The DEVONtechnologies Blog

How to Migrate to a New Mac

March 29, 2022 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann
Illustration showing a DEVONthink icon falling onto a Mac mini.

With the recent developments from Cupertino, many people are retiring old Macs and getting new ones. With this comes the inevitable question, “How do I move my DEVONthink to my new Mac?” Here is how to manually migrate to a new Mac.

On the old machine…

  1. Quit DEVONthink.
  2. In the Finder, select the ​Go ​menu while holding the ​Option key​, then choose ​Library​.
  3. Go into the Application Support folder and copy the folder DEVONthink 3 ​to an external drive.
  4. Do a Spotlight search for ​kind:database name:dtBase2, or name:dtSparse if you’re using encrypted databases. Select ​Show All in Finder ​in the results to see all the DEVONthink databases you have. (Ignore Inbox.dtBase2 if it appears in the results.)
  5. Copy these files to the external drive.
  6. If you have custom scripts you’ve written or installed, copy also the ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.devon-technologies.think3 folder to the external drive.
  7. Properly eject the external drive and connect it to your shiny new Mac.

On the new machine…

If you haven’t installed DEVONthink yet, download a new installer from our website. Then unzip the file, open the disk image, and install DEVONthink into the /Applications folder.

  1. In the Finder on the new machine, select the ​Go ​menu while holding the ​Option key​, then choose ​Library​.
  2. From the external drive, copy the ​DEVONthink 3​ folder to the Application Support folder. If you’ve already opened DEVONthink once on the new Mac, allow overwriting the existing directory when prompted.
  3. Copy the com.devon-technologies.think3 directory to ~/Library/Application Scripts, if needed.
  4. Move the database files from the external drive to the Databases ​folder in your new home directory.
  5. Double-click each database file to open it in DEVONthink.

Note: These instructions are assuming you’re importing, not indexing, files into your databases. If you are indexing files, you’ll have to locate and move those items between machines independently.