Shared Sync preferably with icloud

Hello everyone,

we are using Devonthink for quite some time now and are really happy with it. We created a separate dropbox account to sync our database, so we have both access to it. This account now lacks the space we need. We have an iCloud family pack, and the database would fit there, thing is, I have no clue how to sync and share it there. Has anyone done it yet? If I create a folder and share it with my wife I can’t seem to save the database there. If it does not work with iCloud what would be the recommendation for a shared situation?

This forum is full of posts regarding iCloud sync that the search function will reveal. And there’s the chapter in manual dealing with sync methods…

Hi Chrillek,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I tried the search but could not find anything with my search terms that would help me in my situation or the content was older than two years. That’s why I posted the question. Do you care to share a link to a thread or solution?

It sounds like you were just sharing a dropbox folder, as opposed to using the sync tab in the preferences pane, which is not recommended.

iCloud cannot be used for syncing between multiple Apple IDs.

If I create a folder and share it with my wife I can’t seem to save the database there.

Also, as stated many times: You should never put a DEVONthink database in any cloud-synced location or you could irreparably damage it.


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Thank you all for taking the time to answer. Yes we currently use one dropbox account and sync to that. I will have a look at bonjour, although I am preferring the comfort of a cloud solution.

Well, you’ll likely find Bonjour is quicker and more reliable; but if you really need to sync while away from the local network, then you can add Dropbox. Nothing says you can’t use both.


Seriously, if you are just sharing a database file in a Dropbox folder instead of actually setting up a sync location through the preferences tab, it may appear to you to be working, but you are asking for trouble. I used Dropbox sync for a long time and it is pretty solid, but you have to set it up right.

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Actually, this behavior has been explicitly disallowed since the later versions of DEVONthink 2.x.
DEVONthink will not open or sync a database found in a cloud-synced location. Also, it will offer to move it to the Databases folder in your home directory or manually move it to another location manually.


thanks for the warning. I think there might be a misunderstanding, I am using the sync option as recommended, I am just looking for something that can do that shared with another person, like a shared folder. Which apparently is not possible. So we use the same dropbox account with the sync function and will look into bonjour as backup or vice versa.

Thank you for your help!

It is possible with iCloud if both participants use the same AppleID. OTOH, some people are not very happy with iCloud’s performance and stability regarding sync.

good to know

Isn’t this what CloudKit data sharing (I tried to include a link to the relevant documentation but am apparently forbidden to post links) is for? I think syncing with multiple IDs is possible under CloudKit. Bookends does it successfully.

I’d also add that I’d really like to see this feature in DevonThink. I maintain a separate iCloud account for my work machine in order to separate work and personal materials. I’d like to be able to share certain databases with my work iCloud account while keeping other databases not shared. Again, this is something Bookends manages—I am able to share some of my libraries while keeping others only on individual iCloud accounts. So this does seem to be technically feasible.

Right now I’m managing to make my setup work by using Dropbox to sync with my work machine, but I’d really like to be able to do it all with iCloud, and CloudKit sharing seems as though it should make that possible.