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. A new window will open. At the bottom, click PDF > Save as PDF
  7. 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 the database file for Things 3.13.1 or better:

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/Group Containers/JLMPQHK86H.com.culturedcode.ThingsMac/
  5. Hit the ↩ Return key.
  6. Copy the bundle Things Database.thingsdatabase to where you’d like to keep it.

If you’re using Things 3.13 or older, the file you’re getting is called Things.sqlite3 and it can be viewed directly in a separate app as explained below.

iPad & iPhone
  1. Open Things 3.
  2. Go to Settings. ?
  3. Tap General > Diagnostics > Enter Code
  4. Enter the code 491348
  5. Tap Send Things Database

The file you’re getting is called Things Database.thingsdatabase. 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 are on iOS 13 or older, the file you’re getting is called Things.sqlite3 and it can be viewed directly in a separate app as explained below.

The actual database is contained within the Things Database.thingsdatabase bundle. To access it, CTRL + click on the bundle and select Show Package Contents. The file called main.sqlite contains your data.

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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