Database already in use

When Devonnote opens now I get a message which says “Database is already in use” with “Ignore” or “OK” This is despite it being launched just after restarting the computer.

What is this and how can I resolve this problem?

I use Devonnote on a powerbook G4 1ghz with 1gb memory. The OS has crashed once in a while requiring a forced restart and this may have originated the problem.


in case you feel uncomfortable with this message, I reply quickly: Don’t mind the message, click Ignore or OK, both worked in those cases when I encountered the message and asked Christian directly because it was a pre-beta version.

I would like to hear from the developers why this message occurs and what to do in order to be sure that everything is OK.


I only use DevonThink but I believe that DevonNote is so similar that the following details are probably the same.

When DevonThink is running it creates a special temporary file called DEVONthink.lock. This file is normally deleted when DT quits normally. If there is a crash (other events can also cause this problem) this file is not deleted and DT does not get to do it’s normal cleanup and housekeeping. That is what the message is telling you. Anytime a database is interrupted there is a risk of corruption or data loss. This should not be taken lightly. You mentioned that your computer is crashing occasionally and if so this is something that you should fix as it will eventually cause you serious problems. Computers do not crash for no reason and such problems are always repairable whatever the cause. If you need help doing this there are lots of reasources on-line or your local Apple dealer can probably repair the machine for you.

You should click the Ok button when you get the message and then quit out of DT. Verify that the ‘.lock’ file has been correctly deleted and then relaunch DT and run the Verify command in the tools menu. If it finds damage that cannot be repaired then you will probably need to go back to a previous backup.

B. deVille and others have also posted in other topics on the subject of data maintenance and repair.

I get the “Database is Already in Use” message from time to time also. It occurs whenever my DevonThink Database folder - which defaults to ~User/Library/Application Support - is moved…or can’t be found. I don’t keep my datatbase in the default folder - I prefer to put it in my Documents folder… I have this thing (probably misplaced) about not putting anything extra - particularly large databases into my Library folder. :wink: If I’m moving files around for housekeeping or backup purposes and the DT database is moved as well, DT will present the “Database is Already in Use” message. I had forgotten that I’d moved it invariably and will have to track it down - and fix the aliases in the Application Support folder to return DT to normal behaviour.