Reducing Size of Database

I’ve been having a few issues with syncing. A couple of years ago I had the same problem and when I contacted the Omni support, they told me my database size was huge which is probably why I can’t sync properly. I don’t remember what I did exactly to reduce the size of my database. It’s been a while now so I’m guessing it’s time for me to reduce that size again. It’s very bothersome to keep doing this. Frankly I don’t care about keeping my completed tasks stored. I usually journal on a daily basis and write what I have been doing. I don’t need OF to store anything other than to enable me to flag tasks on a daily basis and once I complete them, I want them to be deleted off the database.

So my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to prevent OF from storing completed tasks?
  2. How do I reduce the size of the database?


  1. Simply delete the completed tasks instead of marking them as completed. I have always done it that way, and I am still surprised at how small my OF database is.
  2. In the File menu, choose Compact Database.

To archive old actions before working in the manner described by @Jan_H (rather than viewing and deleting completed actions), go to File>Move Old Data to Archive and select today’s date. You should see the number of items to archive change depending upon the date. I would then go to Window>Attachment List and delete any files therein which you no longer need. You can sort them by size.

Then, I’d select File>Rebuild Database…, sync and, possibly, reset the database on any iOS devices. That should whittle your database down to its fighting weight.


I second what @TheWart says. I actually use the “Archive Database” method on at least a monthly basis to keep my database nice and lean. I’ve even gone so far as to have a repeating monthly task in OmniFocus to remind me to do the archiving :)


The Wart and Jdh, thank you for the suggestion.

I already did set the archiving date starting from today but when I go to my attachment list, there’s nothing there. The window is empty :/

Not so sure what you mean by “attachment list”… You now have the possibility to check the archive file (which is locally saved) under File/open archive…

BTW, this is one of the the hidden gems of OF, having archiving is really a nice thing for documentation.

@DOm: it’s certainly possible for your attachment list to be empty. Just depends on how you use OF.

@DOm, @mitchellm is correct. All I have in my attachment list are one PDF for a review task and the icon files I brought in for my custom perspectives.

Mat, I never knew the archive existed! I realized I never play with settings at all, I have no idea what my apps come with! I opened the archive just now and it told me that my last archive was march 3rd (which is today) but under each category I don’t see tasks (probably because I didn’t cross out anything yet?).

Mitchellm & The Wart, oh ok I thought something was wrong. Yeah, I don’t attach stuff or images or anything other than links in my notes.

All I did was I went to my backup file and I deleted everything since 2014 and only left March 2015. I hoped this reduced the size somehow. I wish Omni would let me know the size of my database on the omni server. That way I can gauge my usage and archive or delete accordingly.

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Sadly, there is no such thing as an automated archiving feature. But on the other hand, you could easily make it a repeating task. Since it is good to only back up in one particular spot (otherwise you end up having many archives which beats the purpose), the task solution then could have a “yourpreferredbackupspot” context.

To see your db size, go to File/show backups, go up one folder and check the size of that .ofocus file. Oh, and you might also delete some backups there ;-)