Where Is DEVONthink Data Located?

Is all data related to DEVONthink stored in User/Library/Caches/Metedata/DEVONthink?

I’m trying to update my backup procedures since I began using DEVONthink and DEVONagent in earnest.

No, the information stored at that location is the metadata for Spotlight searches of the database – it isn’t the database itself.

If you are using DT Personal, the database is the folder named DEVONthink, located at ~/Library/Application Support/.

If you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office, the database is a package file with the suffix “.dtBase” – usually stored in your Documents folder.

The DEVONthink applications store internal backups inside the database, at a frequency selected in Preferences > Backup, or whenever one invokes Tools > Backup & Optimize. It’s a good idea to manually run Tools > Verify & Repair first, especially after making significant additions or modifications to the database, or every week or so.

To make a backup copy of your DEVONthink Personal database, first quit DEVONthink (a Finder copy of an open database may be incomplete or have errors, so make certain the application has been quit). Now select the folder named DEVONthink (at ~/Library/Application Support?), Command-click on it and choose the contextual menu option Compress “DEVONthink”.
Move the compressed copy of the database to another location on your drive. You may wish to store a copy on an external drive or other medium such as a CD or DVD.

For DT Pro and DT Pro Office users, I recommend Scripts > Export > Backup Archive. When I’ve been working hard with my database and have made significant changes, at break time I’ll start Backup Archive. When I return from break, the database has been verified and optimized and has current internal and external backups. The external backup archive is the smallest possible compressed and dated copy of your database, so it’s easier to copy to an external drive or optical disc for insurance against a hard drive crash.

Thanks, I think I’ve got it now…

Besides the backup folders, there are ten databases, all with the same creation and modification dates but each database is a different size… What are the separate databases related to?

They’re all necessary and therefore should be backed up.

Since I had a similar question, I’ll add to this thread. I’ve Captured a web page and would like to view the external CSS file. Clearly it’s “somewhere” on my local machine, because when I’m away from an Internet connection, it and the javascript files are being used. I looked in the Show Package Contents of the .dtBase file, but didn’t see anything. Are these accessible so I can modify the CSS code locally? The file Kind is Web Archive.


A webarchive is like a special zip file that contains everything necessary to recreate the webpage you saved as it was in memory. So it doesn’t contain the html and css files as such, just the archived objects of the WebKit.

If you open this file in Safari and use Develop > Show Web Inspector, you can see the source and the CSS references. Then you could download the latter again.