Create new database / start from scratch?

Is it possible to create a new (blank) database?

My objective is to start from scratch. Yes, I have hit that moment where my GTD organization needs an overhaul and I think starting with a clean slate is best.

Do I just delete the database (after backing it up)? If so, I’m not 100% sure where it (or possibly other support files) are located.

Any tips are appreciated! Thanks!

You can definitely clear out your database! As you say, though, be sure you have plenty of backups before doing so.

To check your current backups in OmniFocus 2 for Mac, use the File / Show Backups… menu item. This will open a Finder window with the last few dozen OmniFocus database backups – make sure one exists with a recent date and time. (You can even open these files to show a separate OmniFocus window with the contents of a particular backup, just to check that certain tasks are preserved.)

Once you’re satisfied with the state of your backups, you can remove your current OmniFocus database:

  1. Hold down the Command key and click on the small icon at the top center of your OmniFocus window.
  2. In the menu that pops up, select the second item (a folder named “OmniFocus”):
  3. This will open a new Finder window. Once this window opens, quit OmniFocus.
  4. In the Finder window, delete the file named OmniFocus.ofocus, as well as any files ending in lock.
  5. Close this Finder window and relaunch OmniFocus.

You should be prompted to create a new database, either from a sync server (usually Omni Sync Server, or perhaps your own WebDAV server) or simply by setting up the default database locally. I usually start with the latter.

If you do have your data synced to a server, and you want to get rid of that as well, set up a local database and tweak it to your heart’s content. Once you’ve done that, you can set up sync with your existing sync server, then choose File / Replace Server Database… to erase any sync data on the server, putting your new empty database online in its place. Be careful - this means your only copies of your old database are the backups on your computer!

Hope that helps! If you have any other questions about clearing out your database, you can follow up here or email


Perfect! Thank you!

@tekl how do I do that when my OF db is synced with the cloud?

@alexbush You can follow the same steps as above, with a twist to make sure your fresh new database is sent to replace the one in the cloud. Of course, be careful when following these steps; you’re removing your existing data from both your device and the sync server, so your local backups will be the only remaining copy of your old database.

Check your backups ahead of time, and make extra sure you’re OK with erasing your entire database and starting fresh. Here we go:

  1. Follow the steps above to remove your local database, then relaunch OmniFocus.
  2. When you’re prompted to make a new database, choose “Keep Data Here Only.”
  3. Set up the data how you like it, then go into settings and configure sync. On Mac, this is in File > Preferences; on iOS, it’s in the Settings menu, accessible from the home screen.
  4. At the end of configuring sync, you’ll be prompted about replacing your data and syncing. Here’s the trick: hit Cancel. We want to make sure our local data gets copied to the server, not the other way around.
  5. Find and select the Replace Server Database option. On the Mac, this is in the File menu as well; on iOS, it’s near the bottom of the Settings menu.

If you need help with any of this, remember you can always email our support team for assistance! They’ll be happy to walk you through double-checking your backups or replacing your synced database.

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