Closing databases – how often should that be done?

During my normal workflow, I keep three large DT3 databases open all the time. I add new documents to them, edit existing documents, move things around; basically, these are my main DT3 working environment, and I work in them pretty intensively. I also open, edit, and close several smaller databases as they are needed. My main databases can be left open for days or even weeks at a time, as I rarely shut down my computer or quit DEVONthink.

The computer is backed up hourly via Time Machine, three times a day to Amazon Glacier via Arq, daily via Carbon Copy Cloner, and the DT3 databases are backed up weekly to an external drive. All of that is handled automatically and, apart from the Time Machine backups and the Arq backups, in the wee hours of the morning. Periodically, maybe once every couple of weeks, I manually Verify & Repair the DT3 databases; I can’t remember the last time there was an issue that needed my attention. Everything seems pretty stable and secure.

But I’m wondering: is there a benefit to, every now and then, closing databases, or quitting and reopening DEVONthink, because some background maintenance and cleanup work is done only when one closes a database or quits the application? So that perhaps that should be a part of regular housekeeping?

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The only reasons to close a database are to reduce the memory usage, to focus on other databases and to perform backups. Especially automatic snapshots like the ones created by Time Machine might have issues if the database is opened & modified concurrently, therefore not every backup might be usable/consistent.


The the best “backups” are going to happen when the databases (and all other files on your Mac) are not open or otherwise engaged. And periodically re-booting the mac helps it clean up stuff that it’s programmed to clean up when shutting down and restarting.

Me: Rightly or wrongly, I close down DEVONthink at the end of the day. Put the Mac into “sleepmode”. Re-boot at least once a week. Can discuss “till the cows come home” if this the right thing to do or not, but I think it is.


Thanks for the clarification!

Don’t forget you can use workspaces to open a set of databases and windows.

Also, the new Open Clean Workspace script in the Script menu > More Scripts will try to close all open databases before loading the chosen workspace.

This can help with the things @cgrunenberg mentioned above.

Thanks, Bluefrog, for reminding me about the Workspaces feature. I don’t use that often enough, I suspect.


My pleasure. They can certainly come in handy. :slight_smile:

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