shared database/data loss—please help

Hi people,

I use DEVONthink Pro 2.6.1 on my MacBook Air and my Mac Pro. I use Dropbox to store my database. My understanding was that the newer versions of DTP would allow this without data loss, but clearly I didn’t fully understand the system.

I recently did several hours worth of time-sensitive research on my laptop (MBA), organizing and saving webpages and text documents into DTP. I left DTP open on my laptop, as I often do during large, long-term projects (I’m a writer). Later that evening I did additional work on my desktop (MP).

At some point in the evening I closed DTP on both computers. I’m not sure the exact sequence, i.e. which computer I closed it first on, but now when I open DTP on my laptop the work I did on the desktop is there, but the previous day’s laptop work, the more important work, is gone.

Clearly the work I did on the desktop saved to my database on Dropbox, overwriting whatever I had done on my laptop DTP.

This is a massive blow to my schedule and I’m now afraid I may have lost significant amounts of critical data (i.e. rtf files I dragged into DTP from Finder that now don’t show, saved websites, etc.).


Isn’t DTP setup to avoid this very problem? I thought newer versions were designed to solve this and play nice via Dropbox?

Does DTP only save my database when the program is closed? Why didn’t my laptop work from earlier in the day save to my database? (I was connected to the Internet at all times.) Shouldn’t the later desktop work have been added to my earlier work rather than overwritten it?

Most importantly, is there any way to recover this lost data? My last backup, which appears to save automatically every week, was several days ago, so it’s no help.

Any ideas or instruction is hugely appreciated.



This is really unfortunate and I can imagine the frustration. If you do not have a backup, or Time Machine, or offline copies or sources for your data, and the files you dragged from Finder are no longer there, then there is probably nothing to be done to reverse the damage.

Please, take your databases out of Dropbox. Now.

DEVONthink is designed to sync databases using Dropbox. It is not designed to store databases in Dropbox. There is a difference. This forum has numerous warnings about that.

Please don’t assume that software does what one imagines it does. Sorry. :confused: But it does do what the manual and Help say it does.