthink from the “Database archive” zip folder in the event my computer (and external hard drive) crashed or went missing?

Yep. That’s perfectly feasible.

I can’t speak to the actual restoration from Backblaze, but if you decompress the ZIP file, it will yield the database (a .dtBase2 file). This should be put into a folder in your Home directory, like ~/Databases. Then you can double-click to open it.

That would completely defeat the purpose of using an online backup service in the first place. The whole point of them, including the excellent BackBlaze service, is to have your data backed up to the cloud in as real time as possible, which is impossible with a “snapshot” paradigm unless you are constantly taking new snapshots, which is not feasible for many reasons.

I use Backblaze and think it’s the best in its class and certainly won’t be changing from it anytime soon. But my backup strategy also includes “snapshot” backups using SuperDuper to create a fully cloned bootable backup of my system to an external hard drive. I keep one at home and one at my clinic, then use Backblaze to capture data changes that occur between snapshots.

With such an online backup service, what is the use scenario that could create compromised data if one (for whatever reason) was forced to restore from the cloud-based backup?

Just to confirm: leaving aside Backblaze, it is possible to fully restore DEVONthink from the decompressed ZIP file? Have users done this before?

I’ve haven’t done a complete database restore from a ZIP file (I do open them regularly to confirm they are healthy), but I have recovered individual documents from a ZIP’d database. That said when I had to recover it, I unzipped the file and pulled the .dtBase2 file to my desktop and was able to open it in DEVONthink and recover the files.

To make sure my database backups are healthy, I have a Keyboard Maestro action that Verify and Repairs each database then Backups and Optimizes each database every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Every two weeks I have a task in OmniFocus to grab a ZIP file of each database and open it then browse around, and I’ve never had an issue with it corrupting.