Questions and Answers
Can I buy already during the trial month?
No, our apps never ask for money while you still have a valid license or subscription. We have not added an option to buy while there is an active subscription to prevent accidental double purchases.
On iOS and based on how the App Store works, the trial time is simply a free month at the beginning of a regular subscription. To switch, e.g., to the one-time purchase, please cancel your subscription and let it expire. As soon as the app asks for a license again, choose your desired option.
Can I switch from subscription to a one time purchase?
You can cancel the subscription via DEVONthink To Go’s Settings > Your Subscription: Manage. Tap the subscription to open the subscription interface where you can cancel it. Note the date it would renew. You will still have use of the application until the end of the current subscription period. On the date it would have renewed, you will see the option to make a one-time purchase.
Can I use family sharing?
Yes, DEVONthink To Go supports family sharing for subscriptions and one-time purchases. Make sure to enable sharing for the subscription in App Store > Account > Subscriptions. For one-time purchases install the app on your family member’s device not directly from the App Store but from App Store > Account > Purchases > (Purchaser).
Does my one-time purchase expire?
The one-time purchase for DEVONthink To Go is valid for the app generation you have purchased it for. You might need to buy an upgrade when a new major generation arrives.
How do I upgrade to DEVONthink To Go 3?
As we don’t want to force you to upgrade to DEVONthink To Go 3 we made it a new app in the App Store. If you purchased version 2 you can upgrade to version 3 for a reduced price.
For this to work make sure DEVONthink To Go 2.7.8 or 2.7.9 is installed on your device and opened at least once. Then install version 3 and buy the price-reduced one-time purchase. You can now safely delete the old version at your convenience.
Where do I find DEVONthink To Go 2?
DEVONthink To Go 2 is no longer available in the App Store. But if you purchased it while it was still on sale you can reinstall it at any time on your devices.
Open the App Store app and visit your account. Tap Purchased, then My Purchases. Search for “DEVONthink”. Install it from here.
Why is an app not available in my country?
For varying reasons we do not offer our software in certain countries. If you are living in a country where our software is not available in the App Store you might be able to buy it with e.g. an EU or US credit card.
Do I need DEVONthink on the Mac too?
DEVONthink To Go can be used as a standalone application and we have many people using it on its own. However, due to iOS and mobile devices’ limitations, it doesn’t have all the same features and capabilities as DEVONthink on a Mac. It’s a functional application on its own, but it’s even more powerful when used together with our desktop application.
How safe is my data on my iOS device?
Data stored on your device is encrypted using iOS’ own encryption. So your databases are always encrypted and can only be read by DEVONthink To Go after you unlocked your device after a restart.
An additional app-wide passcode that can be different from your device’s passcode secures access to your data. Alternatively you can use Face ID or Touch ID. For usability reasons, individual databases do not have their own password protection, but their password is required to import them from a sync locations.
If these two levels of security do not suffice, e.g., for classified government documents, a specialized data vault, as provided by most government agencies, might be a more appropriate solution.
What data is available in Spotlight?
Spotlight receives the name, the first 16 KB of text content, the comment, and the tags for each item as well as metadata like the item’s type, its icon, and the creation and modification dates.
16 KB seems to be the internal limit of Spotlight (as of today).
What do the shown storage sizes mean?
The sizes shown for individual databases, for DEVONthink To Go as a whole, and in iOS’ Settings can differ. Here’s how they relate to each other:
- The Info popover for a database shows the sum of the sizes of all documents in the database, regardless if they are downloaded to the device or not.
- The Help popover shows the total of the data store folder on the device, comprising of the downloaded document files, the metadata database, the full-text index database, previews, thumbnails, all the files needed by sync, and some temporary files.
- The iOS Settings combine the storage size used for all files in the folder shared by the application and all its extensions (the ‘shared container’), the files used to provide documents to the Files app, and the Spotlight index.
If you have just moved from DEVONthink To Go version 2 to version 3, the storage size shown in the iOS Settings also add the size of the old data store left behind by version 2. It will be cleaned up four weeks after launching DEVONthink To Go 3 for the first time.
Note that iOS is using the APFS file system. Copies of files and folders (‘clones’) are counted with their size but don’t take up any space unless one of the copies is modified. File and folder sizes on APFS therefore don’t necessarily represent the real number of bytes used.
What if Spotlight shows no results?
