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Reverting to an OmniFocus for Mac database backup

OmniFocus for Mac regularly and automatically makes backups of your database. To see all of your backups, choose File > Show Backups in Finder in the OmniFocus menu bar. This will take you to the folder listing all of your OmniFocus database backups. Each backup file will include a date in its filename, with the typical backup appearing as:

OmniFocus yyyy-mm-dd hhmmss.ofocus-backup

In some cases, the filenames of these backups also illustrate special circumstances under which that backup was made, e.g.:

OmniFocus Before Resynchronizing on yyyy-mm-dd hhmmss.ofocus-backup
OmniFocus Before Restoring on yyyy-mm-dd hhmmss.ofocus-backup
OmniFocus Before Migrating Database on yyyy-mm-dd hhmmss.ofocus-backup
OmniFocus Before Archive on yyyy-mm-dd hhmmss.ofocus-backup

Double-clicking a backup file opens it in a new OmniFocus window, separate from your main OmniFocus database. The window for the backup will be identifiable by a yellow bar beneath the toolbar.

Location of the Backups folder

For those that are curious, or if you need to retrieve a backup without launching OmniFocus, below you can find the full filepath to the Backups folder for your version of the app. The recommended way to use this filepath to open the Backups folder is to open Finder, and choose Go > Go to Folder in the menu bar, which will then present a prompt where you can paste the filepath:

OmniFocus 4

~/Library/Containers/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus4/Data/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/Backups

OmniFocus 3 - Omni Store

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

OmniFocus 3 - Mac App Store

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

OmniFocus 2 - Omni Store

~/Library/Containers/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus2/Data/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/Backups

OmniFocus 2 - Mac App Store

~/Library/Containers/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus2.MacAppStore/Data/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/Backups

Reverting to content from a backup

To fully revert to a backup, simply open the backup, and click Revert to This Backup in the yellow bar. OmniFocus will then warn you that everything you’ve entered since that backup will be lost; click Revert in the confirmation prompt when you’re ready to proceed.

If you are syncing, this process will also automatically replace the data on the server and your other syncing copies of OmniFocus.

If you only need to recover specific items from a backup, you can either drag & drop or copy & paste those select items from the backup window into the window for your active database.

Using a Time Machine backup

If you use Time Machine to back up your Mac, you can also revert to previous versions of your OmniFocus datab with the following steps:

  1. Open OmniFocus.
  2. Hold down the Option key, then choose File > Show “OmniFocus.ofocus” in Finder in the menu bar. In the Finder window that opens you’ll see a file named OmniFocus.ofocus; this is your active database.
  3. Click Time Machine icon in the menu bar and choose Enter Time Machine from the menu.
  4. Use the Time Machine interface to navigate back and restore the OmniFocus.ofocus file to a date in the past. For more information on restoring files with Time Machine see this Apple support article.
  5. When prompted about replacing the current file, choose Keep Both to create a file named OmniFocus (original).omnifocus alongside your current database.
  6. Drag the newly-created file to your Desktop and change the file extension to .omnifocus-backup, then double-click on it.
  7. In the OmniFocus backup window that opens, click Revert to This Backup in the yellow bar below the toolbar, then click Revert in the confirmation prompt.
Last Modified: Jun 27, 2024

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