Syncing Multiple Computers

We are using DT3 for a trial - lawyers… We have three computers, maybe adding a fourth, and currently Computer A is the “host” or the main database. Computers B and C sync to Computer A. Is there any sync issues, or issues I need to be aware of, if we added Computer D, and had Computer D sync to Computer B. Computer B and A are near each other every day, and therefore are always in sync.


  • What would you be syncing between B and D? Independent databases that won’t be synced to A and C
  • What kind of sync are you using?

Sorry about that! I failed to finish the story…We would be syncing a single database - “Trial.dtBase2.” We are currently using a local sync via Bonjour as the database size is 9.75gb and growing. Computers A, B, and C are constantly around each other. Because of intervening circumstances (Covid office closure), Computer D is around B often, but not A and C.

Maybe there’s a better sync solution - I’m worried about using Dropbox or any of the online options, given the size of the DB…

Just give Dropbox a try!

Don’t turn off Bonjour. It works and will continue to work. I have a vague recollection it will only sync with one computer at at time, but it’s so fast you’ll probably not notice.

I have a couple of databases of the size you are talking about. I use both Dropbox and Bonjour routinely. Of course Dropbox takes a bit longer and the upload/download is fully controlled by Dropbox (not DEVONthink). But frankly, don’t notice.

And you could use a WebDAV server to maintain all your computers in sync. I’ve found WebDAV is the most reliable sync with external option and I’m using it for 2 iPad, 1 iPhone and 3 MAC (MBP 2012, MBP 2020 and iMac 2017).

When I’m at home (where my WebDAV server is -in my NAS), once connection has been done via Synology DDNS, sync goes in local network, and if I’m out of home (mostly work) they go across internet without trouble (well, a lot more slow sync).

PS: Forgot to say I have 14 databases with zillions of words. Not sure, but seems my sync store is about 400GB.


Wow! You inspired me to try WebDAV. I am running a Drobo 5N, and have started the Sync via WebDAV, however in DT3, it will sync 30-60 files, and then it throws a “Client Error 423.” Currently stuck, but will keep doing some digging.

I have a solution figured out. Thanks all!

What did you go with?

Our office uses Egnyte (similar to microsoft sharepoint) which allows us to use WebDAV. I had looked for documentation previously, but was unable to find it, but this thread forced some additional looking. Once I found it, I was able to enable it on all four of the computers, and we’re off to the races. The one thing that we weren’t sure about, and didn’t want to tempt fate, is whether or not we needed all the computers to log in with the same username/password, so we went ahead and did that. But, we are off to the races now, and it is very smooth and quick. Wished I had implemented this several years ago!

Very nice!
And a common account is what we would have suggested too.


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My WebDAV is in my NAS at home, and to avoid DT using my normal user account, I have a DT only user for database sync with permissions only for access to the shared WebDAV folder inside, and deny any other permission. Plus HTTPS access only.

That way I separate both uses: If by any issue, DT sync account goes in the wild, they only can access to an encrypted mounted folder in my NAS (plus password accessed sync) and they will find garbage in the disk.

And I have my normal NAS user access to any other stuff. And if by any chance that account goes in the wild, well, my DT stuff is still secure.

I was going to add that a public sync like Dropbox might not be a good idea for a lawyer. Something private is much better. I, like @rfog, use a Synology NAS to sync all my “stuff”. Private and as secure as you want to make it. Sounds like your solution will be similar, but without having to manage a new piece of equipment. Sounds like a win-win.

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These are great ideas - @rfog thank you for the suggestion of keeping things separate, etc…and @fotan, that is one of the reasons that I was hesitant with Dropbox - however we don’t keep sensitive data within DT - i.e. all documents are stored on our server, and since we are heading to trial, all of these documents will be public. However, the security concern is valid.

I will be creating a new user that only has access to the DT directory, and will move the DT directory on our cloud server so it doesn’t sit at the root. Very helpful - one of the reasons I love this community! Thank you all!

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I am syncing via Apple iCloud via 3 Mac, 3 iPhones, 3 iPads . No problems at all…

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Very interesting setup! Thanks for the reports! How do you make sure that the documents are changed the same way on all computers? For example, how do you make sure that one computer does not do OCR at 72dpi and the other at 300? Or that computer A does not name documents that are changed by intelligent rules differently than computer B?

This is currently my problem, for which I am looking for a solution. Maybe one of you can help me there.

This has probably been asked before (and @BLUEFROG will probably know whether it has) but I would say a sync store should ideally also be able to sync the DT settings and any DT installation should be able to retrieve them if required on that device.

(And if it hasn’t been asked before, can I transform this remark into a feature request?).

No you can’t transfer DEVONthink settings between machines via sync. Not only would such a mechanism change underlying application files while DEVONthink is running, it also it’s the line between independent machines.

Of course, development could offer their own thoughts on the matter.

I’m not sure whether I understand what you mean with this sentence

@cgrunenberg: do you think it’s feasible to synchronize DT settings through a sync store in a future release? This might involve checkboxes and other settings in the preferences, but would ideally also include smart rules/groups etc.

That might be of interest to users who want to use the same settings for all (or some) of their seats. As has been asked before with regard to smart groups e.g. this might also apply to DTTG where applicable (in the future).

Ugh. Autocorrect.
it also blurs the line

Ride, bat deers it up!

The “blurring” would be intentional if a user could sync the settings by the way.