Survey among DTTG users

I have no problems synchronizing my DTP databases accross computers. I installed DTTG as version 3 was available. The interface is very good. I wrote a few notes, but have synchronizing issues. I can see some (253 in fact) of my folders, but not all.
The interface says: 377 files awaiting impossible (translated from French).
Synchro through Dropbox. Backed on iCloud.
I purchased a perpetual upgrade.

I’ve spent some time on this over the past week or so and now have it working reliably with Bonjour and iCloud Kit. In the end, the failures and timeouts were all because of poor error handling by the process. There are files that are problematic and when they are encountered it seems to abort the process. Finding those bad files and eliminating them is the key to getting the sync working.


Curious what file or file types that should be.

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What do you mean by this?

It just means that instead of saying “ can’t be backed up” it just stops and gives no indication that it’s not working anymore. The backup just never completes and the error message simply says the server has timed out. I’m not saying there is no way to dig deeper into the log files or system files, but that is what appears to be the issue. At first I thought the 100GB database was the issue, but after dividing into a 40GB and 60GB database, the 60 worked and the 40 didn’t. That’s when I knew there was a problem in the files rather than just DB size.

As to Pete31’s question, I believe the files are ones that are listed as PENDING or ORPHANS or both. I have not narrowed it down yet, but once problematic files are eliminated the sync appears to be working.

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I sync DEVONthink to Go 3 on three iOS/iPadOS devices via CloudKit to 5 databases (16GB total) in DEVONthink 3 on macOS 11.2.2. No issues at all.

The backup just never completes and the error message simply says the server has timed out.

As mentioned many times: Sync is ​not ​a backup, neither advertised nor advocated as such.

Also, a timeout is a server or network connection error, not necessarily a sync issue.

It just means that instead of saying “ can’t be backed up” it just stops and gives no indication that it’s not working anymore.

In the instance you’re describing above, the issue isn’t with

I used to sync via both Bonjour and Dropbox. Bonjour for speed when local, Dropbox so it would update when not on the LAN. I recently dropped Bonjour and have been just letting it sync via Dropbox and so far it is better. Less errors (on the Bonjour side), and even seems to update better in the background (though that may be DTTG 3 improvements). I did the intial sync with Bonjour to get the data transferred faster, then turned it off and am letting it do all updates via Dropbox. So far so good. Been on this new setup about 1-2 weeks and like it better. My daily updates and additions are minimal, so the slower Dropbox sync is not a big deal. My total databases are about 15 GB.

Hello. Thanks for answering, @waterdog. I am curious of how to perform Sync by iCloud Kit. All I see in DTTG 3 is an option for iCloud (Legacy) next to Dropbox sync. Is that iCloud Kit ? If so, why does it say (Legacy) ? If not, where and how do I sync with iCloud Kit ?

See page 32 of the “DEVONthink To Go” Manual for full instructions. Available from the DEVON Technologies web site.


I also sync large databases between DTPO and DTTG. I was using Dropbox for a time but every once in a while, I had to completely flushed the databases from my iPad and restart. Moving to CloudKit solved all of my issues. Then only recent one was the transition from DTTG 2 to DTTG 3, with ghost files and so on. But now everything seems to be working correctly again.

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I tried mightily to make sync work. Only could make it through Dropbox. That got too expensive.

I’ve given up. I just use Evernote for files I might want to see on my iPad.

Excuse me, but this should have been simple.

I’m also deathly afraid to save databases in the cloud. I’m using an external HD, as recommended, but what will happen if that is destroyed in the same cataclysm (theft, earthquake, wildfire) that takes out my computer?

Did you try Bonjour which I find very reliable? Or webdav with your own server or a third party? Or the Apple services? Thinking Dropbox too expensive does not mean it does not work.

And you realise sync is not a viable backup. Your fears are real risks but to think a DEVONthink sync, or absence thereof, is a risk to you in case of disaster is mis-guided thinking.

Sync is a simple thing. Have you checked out the Help > Documentation > In & Out > Sync section?

We advocate local primary backups via Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, etc.
Redundant backups, including an offsite copy stored in a safe location, e.g., a safety deposit box, are a good idea for critical data.
We also suggest an online backup via a snapshot-style application, like Arq, is a good idea.

There are many good threads on backups, including a three-part blog series we did…

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I use WebDAV. Works flawlessly on a whole bunch of DBs. Since DTTG3 I also use me iCloud on the whole set of DBs and had no issues either.

I use DropBox - works like a charm.

Welcome to the forums, @mebstein

Thanks for sharing your experience! :slight_smile:

Are you using CloudKit?

I sync DTTG on an ipad with an iMac and MacBook Pro (2012) using iCloud (legacy). Syncs perfectly with five databases all of around 18GB each.

The only error message I get now and again is ‘this database is already open on another device’ or something. Even when no other databases are open. Doesn’t seem to affect anything though.

DTTG latest version seems to have better syncing: it starts updating immediately on opening the app rather than having to wait a while for it to catch up.

I use WebDAV sync to my Synology NAS. I’ve been running the setup for a couple of years and never had a problem. Phone, tablet, Mac.

During the Texas snowpocalypse I had to shut down the server and abandon house, so I temporarily used Rendezvous sync at a friend’s house, and that worked too.

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