Unable to Sync between two Macs via iCloud

Hi there,
Just getting started with DT, and going through the Take Control DT book. I’ve installed DT on both of my Macs and setup syncing per the book via iCloud, but nothing is happening.

I clicked “Synchronize on Quit or Deactivation” checkbox and quit and restarted DT on both machines in hopes of triggering a sync, but nothing has happened.

I have only one document on my iMac, and about 30 on my MacBook, so it shouldn’t take long to sync.

I get no indication from DT that anything is wrong, so not sure where to troubleshoot.


How about doing your first sync with Bonjour on your local network. Simple. Fast, and “just works”. Make that work, and then tackle the internet-based iCloud (only if really needed).

As evidenced by the past discussions here, for some Apple’s iCloud is problematic. Unless you can get Apple to fix it, perhaps best solved by ignoring it. Just my two bits.

I routinely and regularly sync four devices with Bonjour and WebDAV (later just 'cause I can, not that I need it) on local network, and Dropbox (just in case I can resume my coffee shop/hotel/train/ travelling lifestyle some day).

I guess syncing over a local network isn’t a solution for me. I’ve already paid for DT on Mac license. And would pay for the iOS app if I can get DT to work on the Macs.

Unless I don’t understand Bonjour, it wouldn’t be an option since I’m not always on my local network.

This should work fine. Have you carefully followed the instructions in the DevonThink manual?

To start with you have databases locally on the Macs; at least the global inbox.

Set up a sync store on iCloud from one Mac1; synchronise that to the sync store. (In sync settings, click iCloud and then chose the local database to sync)

Connect to the this same sync store from Mac2 and synchronised. (Chose remote databases to sync)

Then both Macs should be able to stay in sync with the one ‘central’ sync store in iCloud. At least that’s what worked for me.

Don’t understand your logic, frankly.

Well, do both and do Bonjour first. Bonjour easy to setup and works fast. When macs are on the local network, it will just work.

Your issue has nothing to do with IOS and Bonjour works well on IOS too.

I think I got it, thanks to @latinhypercube mentioning to choose the databases to sync. I assumed DT sync would just sync after selecting iCloud.

I missed it because in the Take Control book, after selecting sync method of iCloud I thought I was done - I didn’t see the sentence mentioning to skip ahead two pages to select the databases.

Additionally, when I subsequently opened the DT sync preferences, iCloud is selected with a checkbox, but the Databases panel on the right is empty unless one clicks on the iCloud location. So that’s another way I missed it.

Anyway, completely my fault for going too fast. I only mention how I missed knowing what the next step as a data point for how one user messed up trying to get sync working.

Thanks again,

It can be a confusing process when first encountered. Glad you are up and running now.

That is correct. We advocate opt-in processes wherever possible. The software shouldn’t decide if you’re going to sync and what databases will be syncing. That is a decision for the user to make.

Makes sense the user should decide which databases should be sync’d. I guess I’m used to Evernote and Joplin that sync at the app level and didn’t know DT sync is specified at the database level.

After sync didn’t work (because I unknowingly failed to select any databases to sync), I went back into preferences to try to figure it out, and saw the iCloud box checked and an empty panel on the right side and it wasn’t evident to me what action to take.

Luckily it got squared away in the forum here.

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if you also get Bonjour working (leave Icloud also on) you will find it MUCH faster so that the slower Icloud sync has little to do. full instructions for bonjour in the manual and Help.

You’re welcome and glad to hear you’re up and syncing. :slight_smile: