This site uses tracking cookies. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy. If you don't opt in, some parts of the site might not function.
Home / Blog / FileMaker / How to Fully and Correctly Use FileMaker’s Recovery Tool
How to Fully and Correctly Use FileMaker’s Recovery Tool
04May 2016

How to Fully and Correctly Use FileMaker’s Recovery Tool

About the Author

Makah Encarnacao Makah Encarnacao

Makah is a Technical Project Lead that hails from Albuquerque, NM. She joined Soliant a few months after graduating from UCLA in 2007, and must like it a lot because she’s still here! She is certified in FileMaker 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, and placed 4th in the 2015 FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup. She was a speaker at the 2016 and 2018 FileMaker Conference. When she is not coding, she is enjoying life with her family that recently increased by 1.

Comments (7)

Gregory Durniak - May 4, 2016

You say “Make a compacted copy or clone of the backup” first. This is actually a bad idea. Compacting a file re-indexes the File Blocks, and might fix a Consistency Problem, before the Recover, and a Clone can actually remove structure it does not like ( a nasty quirk ). It is best to Recover the original, to see all the problems

More info is here:


    Makah Encarnacao
    Makah Encarnacao - May 4, 2016

    Hi Greg, Thanks for your feedback, I did not know about that. So theoretically could you do a clone, check if it passes recovery, and if it does use the clone going forward, instead of the original file? Or would you not recommend that?

    I saw on your website that you have a page on recovery as well, very cool! I’ll will read it more deeply when I have some time. Here it is for anyone else who wants to see it:

      Gregory Durniak - May 4, 2016

      If your file has a “problem”, a Clone might remove a portion of the “structure”. So, while the Clone might “pass” Recovery, it may have pieces missing. I have seen this happen

    Wim Decorte - May 8, 2016

    Another good additional resource for info on recovery:

Jürgen Geßwein - May 5, 2016

It should be noted that sometimes FileMaker’s Recover cannot run to completion and hence it is impossible to repair the database with FileMaker’s tools at all. If the privileges section seems to be broken (a common error), FileMaker in many case is unable to recover the file. In such cases another mean e.g. a repair service is needed.

FileMaker’s Recover might also indicate some “minor” problems that actually do no harm and are no indication of a broken database. So the list of problems reported by Recover needs be checked carefully to see if there are only problems reported that can be ignored safely. For instance recovering without a needed plug-in raises some “problems”, but the original file is OK as just the plugin is missing.

For recovering a database it is often useful to keep a clone of the most recent version of database around. This clone can then be used to import any saved data—of course starting from a copy of the clone. Using FMDiff it is quickly possible to check whether a working copy’s structure (layouts, scripts etc.) was modified and whether there are problems with the database’s structure. The clone is also helpful when a repair service tries to attempt to put a file back into working condition as it may need parts from the clone (e.g. accounts information).

    Gregory Durniak - May 21, 2016

    Again, it is better to keep regular backups, rather than clones. A clone can have pieces missing.

    This was the basis for the original FMDiff. Winfried noticed that you can detect “corruption” by comparing a file to it’s clone. They end up different


    > For recovering a database it is often useful to keep a clone of the most recent version

Leave a Reply