Update Items not working?

I have just returned to Devonthink after a long time away.
I have setup a database (stored in Documents on iMac HD).
I have used File Import to import a number of folders (some from within iMac HD and some from Synology WebDAV).
The import and indexing have worked and I have also synced with DTTG successfully.
However if I add a file to any of the folders using Finder…then the folders on Devonthink are not updated to reflect the new files.
I have tried ‘Update Items’, but still no success.
I am sure that I am doing something silly, but I can’t find what it is!
Any help appreciated. Thanks

Sounds like you “Imported”, e.g. copies of the files going into DEVONthink, vs. “Indexing” where you setup pointers to files external to DEVONthink–but it looks like they are inside the database, but only a “pointer”.

Thank you.
Am I right in thinking that I need to delete the folders/files that I have added and instead use “Index Files and Folders” instead?

No. That’s not right if I understand what you are suggesting.

Perhaps before we go much further, best if you re-read the “In & Out” chapter of the outstanding DEVONthink Manual as that is the best explanation.

Hint: Unless you have reason to “Index”, “Importing” the way to go, IMHO.


@rmschne is correct in his cautionary tone. Indexing (versus importing) is not “just something you turn on”. The Help is very thorough on what you should understand about indexing and its interactions with the filesystem, so yes, start there.

Thank you both.
I have now read the In/Out section again.
My understanding after re-reading it is that in order to have the benefit of DEVONthink updating to reflect changes/new added files to my folders in Finder, I should add files/folders using Index.
I have read the section about losing info from DEVONthink if file locations are moved in Finder.
Am I wrong, or am I doing something risky if I import using indexing?

You can’t do the impossible. It’s importing or indexing. Tertium non datur.

And you should not index unless you really need it and understand the cons.

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Thank you.
Is there any way to import and then update in such a way that any additional files are added subsequently?
If not, then it looks like indexing is the only way

Before deciding if you import or index, it might be helpful to know what you want to achieve: What is it that you want to use DT for? What is the workflow you’ll plan to use?

Did you, BTW, read the manual? It should answer a lot of your questions and perhaps give you an idea how to tackle your task.

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You need to determine if you need to use indexing, e.g., do you need access to the files in the Finder for purposes outside DEVONthink?
If not, then you should import.

And I’m uncertain why you’re referring to new files getting added. Added where?

I have read the manual, especially the In/Out section.
I guess the answer is that I do need access to the files from outside DEVONthink, so indexing is the way for me.
The reference about adding files is really about files getting added to folders within Finder and my desire for these files to be added to the DT database.
Ultimately, my current main desire is for the granular search ability within DEVONthink.
I know that this is only one tiny feature, but it is where I plan to start, and hopefully after a bit I will embrace the many other features.
As always, thank you for your help, hints and warnings.

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

What are you intending to index? A specific Finder folder?

Planning to index about 12-15 Finder folders…about 5000 files

And, what are you doing with those files in the file system? what app? what kind of files? Are these file folders in one or more hierarchical positions in the file system, e.g. one root folder or spread all over? what are you doing with them in DEVONthink? What is your goal?

note: Finder is not a description of files. it is a macOS app that provides you a GUI to manage (“deal with”) files in the macOS file system.

Gotcha. If you plan on reorganizing, especially deletions, make triple sure you understand the help.

Testing on a smaller set of data first may be a good starting point. :slight_smile:

Just want to add that if you would import and not index you do have the option to setup a monitoring action on a folder. See for example Monitor Directory.
Using that it would allow you to automatically import new files. I have no personal experience with this feature.

The thread you’re referencing is ten years old. Folder actions are no longer necessary, as has been explained here only some days ago: index a single folder and have a smart rule importing everything into you databases that’s added to it.

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Thanks for the update. As I said I did not have personal experience with it.
Folder Actions still exist though. I checked before I posted.

Yes, folder actions exist, are still supported, and even have their own place still. However, most of what people use folder actions for is done with DEVONthink 3’s smart rules now.

I had this same issue [DT not displaying additional files in indexed folders] after I upgraded to a new version. Took me a while to realize the Apple turned OFF the full disk access when I upgraded, so I had to go back into Systems and Preferences to add DevonThink back to having full disk access. After I did that, DT3 automatically added the new files in my indexed folders. WHEW.

@BLUEFROG, y’all might want to add to the upgrade info that a user will need to verify that DT still has full disk access; if that info is already there, it needs to be more prominent.