Exporting Your Data

Here’s how export your data from Things 3 on Mac and iOS.

Access data through AppleScript (Mac only)

If you are familiar with AppleScript, you can write your own script to access the data in Things 3 on your Mac. You can download the documentation here.

If you’re looking for a non-technical solution to get your data out of Things 3, the easiest path forward would be to simply print all of your lists to PDF. You will be able to search the PDF for keywords, as well as select text inside of the PDF files to copy and paste into other apps.

  1. On your Mac, open Things 3.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of your screen, click File > Print.
  3. Set Scope to Entire List.
  4. Set Notes to Full.
  5. Click Print.
  6. At the bottom of the new window that opens, click PDF > Save as PDF.
  7. Ideally, name the PDF file with the name of the list you are printing from.

To make sure that you won’t miss anything, we recommend you print each list separately, starting with the default lists and then going through all your Areas as well as Projects. Even though this will duplicate some of the content, it will also ensure that everything is included in your PDF files.

If you only have the iOS apps, this print option will not be available to you, sorry. In case you have access to a Mac, you can install a Things 3 trial version, connect it to your Things Cloud account to download your data, and then print it from the Mac trial app.

Get the Things 3 database file

In accordance with GDPR, you can also access your data in the form of an industry-standard SQLite database file, which includes every piece of information about your to-dos. This format is machine-readable, not human-readable. To learn more about SQLite, check out the official SQLite website.

Here’s how to get your Things 3 database file:

Mac
  1. On your Mac, quit Things 3. The app must not be running before you proceed.
  2. Click on your empty Desktop.
  3. Then press the keys ⌘ CMD + ⇧ SHIFT + G at the same time.
  4. A new window will open. Copy and paste in this path: ~/Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.ThingsMac/Data/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code/Things/
  5. Hit the ↩ Return key.
  6. Copy the file Things.sqlite3 to where you’d like to keep it.

iPad
  1. Rotate your iPad so you’re holding it sideways.
  2. Open Things 3.
  3. Tap the Settings icon at the bottom of the sidebar on the left.
  4. Tap General > Diagnostics > Enter Code.
  5. Enter the code 491348.
  6. Tap Send Things Database.

The file you’re getting is called Things.sqlite3. If you own a Mac, we suggest you select to AirDrop to your Mac as it is the most secure way of transmitting the data. Of course, you can also email the file to yourself or Save to Files if you’re on iOS 12.1 or better.

iPhone
  1. Open Things 3.
  2. Tap Settings at the bottom of the main lists view.
  3. Tap General > Diagnostics > Enter Code.
  4. Enter the code 491348.
  5. Tap Send Things Database.

The file you’re getting is called Things.sqlite3. If you own a Mac, we suggest you select to AirDrop to your Mac as it is the most secure way of transmitting the data. Of course, you can also email the file to yourself or Save to Files if you’re on iOS 12.1 or better.

To view the data in the SQLite file you need a viewer application. One we like to use ourselves is Base 2. It has a free trial available, and of course there are other applications out there which are free of charge.

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