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Routine Maintenance for Your Database

4. August 2015 — Jim Neumann

How many of us would drive our cars daily for a year and never get any maintenance done on it? No oil change. No tire rotation. No fluid checks or general inspections at all…? Odds are, I don't think we'd be too surprised if the vehicle suddenly started behaving a bit strangely.

When it comes to your DEVONthink database, you should think about what routine maintenance would come in handy to keep it running reliably. Here are two things to consider:

  1. Tools > Verify & Repair. This is the routine 5000 mile checkup. This will check your database for any inconsistencies: missing files (usually from indexed files that have been moved or deleted) or orphaned files (files created or added to the internals of a database, but not by DEVONthink). If you are a fairly heavy user of DEVONthink, this is not a bad idea to do once every week or two, especially when dealing with indexed files.
  2. Tools > Rebuild Database. This is the complete vehicle overhaul. This will not only do the routine checkup, it will completely rebuild the database.

Note: Rebuilding involves exporting the entire database, then reimporting it. This rebuilds the index as well. The time it takes to finish this depends on the size and number of records in the database.

If you have never done either of these in years, start with the Verify & Repair. This reports errors and missing files in the database. Feel free to use File > Export > Database Archive to make a backup of your database before rebuilding it. To correct errors that aren't being fixed by the Verify & Repair, use Tools > Rebuild Database. This will do a complete export and import and rebuilds the index from scratch as well.