Nuking & paving an Omnifocus 3 database

I’'ve been away from Omnifocus for a year, and I’m considering coming back.One of the reasons I left was that my database had become too overwhelming for me. So, what I would like to do now is start with a completely new database, and just bring things over from the old database as they become relevant again.

Is this possible? How would I do this? I’m hoping it would be a copy-paste operation rather than retyping items.

The simplest way would be to copy your database to another location, then delete all the items. OmniFocus is designed to work with one primary database, but it can have several open at a time. Your main database lives here:

~/Library/Containers/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus3/Data/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/OmniFocus.ofocus

You can open that folder, option-drag the file to another folder, then rename it (e.g. “Old OmniFocus data.ofocus”).

After doing that, select all your projects and delete them from the open OmniFocus database. When you want something from the old file, you can double-click it to open it. OmniFocus will include a banner at the top of the window to show that it’s not your default database:

You can then drag items from the old database to the new one as needed.

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Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping for. I’ll try this out. 👍

You’re welcome! FYI, the location I gave for your database is on MacOS 13 (Ventura). I think it’s the same for Monterey. I’m not sure about earlier OS versions, but you can find your database by using the menu command File > Show Backups in Finder, then going up one level.

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That’s right. You can also open the ‘File’ menu with the Option key pressed: there will be a command to ‘Show “OmniFocus.ofocus” in Finder’.

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Thanks! That’s a good tip!

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