Understand how sync works when deleting or moving groups or documents

I need help understanding how sync works when I delete a group or move to a different db.

I use the copy of db on my Mac as a “Master” and do most organizational work there. I then sync out to my iPad and iPhone for mobile access. Occasionally, I find a need to delete a group or move it into a different db. However, it seems that when I sync to the iPhone or iPad the deleted group gets re-instantiated on my Mac.

Am I doing something wrong?

Where are you doing the deletion or move?

I did it on the Mac. Then synced the iPad.

Once I noticed that I now had the groups in both databases - i tried the move on the Mac again hoping to find any missing files ( merge). That did not work as all the UUIDs were duplicated.


  • I did create a backup copy of my he db on the Mac before starting
  • I also exported the (2) groups to a folder on the Mac before starting

[[ Belt and Suspenders ]]

Update - I also notice that even though the database on the Mac shows the groups that I moved in … even after multiple syncs that same db on my iPad does not contain those groups.

Clearly I am not doing something correctly.

30 November 2021 4:42 PM - update … data finally synced down to iPad.

  • Is there anything reported in DEVONthink’s Window > Log?
  • Is there a triangle on the sync icon in DEVONthink To Go’s bottom toolbar? If so, touch it and tell me what it reports.

Log reports … continued error on the FROM database:

11/30/21, 16:43:34: 00_Working Database Failed database verification, please repair the database.

Verify and Repair found (1) inconsistency … fixed.

Please start a support ticket so i can look at the info and lots. Thanks.

Thank you - I will open a ticket.

Update - I think I have mostly gotten the databases on all the devices the way I want them through brute force. Still not sure what is happening with sync.

  1. Created a copy of the source db from where I wanted to move the groups.

  2. Exported documents and folders from the groups I wanted to move.

  3. Did a db export for both the source and target dbs.

  4. Deleted the groups from the source db on my Mac.

  5. Emptied the trash on my Mac.

  6. Deleted the groups from the source db on my iPad.

  7. Emptied the trash on my iPad.

  8. Synced up to iCloud from my Mac.

  9. Synced the iPad (iCloud and Bonjour)

  10. Imported the groups exported in Step 2 into the target db. This created duplicates as I had previously moved them in an earlier effort (I am OK with the dups and will fix that later)

iPad and Mac seem to be correct and in sync.

++ Then I synced my iPhone ++

This resulted in a couple of empty folders being recreated. Not sure if the sync has completed (is there a way to tell?)

Not sure if the sync has completed (is there a way to tell?)

Really only if there’s a period of inactivity and no errors are reported when you’re not actively using DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go. There’s not a user-facing, “Sync is done!” :slight_smile:

iPad and Mac seem to be correct and in sync.

That’s excellent! Glad you got it there.