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Users of previous versions of Drafts have several options when moving to Drafts 4. This article is a discussion and guide to the migration options and will help you proceed when you decide which route is best for you.
A couple of important notes to start:
- Drafts 4 can co-exist with prior versions of Drafts and Drafts for iPad. If you wish to continue to keep the older versions installed this is supported and will not cause any conflicts.
- Migration of both drafts and actions is done via export/import, and can be done at any time, but should only be done once to avoid creation of duplicate data.
- Migration will not replace data in Drafts 4, only add to it. You do not need to fear that migration steps will remove any data you have created in Drafts 4.
- Drafts 4 is now a Universal app for iPhone and iPad. The migration steps can be performed on on either and iPhone or the iPad, using either Drafts 3 or Drafts for iPad 3 – but, assuming you are using Drafts 4 sync features, the steps only need to be taken on a single device.
- If you have iCloud sync active, it is highly recommend that you perform the migration while connected to a good Wifi network, and allow drafts to run for a little while after the import to complete initial sync.
Depending on the ways you use Drafts, it may make sense to start fresh with Drafts 4, or only to migrate a portion of your old drafts data.
Migrations are performed by using the "Export Drafts" feature. In order to import drafts from Drafts 3 to Drafts 4, follow the steps below:
- Check your App Store updates and be sure you are using the latest releases of both Drafts 3 and Drafts 4.
- Open Drafts 3 (the old version) and navigate to Settings > Export Drafts.
- Select which drafts to export. The export can contain only the inbox, archive or pinned drafts – or all drafts.
- Select "JSON" (the default) format.
- Select the "Open in" output option.
- Tap "Run Export".*
- When prompted, select the "Open in Drafts" option for where to send the export file.
- Drafts 4 will open. It will recognize the export file and offer to import the drafts it contains. If you accept, all the drafts will be added to the Drafts 4 database.
* Note that a bug in Drafts 3.6.8 requires at least one email account be configured in iOS settings for export to work.
Drafts imported will maintain their locations. Inbox drafts will still be in the inbox, archived drafts in the archive – and "pinned" drafts will be marked "flagged" in Drafts 4.
Each import will be treated as new drafts, so be careful if you choose to run multiple imports as you may create duplicates.
Migrating Custom Actions
If you use the stock set of built-in actions in Drafts 3, no migration of actions is needed. Draft 4 ships with a set of default actions similar to those in prior versions and more can be found in the new Drafts Action Directory.
If you have created or installed custom Email, Message, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and/or URL actions, you may wish to migrate some or all of those actions to Drafts 4.
Be aware that significant changes have been made to the way actions work in Drafts 4. Efforts have been made to ensure that actions migrated from Drafts 3 will work in Drafts 4, but there may be cases for complex actions where it additional editing may be required for them to work properly.
If you have only created a few custom actions, you may choose to either recreate them from scratch in Drafts 4, or individually migrate these actions. Drafts 3 will recognize that Drafts 4 is installed.
If you wish to move a few actions one at a time, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings > Custom Actions in Drafts 3.
- Tap to the detail for the individual action. At the bottom of the detail, look for the "Migrate to Drafts 4" button and tap it.
- Drafts 4 and import the action.
- Review and test the imported action in Drafts 4.
- Repeat for each action you with to migrate.
To migrate ALL your custom actions at once, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings > Export Actions in Drafts 3.
- Select "JSON" (the default) for export format.
- Select "Open in..." as the output option.
- Tap "Run Export".
- When prompted, select the "Open in Drafts" option for the export destination.
- Drafts 4 will open. It will recognize the export file and offer to import the actions contained in the file. If you accept, all your custom actions will be converted and added to your action list.
- Review and test the imported actions.