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windows (Archived) How to backup your Windows client Evernote database

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How to backup your Windows client Evernote database

  • Invoke Evernote
  • Go to tools/options/general tab. This shows the folder where your Evernote database & associated files live on your Windows computer. Make a note of it.
  • Completely exit Evernote. IE, make sure no EN icon is showing in the system tray.
  • Copy & paste the folder noted above. I prefer to append the date of the backup in the folder name in YYYYMMDD format. IE, I will copy "My EN Files" to "My EN Files 20111209". This is helpful when you have multiple backups b/c you can sort them chronologically & also quickly know when the backup was done.
  • That's it.

FYI, the most crucial file is the YourUserName.exb file where "YourUserName" is your EN account login name. But I prefer to backup all the files. If you wish, you can simply copy the exb file.

EDIT on 2/3/2012: ALL notebooks, regardless if they are local (non-sync'd) or sync'd are stored in your exb file. All attachments are also stored in your exb file. IOW, this gets the whole kit & kaboodle.

(Or is that kitten kaboodle???)

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Thanks! This is very helpful.

I think I am understanding you to say that you copy the entire folder, for example mine contains "myname.exb" and a couple of other files as well (e.g. "myname".esb.back and "myname.exb.thumbnail) I could simply choose to copy the all important "mynamefile.exb" and that would be sufficient, but If I copied the entire folder --I would also be backing up the other 2 files I saw in that file folder as well?

One last question, do you have any clue what the "myname".esb.back file would be?

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You're welcome!

I think I am understanding you to say that you copy the entire folder, for example mine contains "myname.exb" and a couple of other files as well (e.g. "myname".esb.back and "myname.exb.thumbnail) I could simply choose to copy the all important "mynamefile.exb" and that would be sufficient, but If I copied the entire folder --I would also be backing up the other 2 files I saw in that file folder as well?

Correct. Occasionlly, when I'm backing up, I end up getting the message that the target drive isn't large enough & it's b/c of a bunch of files in the attachments folder (I think that's the one.) So I just delete them all, so I can get a good backup on another physical drive. (BECAUSE...the attachments are actually stored in the exb file. The ones in the attachment folder are the temp ones used when viewing the attachment...or something like that...) But indeed, per CTO Dave Engberg, the exb file is the crucial one. So if you just do that one, you should be covered.

One last question, do you have any clue what the "myname".esb.back file would be?

No clue. :o

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What all does this back up? (Or I guess I'm asking... what's in this dir?)

Specifically,if I have local notebooks, are they captured in this backup? That's my main concern; where do I go to backup local notebooks. If I get the synced ones as part of the deal, so much the better.

I guess it seems odd to me that there wouldn't be a separate (set of) file(s) for each notebook.

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All notes/notebooks (sync'd & local) for a single account reside in a single database.

Awesome; thanks. I guess a cron job to archive and push-to-<backup location> is all I need for the whole shootin' match then.

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All notes/notebooks (sync'd & local) for a single account reside in a single database.

Awesome; thanks. I guess a cron job to archive and push-to-<backup location> is all I need for the whole shootin' match then.

That is as long as EN is shut down, apparently.

@The Evernote Team: Would be nice if EN did an auto backup on exit with an option for networked drives and number of backups to keep.

@OP: great post. Thank you.

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Why not use a dedicated HD backup/imaging program like Norton Ghost (or whatever they are calling it these days)? I keep a current backup on an external USB mirrored disk daily of everything. Cheap and effective.

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Great tip and excellent idea. I found "old" database with EN 3 and EN 3.5. Did a quick check on the dates of "my database" and found that some of them were several years old, so out they went! Many thank for all of your ideas and support.

David in Wichita

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Why not use a dedicated HD backup/imaging program like Norton Ghost (or whatever they are calling it these days)? I keep a current backup on an external USB mirrored disk daily of everything. Cheap and effective.

I do that too. But I like having archives, too. Especially helpful in case you need to revert to an old note either in a local (non-sync'd notebook) or for free users who don't have access to note history.

