Skip the update (want to go back to working version) and wait for next update?

If updated DTP fails, Can I go back to previous version if I want to skip the update and wait for next update?

I updated to 3.04 and got problems but I see no way to go back to 3.03 (which was working).

Assuming you use time machine or some other backup solution just putting the previous version back and deactivating automatic updates should work I would think :thinking:

But perhaps post to let DT know what doesn’t work - you may find them helping you solve the problem :upside_down_face:

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Thanks for your quick answer.

Process so far:
Was installing and seemed to be working okay with 3.03.
Installed 3.04 and got screen bleeding (like memory leaks in software maybe).
Took a screen grab and sent help ticket.

Got indication it might take some time to get an answer.

What if I have no time for the answer or the fix and just need to get back to work?

I don’t see a way to just go back where I was.

I noticed a recommendation on other forum posts here to keep three independent backups of data for safety.

I have one backup using Carbon Copy cloner and want to get more organized, but what if use the update feature of the DTP and therefore don’t have a downloaded full DMG file on my backup?

As I say, I personally would simply try putting the app (and only the app) v 3.0.3 back, overwriting v 3.0.4, hoping that that solved the problem. You probably have a back-copy if the app in CCC. Are you up to date with macOS; obviously System updates might also be worth a try if not (I mention this because I haven’t seen any other descriptions of this problem, suggesting something unique in your setup)

Thanks for your reply.
I am uptodate with Catalina 10.15.3.

I took DEVONthink 3 application file from another machine running 3.03 and copied it onto the 3.04 and that seems to have fixed the issue.

New challenge:
I used CleanMyMac to uninstall before trying fresh install of 3.04 so now my data is gone.
Any tips on where to look for and which files to restore from a system backup?



I used CleanMyMac to uninstall… so now my data is gone.

This is why we do not advocate using uninstaller utilities.

The main support folder is: ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 3

Do a Spotlight search for kind:database name:dtBase2, if it removed your databases as well.

Thanks for your reply and for not advocating using uninstaller utilities.

Sounds like I am not the first one to do this.

Any chance they would set up the update path a bit differently to prevent this.
Last time I visited Niagara Falls, they had a fence to keep folks from stepping over.

If updates work, as they have been, would never start path to abyss of data loss.
If update had warning (front and centre) and simple path to recovery with access to previous version, might be an improvement.

Risk of data loss is the reason I have avoided total dependance on Devonthink.
Since awareness of syncing dangers years ago.

Takes time to get organized to triple backup level.

That is the Swiss cheese model of accident causation, and actually not a bad way to go about it. I’m personally not sure what that might mean for DT and its update process though - that would/will be for DEVONtech to gauge; I am sure, however, that one hole that moved into place in this process was your lack of a serious backup strategy. I say this without any malice - a backup strategy not only requires you to make a backup but also have a strategy for playing the backup back if required. For what it’s worth, I think CCC is brilliantly suited to restoring a full system (you can actually boot from your backup medium if it is set up that way [you should ALWAYS test this before you need it]) - for individual files I use Time Machine. Total dependence on any data management software requires a thought through backup strategy - something which I believe saves time in the long run.

Again, for what it’s worth: I have hourly backups on Time Machine, 6-hourly backups with CCC (to separate disks), a complete duplicate of my DT data on a second device, and a partial duplicate on 2 further devices. The disks for aforementioned backups are rotated and stored off site. Setting that up was as simple as purchasing a handful of disks (SSDs in my case) and setting up both TM and CCC - time required is in the range of many hours, time requiring your input is less than 2 hours. I feel that is something that should maybe have priority.

Using uninstaller utilities requires you to understand what they are doing deep down; I used windows for a long time and always used uninstallers (and the system slowed down over time even so); since switching to Mac I have seen no need. I admit I don’t install much in the way of software which I don’t keep, so maybe your use case is quite different.

I agree an update can always fail. I agree that in an ideal world DT would have a “reverse update” button. Recognising, however, that even that could fail, I feel a backup prior to any major intervention (updates, new software etc.) is highly recommended and would have stopped your path to data loss.

In any case I wish you all the best in your quest to find your lost data - if you do regular CCC backups it will be in there, otherwise do check the bin (your uninstaller may have put it there). It is also perfectly possible it is not lost at all (ie the uninstaller didn’t touch it), which is why Jim suggested the above search.

All the best!


Thanks for your interest, care and consideration.

I have a long way to go to get organized for data safety and I do appreciate your backup advice.
I think I might have backed up using ccc after I uninstalled.

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Is there a way to relocate the global inbox and any other DTP data out of the application support folder?

