How do not open databases that were open last time

Just want to say this one more time: I keep getting bitten by this horrible behavior, and I desperately want a way to disable it. I do not remember to always close DTO in such a way that it closes all databases, and so when I later need it to open quickly, it just doesn’t.

Today I was on the phone with a bank, and they asked for information from a document I had in DTO: where documents should live. I said sure, I can get that information. Then a really slow database I had open the last time started loading… and then another one… I had to make the person on the line hold for more than two minutes before I could even begin searching for the data they needed.

Just the ability to say “don’t load databases from the previous session” is all that I need. That’s how DTO used to behave, and I loved it. The current behavior makes no sense to me, as I almost never need to reload everything that I was looking at during my last session.

This is obviously become quite problem for you so it might be worth trying to get into the habit of closing the databases when you have finished with them, (I think it is true that if you do something 8 times it becomes a habit—worth a try). Closing databases is surely is good practice for a number of reasons so why not give it a try, like all good habits it will pay dividends as this particular habit has done for me, I now don’t even think about it but just do it automatically.

This just isn’t a reliable solution to the problem, but I appreciate your taking the time to suggest it.


A parable. There once was a man who went out to go to work. He got in his car, seatbelt on, ready to go; took the handbrake off and pressed the accelerator; the car would not go anywhere! Just refused to move! What was happening or not happening? So he looked in the car manual and found out that he was not doing something pretty easy to do but which he thought was just too much to have to remember every time he wanted to drive anywhere. So he fired of an email to the car manufacturers, “Can’t you change your systems so I do not have to turn the ignition on every time I want to go anywhere?”

Sounds familiar?

Your story is not very relevant to the issue. This is more like a car whose GPS, rather than asking me where I want to go when I turn the car on, automatically routes me to the last place I went every time, and takes 2-3 minutes doing so before I’m able to ask for a different destination. That is, unless I remember to reprogram the GPS every time before stopping the car.


On the contrary, what you are asking for, as far as I can see, is for the developers to change their system because you do not want to bother closing databases before closing the app! The answer to your “problem” is as simple as closing a database or databases. When you close down your computer I presume you go through the manufacturer’s recommended procedure, i.e. go to the Menu and select Shut Down and don’t just press the off button, (if not then you are asking for trouble) the same applies to quitting an app, it is common sense to go through the developer’s recommended procedure.

No, this is not the answer.

Other applications, even Apple applications, sometimes have a checkbox that says “Open windows that were open last time” that I can uncheck. My laptop even offers me this every time I shutdown or reboot.

I would like such an option for DTO. Right now, DTO is doing work for me by remembering what I had open before, and re-opening it. I want it not to do this work. I never want all the databases I had open before to re-open. I have too many, and there’s all too large, for that to be practical.

If the DTO developers’ answer is “We recognize your problem, but just don’t want to do it”, then fine, I’m an Apple user, I’m quite familiar with this attitude. I just want to make sure they know how frustrating it is to not support a mode of use that even other Apple applications do support, and that my reason for wanting it is just as valid as why others want it in other applications.

Think how you’d feel if your laptop didn’t have this option, and simply re-opened everything you had open before, every time, impacting battery life and startup time. You find this sub-optimal and ask, “Hey, can I have an option to stop this from happening?” Lucky for you, there is such an option, but imagine I took it away from you and said, “You should manually quit every application before you reboot, that’s the answer.” This is what you’re telling me now.

There’s a reason this option exists when you restart a laptop. There’s a reason it exists in other applications. There’s no reason for it not to exist in DTO as well, other than the developers don’t want to do it. Heck, it even was the past behavior of DTO!

But don’t tell me the problem is with me, or that repeating some manual operation every time I quit DTO is “the answer”. This is a real issue that bites me, and your suggestion is just not helpful to my usage patterns. That’s fine. I’m not here to convince you. I just want the DTO developers – whom I’ve supported financially by buying their product and promoting it by word of mouth for many years – to hear me.


