Starting with OF Anew

Hi, folks. I’m in the process of recommitting to OmniFocus with the new version 3. I feel as though my most recent OF data store may have some useful things in it, but ideally I’d like to clear it all out and start from scratch.

Is there a way to save my current OF data store such that I can refer to it again (if necessary) and then reset back to that fresh, empty feeling? I should mention that I currently sync all my OF apps through Omni.

Appreciate any insights.

– Robert

Hi @rdr! Good question. This comes up from time to time as folks decide that a clean slate is a better starting point than an old database, so we’ve documented the process in a support article: How to reset the OmniFocus database.

The steps there should get you a copy of your old database in a safe place that you can refer to, and a new synced database that you can start over with. Hope that helps, and thanks for using OmniFocus!


Outstanding! Thank you for the quick response. I’ll have a look.

– Robert

@tekl Does the ‘File -> Reset Database and Preferences…’ (with Option key) command in OF3 do the same thing as the manual steps described in the support article (I suppose it additionally clears preferences other than sync)?

@MultiDim The “Reset Database and Preferences” menu item does some of the same work as the steps described in the article. However, it does not:

  • Create a copy of your current database somewhere easily accessible, or
  • Replace the database on the sync server, if you were syncing

Also, as you noted, this menu item is only available in OmniFocus 3. So while it can be handy for OF3 users to quickly clear out the database on a Mac, the steps from the support article offer a safer, more thorough reset.

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I did this recently as well (starting over to some degree). There was a lot of stuff that I was able to delete because it wasn’t relevant anymore or had been completed. Like you I had useful data in there, but most of it was of a “someday/maybe” sort. The steps I took were two things: 1) Anything that was already properly categorized and in a project, I simply set those to “On Hold” so they didn’t show up in my active task list. 2) I created a project titled “For Review” and put that project on hold and then put everything remaining in that project. This allowed me to clean things up at a later time.

The last thing I did was created a recurring weekly task to spend a few minutes looking through these and trying to organize them better.

My biggest concern has always been to remove the clutter so my brain can focus and this helped me in this regard. Hopefully it can work for others as well.

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Great feedback, Tim. I think your idea of tasking myself with reviewing the contents of my old OF data store is a great idea. Thank you for that.

– Robert

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