Please help to identify the cause of these changes in my database


I use a mix of groups and tags to organize my main database. The tags contain 4 main categories (level 1 tags), with each containing further level 2 tags.

Today, all of a sudden two of the four level 1 tags (including the level 2 tags underneath them) had suddenly turned into groups. They were still displayed in the same place, under the Tags category, but the items previously tagged were no longer shown underneath them.

I have been able to fix this by reverting to the most recent TimeMachine backup, but want to avoid the same from occurring again.

Would appreciate your input on the following questions:

  • What might have caused these two tags (and their subtags) to become groups? I did not change database properties, nor can I connect the issue with any other modifications I made since the last TimeMachine backup.
  • In case this happens again, is there an easy way to revert the groups back into tags without restoring the whole database?

Thanks in advance.

It’s impossible to say without knowing more about what you’ve been doing in your database, i.e., what modifications you were doing in the database.

You should be able to select a tag in the item list and disable Exclude from Tagging from the contextual menu.

Thanks for the suggestion, @BLUEFROG. In the groups now visible in the database instead of the tags, the “Exclude from Tagging” checkbox is greyed out, so that doesn’t seem to work as a solution in this particular case for reverting back to tags.

I’m not as keen on identifying the cause of this issue specifically, since the immediate issue is solved after restoring. What I’m trying to do instead is to understand more generally, whether there are any database modifications to avoid in future, such that my tags do not turn into groups unintentionally again.

I do recognize the unspecific nature of the question; I’m just a bit spooked that I have no clue what might have happened. I did slightly change a replication smart rule for documents of the MD, RTF or PDF kind, but don’t see how there could be any connection.

Not the groups, the tags. You need to be looking in the Tags group.

I’m attaching a screenshot to show more clearly, what I mean here.

Instead of tags, groups are shown in the Tags group.

Screenshot 2021-07-17 at 17.27.50

The aforementioned command isn’t available in the Navigate sidebar. @cgrunenberg would have to assess having it available there too.

Show the Tags group in the item list, Control-click the group, and disable Exclude from Tagging.

Thanks for your patience, I got it now and learned something :slight_smile:

1 Like

You’re welcome and we should all hope to learn something new every day :slight_smile:


Or, in my case, see yet another fantastic feature of DT every day.

Have been recommending it to more people than I have toes :slight_smile: .