Fine my answer is not helpful to you. I think the subject has now run its course. You have had your answer from the developers and others have tried to help you, myself included, you have been offered a very reasonable way to avoid the time delay you speak about but are not satisfied by that. It is obvious that us mere users can not help you and the developer’s have, as I said, explained very reasonably, IMHO, why it is as it is.

What is frustrating is that your position, and that of the developers, is that “there is no problem”, because somehow, you consider the approach of manually quitting open databases to be a reasonable answer.

If my laptop allows me to not re-open applications on reboot, then prior art exists for my suggestion that DTO not re-open databases on restart. It is not an unreasonable request, and the lack of support for this causes me real annoyance, and has done so for over a year now.

I want the developers not just to know that the problem (as I see it) exists, but that it’s biting one of their active, DTO-promoting users on a regular basis. If I stay quiet and never say anything, they’d naturally assume that if you and they are happy with it, everyone is happy with it.


I now have Keyboard Maestro and will start using this macro. Thank you for an answer that actually considers my workflow!


What is frustrating is that your position, and that of the developers, is that “there is no problem”, because somehow, you consider the approach of manually quitting open databases to be a reasonable answer.John
Actually for me there IS no problem! And for the record manually quitting open databases is reasonable for me as it has more advantages than disadvantages. Also with reference to your earlier post, I do quit all my apps before shutting down my Mac I find it to be nice and neat. But then I do not expect my entire life to be automated.

OK, and this is perfectly reasonable too! I don’t mean to detract from how you use the application, only to clarify the difference in our use cases. I like configurability, and support for different working styles. I’m glad there’s no problem for you in how things work today. I’m just arguing that because we differ in how we use DTO, DTO could be improved by considering both use cases!

:slight_smile: (Smiley added because plain text fails to convey my emotions here: I admire the DTO developers; I appreciate those who contribute suggestions; I’m just frustrated by having lost a behavior I’d relied upon for many years. Haven’t reached the stage of acceptance in my grief, clearly. Let’s see how the Keyboard Maestro macro works out).


The Keyboard Maestro macro will work perfectly… it’s a brilliant program. Once you’ve got this macro running, then you’ll find it helps with DTPO in several ways.

For example, for the use case you describe, you could set a global macro (i.e. it works no matter what program you’re actually in) to open DTPO then open the single database you want to check – or even to prompt you for a search string initially, then open that one database and run the search automatically.

FWIW, I think John’s request has been valid all along, exactly the way he has consistently explained it for two years. (And more patiently than I ever could :laughing: )

I hope John gets what he needs, someday. Since the request he made only affects someone who uses it, and is invisible otherwise, it would be fine for the community to say “Oh. Ok.” And leave it at that.

(We all know DEVONtech does what DEVONtech does – they are pretty good at thinking for themselves.)

I certainly do not oppose this feature, even though it is not something I would use. It seems like a harmless setting to add (which may or may not be technically challenging, who knows).

That said, my solution is just to never close DEVONthink Pro Office. I have two databases that are ALWAYS open, one of them is rather large, several gigabytes with several thousand documents and several million words. These databases are always open. Just looking at my computer uptime, I’m at 21 days, 4 hours. I suspect DEVONthink Pro Office has been open nearly 24 hours a day for all of those 21 days.

Problem solved!

Actually, we advocate rebooting a machine at leat once a week. If you’re ONLY running DEVONthink, that’s fine, but odds are you’re not… :smiley:

Looking like my approach of closing everything including all apps before shutting down is the best!

Definitely not! Well, things go remarkably smoothly despite my long intervals between restarts. Maybe time to rethink that though! No ideological objection to more regular restarts so would be easy to do!

@Allsop: Regardless of Apple’s addition, it is ALWAYS a good idea to manually quit apps before shutting down or rebooting. Indeed, this can sometimes expose an issue as people will often hit the shutdown then close a laptop without knowing an app hasn’t closed properly. So yeah - you’re doing it the “safest” way, for sure.