About recovering FileMaker Pro files

FileMaker Pro runs a consistency check automatically, if necessary, when a database is opened. You can also choose to verify the consistency of a file if you suspect the file is damaged. If a database requires more extensive correction to open, you can have FileMaker Pro attempt to recover the file.

The underlying action of file recovery is to preserve as much of the data as possible. In this context, data generically refers to the file's schema and structure and its tables, records, layouts, scripts, and field definitions. Non-essential data, such as the sort order, is not recovered.

These utilities do not guarantee that the file has been completely repaired. Therefore, after getting a damaged database to open, you should immediately save a backup copy of the recovered database and, depending on the severity of the problem, possibly import the data into a clone of the original database.

After you have opened a repaired or recovered database, check for consistent content, especially if an active operation was running at the time of the shutdown.

Special notes on file recovery

In general, recovering a file should be reserved for files that will not open or are displaying index problems. Try to save a compacted copy of the file first. Databases that are returning records incorrectly from a find should be fixed by saving a compacted copy (see Saving a compacted copy).

The Recover command aggressively attempts to correct a file so you can open it and recover your data. To do this, the recovery process may delete corrupted fields, layouts, layout objects, scripts, and data. For this reason, you should only use the Recover command when you cannot open a file. Do not use this command for regular file maintenance.

There are many other conditions that return incorrect find results, including mismatched field types. Also, records might be unexpectedly deleted by a misplaced script step or an option set in the Edit Relationship dialog box. Be certain you have eliminated all other possibilities before assuming that a file is damaged and must be recovered.