I just plugged in a USB stick, edited a text file a few times, and found that I could browse through the revision history of the file, even though it's on an external drive. Are these revisions saved on the USB stick? Where exactly?


There are a couple SQLite databases located in a hidden folder on the root of your hard drive that are tasked with tracking the files and the differences between the versions.

The directory is:

  • /.DocumentRevisions-V100

The two databases are:

  • /.DocumentRevisions-V100/db-V1/db.sqlite
  • /.DocumentRevisions-V100/.cs/ChunkStoreDatabase

Source: http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/07/mac-os-x-10-7.ars/14#versioning-internals

  • Thanks for this, and for the link, very interesting. But it doesn't mention external drives. I'm confused, would Lion store revisions on the boot drive if the actual file is on a USB drive? (That would seem like a bad idea.) – callum Nov 24 '11 at 12:52
  • 1
    I just tested this with a USB drive (formatted as Mac OS Extended Journaled) and the result was that Lion created the the .DocumentRevisions-V100 directory including the sqlite database files at the root of the USB drive. – pdd Nov 25 '11 at 16:36
  • The Ars Technica review is very good, but not comprehensive. Versions are often stored elsewhere, please see apple.stackexchange.com/a/22100 – Graham Perrin Mar 2 '12 at 9:20

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