Check DEVONthink To Go’s settings in the Settings app and make sure that Search & Siri Suggestions is switched on. Check also DEVONthink To Go’s own settings and switch on Spotlight if necessary. Then try to search for terms that you know that occur in the document, e.g. in its title. If still no results show up rebuild the Spotlight index (see the build-in documentation, chapter Appendix).
Where are my DEVONthink To Go backups?
Unfortunately, there are no granular and accessible backups in iOS or iPadOS. The backup to iCloud is meant only for setting up or restoring a complete mobile device.
At this time, while sync is not intended as a backup, it may be used as a current backup of a database. There are no versions in the backup. The synchronization updates and replaces the sync data, so this method would only be useful in very specific situations. Also, since the data is only useful to DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go, it is not a true, product-independent backup.
Until we add the planned export function you can also sync to DEVONthink on a Mac and export to files-in-folders there.
Why can't I sync via USB?
For a long time the USB port in iOS devices wasn’t available to third-party apps. We believe that synchronizing via the local network provides a fast and reliable method even for larger data sets.
Can I switch a subscription to a one-time purchase?
If you have a subscription for DEVONthink To Go, it is paid through the term you chose: monthly or yearly. If you cancel the subscription, it remains effective until the end of the term. Once it expires, you will have the option of making a one-time purchase for the current major version and its revisions.
Can I use DEVONthink for Mac also on iOS?
Unfortunately no. macOS and iOS are two operating systems for very different device categories. Where the Mac, e.g., has windows, a menu bar, and much more options for integrating apps, iOS is focused on simplicity and full-screen apps. Mac applications cannot run on iOS as they are built for very different hardware and a more complex user interface.
Can I use multiple Dropbox accounts?
No, we’re afraid. The official Dropbox API only pairs with one account at a time.
Can I use OneDrive, Google Drive, …?
Not yet. If you would like to use DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go with a service that is not yet supported, feel free to let us know. We might add support for it in the future.
Do I have to sync whole databases?
DEVONthink for Mac always uploads complete databases. You can exclude indexed items, though.
DEVONthink To Go always syncs the metadata for whole databases but you can select for the location, the database, or individual groups if you want to sync their content files too. If you sync only the metadata you can download the actual content later on demand.
How do I switch sync methods?
There is no direct switching between sync methods, e.g., between iCloud and Dropbox sync locations. The sync data isn’t shared between locations.
In DEVONthink: Control-click the sync location in DEVONthink’s Preferences > Sync and choose Clean Location. This will remove the sync data in that location. Enable the new sync location, adjusting the options for the location as desired, then sync a database. Enable other databases as needed.
In DEVONthink To Go: Tap the Edit link in DEVONthink To Go’s Settings > Sync: Locations. Add the new sync method, adjusting the options, and saving it.
If you are using a shallow sync, i.e., Download Files: On demand, and you are not syncing to a new location already synced by your Mac, you must leave the old sync location active. Tap the new location and sync a database. DEVONthink To Go will pull the contents from the old location to upload to the new sync location. If you are syncing to a new location to which you’ve already synced your Mac, the contents of the files should be in the sync location already.
If you are using a full sync, i.e., Download Files: Always, the content of the files in fully synced databases is already local to DEVONthink To Go, so tap the new location and sync a database. Repeat as needed.
After you have synced successfully, you can left-swipe the old sync location, and choose Clean to remove the sync data from the old location.
How safe is my data during a sync?
If you set an encryption key for a sync store all data is AES 256 bit encrypted before leaving the device and is stored in encrypted form on the server. It can only be retrieved using the correct key. The same is true for direct connections where all data is encrypted using the key set in the Bonjour options.
In addition, the username and password you set for newly created databases is used as soon as you sync the database to another device. The database cannot be retrieved from a sync store or via direct connection without entering the right credentials.
I have lost my encryption key. Can you recover it?
Unfortunately no. The encryption key is never shared with us. If we could recover your encryption key anyone else could do this too. We’re using strong encryption to ensure that your privacy (at the time of this writing) can’t be cracked without substantial computing power, if at all. Are you sure that you don’t have noted it down on some piece of paper somewhere?
What is CloudKit and should I switch to it?
iCloud comprises several components. One of them is the file service with iCloud Drive being its user-facing part. Another component is CloudKit, a database service that works behind the curtain and can only be used by applications directly.
DEVONthink’s old iCloud sync was based on the file service which did not let it live up to the maximum possible performance. Contrary to that, the CloudKit sync uses the backend database’s capabilities for a fast, single-pass sync.