Would this keep data away from uninstaller removal?

so you do all your backups to differenr SSDs that you manually connect to your mac? can you explain in more detail your backup process… (sorry I am no expert in this)… I had a lot of problems with Time Machine (corrupt backups) etc in the past.,

Is there a way to relocate the global inbox and any other DTP data out of the application support folder?

This is not supported or advisable.

Would this keep data away from uninstaller removal?

Likely not. Not using an uninstaller app (at least for DEVONthink) is best.

If I were to “save” all my digital resources touched by DEVONthink, with a process which would allow me to recover quickly and easily maybe I should start by keeping a copy of each version of DEVONthink I ever use.

This way, if I infrequently need a feature which chokes up, I can go back and try previous versions of DTP until I find the version which will work.

Any advice on which folders and what process would keep me safe as far as DTP is concerned?

I now have a fresh install of DTP 3.03.
I want to rebuild to where I was before installation of 3.04 and uninstalling it.

I have found a previous version of library application support info.
If I just drop it all where it should be will that cause a problem?

When 3.05 comes out, do you recommend a process of preparation before I click update?

I think you’re over-anticipating an issue here. The update process has been in place for years, and you are experiencing a rare blip on the radar. I would not advise trying to keep older versions, in fact, I would try and dissuade you from it.

@vinschger I have 2 external SSDs connected to my Mac at all times. One is the target disk for Time Machine, one is the target disk for CCC. Approximately weekly I disconnect both these disks and cycle them - so for example I have TM1, TM2, TM3… and CCC1, CCC2, CCC3; when TM1 and CCC1 have been connected for a week I connect TM2 and CCC2 and so on - that way when I get back to connecting disks 1 a number of weeks have passed; the idea behind that is that I would expect to have noticed any malware or system problems at that point, so have a chance that I would have a least one clean backup (albeit several weeks old). Obviously that system would fail for any malware which lay dormant for weeks before activating. For protection from fire and theft I store the disks I’m not currently using off site.

Before major changes - e.g. going on holiday, installing new software - I perform a backup and cycle the disks regardless of the schedule above.

I too have had trouble with Time Machine in the past, which was one of the reasons for adding CCC; CCC seems more suitable to me for restoring the whole system (I can boot directly from the backup-SSD), whereas Time Machine is simpler for me to use to play back individual files.

I have extensively tested my CCC backups to the point that I have completely restored the system from a backup for test purposes.

As I mentioned, I have important data (especially DT) mirrored (in DT’s case synced using bonjour) on at least one further device.

I’m not convinced this setup is failsafe - I’m worried by the length of time the backup disks are connected to my Mac; in an ideal world I would prefer to cycle daily - however, the dormant malware problem above becomes rather more acute if a disk returns to use every few days rather than every few weeks. In another ideal world I would add a further strategy, backing up to an external host - something which however comes with its own problems (think data protection).

I’m most happy for anyone to comment on my strategy - please feel free to point out weaknesses. I’d also like to point out that I’m not advocating any one piece of software over another - I’ve only ever used the afore mentioned software on the Mac (I used Acronis TrueImage on Windows), but am happy with it.

My use of “so far, so good, use it until it breaks” needs to be replaced with use of some of Murphy’s Laws.

Using it until it breaks means step one is to prove what broke.

I can’t do that unless I can do a before and after test.
Need access to previous version and looks like its up to me to look after a version library of my own.

If benefit of using DEVONthink is as good as I hope it is, the pain of failure and not having it is inversely proportionate to that goodness.

99% is not good enough.

Bailing out of an update which chokes means I will quickly get back to work which is my priority.
This might make me temporarily unavailable to even report the failure or participate in analysis of DTP error.
But when I have time and nobody is shooting at me (figuratively speaking) I can participate in trial and error experimenting.

I think I miss-worded previous post.

What I mean to say is pain of broken system is proportional to the pleasure of working system.

You guys get my drift.

Even if it works flawlessly for 30 years, risk of failure is compounded by complacency.

Like democracy, we gotta watch it.

Still get same problem with 3.04.
After problem with DTP 3.04, my system started slowing up and giving beachballs. I was feeling hopeful DTP might not be the main issue.
My system slow-down seemed like experience of others online with Catalina earlier versions.
After a recovery reinstallation of Catalina 15.3 system is fast and smooth.
I did a backup of clean system and tried again to use DTP 3.04 but same DTP problem with (transparency memory-leak?) behaviour as noted above.
I went back to DTP 3.03 and the DTP problem went away and system is still fast with no other issues. Seems like something in DTP 3.04 is not liking my catalina.