New user Q: Is it a best practice to close databases? OK to simply leave open?

Apologies for the very basic questions, but new user here. So far loving DT3…can’t believe I took so long to come to this software. Is it a best practice to close databases? Perhaps at night when otherwise not using computer or otherwise walking away from machine for a while? Does it matter if databases are left open?

If this were an Excel file, I always close the file I am working on when finished or walking away from computer. Clearly I don’t have to, but I always viewed that as a best practice. Does the same principle apply to DT databases?

I get that if the computer unexpectedly turns off/crashes, there might be issues with any databases left open. Is that the only time there would be a problem?

If it makes a difference, I have DEVONthink3 Pro installed on a 27” 2017 iMac at my home. I run Time Machine, Backblaze and CCC backups. I use iCloud to synch to DTtoGo on my 2018 iPad Pro.

Welcome @arjunmurti

It’s okay to leave databases open unless…

  • You’re in a public environment where you wouldn’t want someone to see any particular database.
  • You want to free up some machines resources, like RAM.

But if you’re in the habit of closing files, there’s certainly no harm in closing and reopening them as needed.

PS: I’m very happy to see you’re taking your backups seriously. We wish everyone was as dilligent! :slight_smile:

Thank you @BLUEFROG so much for your quick and helpful reply. And I am glad to hear it is OK to simply leave databases open (I am in a private home…plenty of RAM). Before purchasing, I saw many remarks about how helpful DT support is which gave me confidence to try and buy. I came to DT3 via the MPU forum, where a user was debating his workflows. MPU is the inspiration for my backup strategies as well. And I am old enough to remember when computers crashed frequently and you routinely lost unsaved files!


You’re very welcome!

Indeed, I even remember the days of the dreaded blue screen on Windows.

Glad to have you here!

You’ll find the DEVONthink info, and community, here much more informed than on MPUG.

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Depending on whether or not you use encrypted databases, and how you have set up your backup scheme, you may want to read this rambling thread which I posted a while back on unintended consequences of automatic file name changes. In my case the points made were relevant to the question you have asked.

@Blanc Thank you for sharing the thread. Very helpful. Please bear with me as I am not a tech pro…merely an enthusiast. I have FileVault turned on for my iMac. Beyond that, I do not encrypt DT3 databases within DT3 (or anywhere else). As mentioned I use Time Machine (to a Seagate drive attached to my iMac), CCC (to a OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 drive that I store in another part of my house), and Backblaze. I regularly check the Seagate and OWC drives to make sure I can retrieve my most important Excel files that are backed up (the ones I can’t live without). I have not tested retrieving DT database backups…I guess because I have only been using it for 4 days…though have moved quite a bit of my non-essential files and work flow over.

Since I do NOT encrypt within DT3, I believe the thread you shared with me does not apply? (and just so I am clear…it was super helpful to see and understand the possible issue, irrespective of whether it applies to me…so thank you again for posting.)

I agree :slight_smile:

(and you’re most welcome - that’s what we’re all here for :slight_smile:

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