Running DTP on two Macs with same databases

I currently have a MacBook Pro (2018 Intel version) as my only computer. I plan to buy a new Mac Studio to use as my main computer with DTP and both of my current databases, but would like to be able to continue running DTP on my MacBook Pro with the same two databases. Can I do so, and if so, how? Also, I use DTTG for access on my iPhone and iPad. Will I need to make any changes in that setup as a result of using two Macs as I’ve described?


Of course. (Every iteration of DT includes two seats; assuming you are only running one macOS device, and are only using DT on one account on that device, you have a seat available for your new Mac.)

Ideally by copying the databases from Mac old to Mac new (e.g. using a USB thumb drive, or Airdrop or…) and then setting up sync on Mac new (that’s assuming you already have sync, presumably syncing DT with DTTG).

Are you indexing files at all?

You haven’t actually described your setup, so that’s hard to know. But no would seem the most likely answer.

Not sure whether @randystokes is setting up the new mac as a clean install, however that’s what I’m currenty doing. I’ve found using external drives to transfer files very cumbersome. It then tried transfering via Bonjour but it was quite slow.

It’s far more comfortable and faster to connect the two macs via cable. This way one can always access the entire old mac’s disk via the new mac.

As I already had a LAN cable I’m now doing it like this: Send very large files through Ethernet between two Mac computers.

If you have a Thunderbolt cable (or purchase one) that should even be faster: Transfer files between two Mac computers using target disk mode.

I’ve found using external drives to transfer files very cumbersome.

Cumbersome in what way?

PS: External drives are the simplest method.

Not specific to DEVONthink databases, it’s easy enough to get them on another mac. However when you’re clean installing a mac you can either clone the old mac’s whole disk or you probably always will forget something that you need to look up or copy over to the new mac (at least that happened over here). For me it turned out to be the easiest way to connect both macs via cable. Now I can easily look up, or compare, or copy files that I need on the new mac without re-attaching disks all the time.

My current plan is to use a bootable clone of my existing MacBook Pro to set up my new Mac Studio. I have done that in the past with prior Macs, including my current MacBook Pro.

Once that is done, I should have DTP and my databases on the Studio as well as on my MBP. I’m keeping the MBP for travel, etc., and want to be able to use DTP and my databases on both devices, with those databases syncing across devices so they’re the same on both devices.

BTW, I move documents into my databases. I don’t index documents on my Macs using DTP.


Just a note: we blogged about migrating to a new Mac recently…

Thanks! I will go check that out!


I am trying to acheive what is asked for in the heading of this thread. I have two macs, and have set up DT to sync via Dropbox. On mac1 I have one database and some pdfs, and on mac2 I have a different database and some other pdfs. Both macs appear to upload their stuff to the *dtCloud file generated on my Drobox. But the database from mac1 is not showing in the sidebar of mac2. What step have I missed?

Did you import the database in Preferences > Sync after selecting the sync location on Mac 2?

No, it appears I did not import it. I did now, and it works. Thanks! Will databases imported like this stay updated automatically after that?

Yes, as long as you allow the synching to complete.