Sync: "Could not verify store structure" Permissions error

I have a desktop and laptop, both running DTPO 2.6 and I want to use the same databases on both.

I have set both up to sync to a syncstore folder on the desktop. The desktop databases sync perfectly every time.

The laptop databases sync perfectly from the moment I set them up until the laptop sleeps. After that, I get “Could not verify the store structure (You don’t have permission to save the file “Documents” in the folder “david”. (The operation couldn’t be completed. Permission denied))”, every time. I delete the locations and reconnect to them again. This works until the laptop goes to sleep, after which I get the same error again.

Originally, I had the sync stores on a data drive in the desktop (i.e. not the main drive): I tried moving them to the main drive, but still get the same error. The user names on both desktop and laptop are the same (david).

There is nothing in the help files to suggest a solution as far as I can see.

Unfortunately, there’s little point in using the feature if you have to set it up every time! Am I missing a setting or is this a bug?



When is the Sync happening - immediately upon awakening by some automatic mechanism or are you doing it manually after waking it up?

Thanks for the quick reply.

The problem occurs when I reopen DTPO and the ‘Sync on open database’ option kicks in.

Can anyone shed any light on this problem please?

Maybe my answer here helps: Trouble syncing to local syncstore (on a FileTransporter)

I would recommend to uncheck the option to sync when you open the database. I learned this the hard way. If Devonthink crashes your database might have problems and you should do a Verify & Repair. But if you set up sync on opening the database you will sync errors into the sync store, which might replicate into other DT installation.

One time I lost a few files, another time I got a few hundred deleted files back…

I don’t know much about your environment but try this…

  1. In the Finder, double-click the flash drive and open a window showing the syncStore you are using.
  2. In the Finder, press Command-Shift-G and paste: /Applications/Utilities/
  3. Type: sudo chmod -R 777
  4. Drag and drop the syncStore into the Terminal window.
  5. When you press Enter you will be prompted to enter your admin password.
  6. Once this is finished type: exit and you can quit Terminal.

Truhe, Jim,

Thanks for your suggestions, I shall try them out.



Sync is very finicky at best. From what I can see you’re sync’g via a local store. Would that be right? I’ve only tested sync via Dropbox. I’ve done extensive testing on sync using Dropbox. The behaviour your describing does not happen with Dropbox ever.

I would suggest trying Dropbox. The sync code has now been optimized and will not affect the Dropbox store. That is, it is now efficient and the store will not expand improperly. I would suggest, if you don’t have a Dropbox account, to get one and sync via Dropbox from your machines. This behaviour will not happen.

I use a Fusion Drive iMac and a MacBook Air and have tested this extensively and this is a behaviour you won’t experience. However, it is my advice to everyone to sync frequently. Sync anytime you leave one machine and go to another or you will invariably get sync conflicts and errors.

Unfortunately and I don’t know how this works with a local store sync db but sync is obtrusive and not transparent in DEVONthink as it currently stands with Dropbox. Further, sync should be much closer to real time but it’s not. It’s up to you as the user to compensate this and sync frequently and in a logical manner. Further if you sync IOS devices using DTTG be extra careful and watch for bad notes which are frequently generated from DTTG and can slip into you DEVONthink DB. Sync will inevitably fail as a result on Dropbox. Dropbox will identify these notes and will cease sync at this point till you clear the bad notes from DEVONthink.

However, using Dropbox you’ll have no trouble putting your laptop to sleep and waking it up with DEVONthink. I have added in a Keyboard Maestro Macro to sync DEVONthink everytime I wake up my MacBook Air. I find I can continue work even with the sync process underway; just ignore what it’s doing unless you get a sync error alert.

Once again, just to emhasise, sync frequently and logically.


Thanks for the detailed post, I appreciate it.

TBH, I’ve given up with the idea of syncing via local store: I can’t get it to work easily and I don’t have time for extensive testing.

So, I’m now using the direct sync feature and that’s worked perfectly so far. I’ve not tried the Dropbox feature (I’m not sure I need it at the moment), but I will bear your post in mind if and when I do.

Many thanks


Late to the party, but still wanted to clarify this (with a warning):

Type a Space character after 777 and don’t tap the Return or Enter key until after the next step:

Afterwards the command line should look something like:

sudo chmod -R 777 /Volume/ThumbDrive/DtSyncStore

Or if there are any whitespace characters in the SyncStore pathname they’ll be escaped with backslash characters like:

sudo chmod -R 777 /Volume/ThumbDrive/Dt\ Sync\ Store

Then you’ll know it’s okay to do this:

If you tap Enter or Return too early, or if there’s no Space between 777 and the SyncStore pathname, this error will be displayed:

usage:	chmod [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-a | +a | =a  [i][# [ n]]] mode|entry file ...
	chmod [-fhv] [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-E | -C | -N | -i | -I] file ...

What you definitely want to avoid is accidentally running something like:

sudo chmod -R 777 / OtherPath

The Space between / and OtherPath would cause the command to attempt changing the permissions of every file and folder on the system to 777, with disastrous side effects.

A less risky sequence of commands would be something like:

cd /Volume/ThumbDrive/DtSyncStore
sudo -s
chmod -R 777 .

That way you can verify being in the correct folder (by running pwd) right before changing the permissions.

Just ignore me if that’s more confusing than helpful.

Hi David,

No problem. Yes, I can fully understand why you’d give up. You can spend hours on this stuff to get it running only to have it fail. Honestly, there are numerous advantages to using Dropbox or iCloud if it were provided or anyone’s cloud storage system like Omnipresence for Omnigroups products. DEVONthink uses Dropbox only. Although the implementation is not the way I’d like to see it (transparent and unobtrusive which is the way all products are that I use) plus more real time (that’s why I say with DEVONthink sync frequently otherwise you really will end up in trouble) keep Dropbox in mind as an option. A free 3 gig Dropbox account should give you plenty of storage for DEVONthink sync now that the code has been properly optimized. You won’t have any problems with it unless you don’t sync frequently and logically (if you’re at one machine, as soon as you leave it sync; I use a Keyboard Maestro macro to invoke sync) and when you go to your laptop and open the lid sync (I have a Keyboard Maestro macro that syncs up on wake). Do not set both machines to sync in preferences on the hour as you will get a sync conflict and that’s messy. One machine is fine. In prefs set sync for dropbox at DEVONthink open and close.

So if you do try the Dropbox route which i think you’d probably be pretty happy with just and I can’t repeat this enough sync frequently. Hopefully DEVON will hear this and get their product more in line with good sync practices - if not real time near real time like it just syncs every 5 minutes. Unless you have crazy low limitations on bandwidth this shouldn’t be an issue. I have unlimited bandwidth so it’s not a problem. I just have to monitor my cloud systems for capacity - that I’m not exceeding it.

So hopefully this all helps.