"Update indexed items" does nothing

I have a folder with many pdfs which have been indexed in Devonthink some time ago. Today I added a new pdf file to the folder. Since Devonthing did not automatically discover it, I pressed “Update Indexed Items” in the File-menu. But this does nothing whatsoever. Well, one strange thing is happening. Every now and then (I have tried Updating the Indexed files about 50 times by now) I notice that the number of items in the group is reduced by one. So instead of adding my new file to the index it seems to be taking away some. Sometimes. For no reason.

Is this a bug? I’m on DT 3.7.1 on Big Sur (11.3).

Could it be that you have a Smart Rule moving, say, newly-indexed files to another location; and/or that in fact you or something IS actually deleting the PDFs in question in the Finder thus causing DT to update what it thinks is really in the location it’s (not?) indexing?

I’m pretty new to DT and haven’t yet gotten as far as creating smart rules. So unless DT magically creates such rules by itself or comes with them, I have no such rules.

My problem at the moment is not so much that files are disappearing (although that is very weird), but that the file that definitely sits in that folder is not being seen by DT.

Welcome @toffy
Where is the indexed folder in the Finder?

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Are any indexed items still in DEVONthink’s trash?

the path is /Users/username/Documents/Box Sync/Literature

Yes, there are many items in the DT trash. Are you suggesting that indexing new files doesn’t work unless the trash is empty?

New indexed files are not added if the same indexed files exist already in the trash.

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OK, this is weird but good to know. Indeed: emptying the trash resolved the issue.

So, just to better understand what is going on here:

The newly added file was not in the trash, but it was still not indexed. So I suppose it is not just trashed files that are not indexed but also trashed folders?

Regarding the number of items in the group going getting less (i.e. files disappearing from the index): I can understand how triggering Update indexed items would correct the number of indexed items downwards if DT finds some of the currently indexed items in the trash and therefore removes them from the index.

However, I don’t see how that could happen several times with none of the files changing whatsoever.

Also, I believe that most, if not all the files in the folder were in the trash (When I tested DT some weeks ago, I added the Literature folder some weeks ago and then trashed it for some reason and added it again) so, given the above, I don’t understand how a) I could have succeeded in adding the trashed folder back to the index, b) why only a few files would have been removed now when I triggered Update indexed items.

Only items that exist already in the database (including the trash) are skipped.

You can always manually index files/folders but updating of indexed items skips already existing items.

Without a copy of your database and the necessary files this is hard to tell unfortunately.

If you already haven’t, I strongly suggest you read the Help > Documentation > In & Out > Importing & Indexing section.

In that case I have no idea how emptying the trash could solve my issue because I see no way how the file in question could already have been in the database. I downloaded it just before I tried annotating it in DT.

Is there any other way how the trash can affect “Update indexed items”?

Ah, OK, so trashed items can be re-added but not re-indexed.

Yes, I saw you posting this in pretty much every topic about indexing issues. This is how I found out about “Update indexed items”. It didn’t occur to me previously that I would have to update already indexed items in order to add a new (i.e. not-yet-indexed item). I also saw that deleted items will be removed from the index but since I knew I definitely hadn’t deleted the file in question, I did not consider it relevant. I guess the crux is that by “items” the documentation doesn’t just mean files, but also folders, which was not intuitive for me.

I’ll take the opportunity to point out that the path

doesn’t exist:

Re “doesn’t exist”. Apparently true, but as a reader and thinker you could have perhaps noticed “DEVONthink 3 Help” and you can find the DEVONthink Handbook available at the DEVON Technologies web site. Perhaps download it and put into your DEVONthink database. Mine’s marked as a “favourite” for easy access to the reference.

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Only the way I explained it in the earlier post. If you’re still able to reproduce this, then screenshots of the indexed items, the trash and the folder in the Finder too might be useful.

This is discussed in the Getting Started > DEVONthink Simplified section.

OK, so there are two types of items: groups (corresponding to folders) and documents (corresponding to files).

Based on the fact that groups/folders are items, I guess it is clear that the reason why the new file was not indexed was because the folder containing it was in the trash. The incoherence that remains, however, is that (most of) the other files in the same folder (hundreds of them) remained indexed.

I wouldn’t know how to try and reproduce this without potentially messing upp my database, so I guess we need top wait if anything like it ever occurs again.

One thing I might mention is that I have not yet created any specific database, i.e. all my items are in the Inbox. Might that play a role?

No, the global inbox is just another database.

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