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BnF,

Is it necessary to close down EN when you do this? I notice that even when I close down EN there is still a little clipper icon in the system tray, do I close that down as well? Part of the reason why I am questioning this is that when you open that dialog box in EN which gives you the files you need to copy, it would be nice to do a simple copy and paste. I could copy those files, close down EN and then paste them into my backup folder. However, if I do that it would mean that I copied those files while EN was open (contrary to your instructions). The alternative is that I close EN and go to where those files reside ie: appdata/local/evernote/evernote/database to copy all the relevant files (I could put a shortcut to my desktop for that folder).

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BnF,

Is it necessary to close down EN when you do this?

Many copy/backup commands/programs will not copy a file that is open with write access. If you know your app will do this, then it is not necessary to shut down EN.

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BnF,

Is it necessary to close down EN when you do this?

Many copy/backup commands/programs will not copy a file that is open with write access. If you know your app will do this, then it is not necessary to shut down EN.

Actually, I am not backing it up directly: I am merely copy/pasting it into a "backup folder" which is backed up each night by Mozy. Evernote is frequently open when Mozy does its backup but I think that's probably irrelevant.

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It is best to File/Exit Evernote before backing up the user.exb file.

It is possible that you could be trying to copy the file while a database update is in process.

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Actually, I am not backing it up directly: I am merely copy/pasting it into a "backup folder" which is backed up each night by Mozy. Evernote is frequently open when Mozy does its backup but I think that's probably irrelevant.

I wouldn't say that it's irrelevant. IIRC, there are times when basic Windows copy/paste won't copy a file that is open/open with write access/being updated/etc. (I haven't used regular copy/paste in years. IMO, Teracopy is a much better copy/paste app.) The only way to be absolutely certain is to compare the last modified date/time & size of each file to confirm they match.

It is best to File/Exit Evernote before backing up the user.exb file.

It is possible that you could be trying to copy the file while a database update is in process.

Yup. When it comes to backups, I prefer to err on the side of caution.

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I have written a batch file that will backup your Evernote data folder to an alternate location, such as drop box.

For this to work correctly you must exit the tray icon and click the Do Not Notify Me, this will allow the kill process to shut down Evernote completely.

Create a folder in where you want to backup the files to first. Such as in your google drive or dropbox synced folders. Or a folder that you are using to backup with an application like Crashplan, Carbonite or Mozy.

REM --BATCH FILE START--

REM Command line task kill process to shut down Evernote.

TaskKill /IM Evernote*

REM This removes the past update files that you dont want to backup.

Del C:\Users\tnelson\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\AutoUpdate\*.exe

REM Copies your evernote files to your Dropbox folder for Sync to the web. * Substitute the Destination with your destination.

xcopy C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Dropbox\Evernote /e/s/v/y

REM Restarts the evernote tray icon to begin sync again.

Start /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Evernote\Evernote\" EvernoteTray.exe

REM --BATCH FILE END--

If you leave your computer on all the time you can use windows scheduler to have this run every night.

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I can validate the requirement to close down EN. I once tried to include the db folder in my SpiderOak back up, and it was a disaster. Each update by EN resulted in the db looking like a new file to Spideroak, so I got stuck in a never ending circle of backing up multiple copies of my database.

I will not be doing that again.

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Hi,

First of all, let me say thank you to everyone who has posted such helpful info on this thread!

I do, however, have what are probably a few "duh" questions regarding backup:

1.) After I make an EN backup, how do I open the .exb file extension? Can this only be opened via EverNote?

2.) If I assume the worst happens and I lose my EN information in a crash, will I be able to later use my backup with the .exb file extension to reopen (and therefore recover) all of my files in EN?

Thank you for your help!

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Hi,

First of all, let me say thank you to everyone who has posted such helpful info on this thread!

I do, however, have what are probably a few "duh" questions regarding backup:

1.) After I make an EN backup, how do I open the .exb file extension? Can this only be opened via EverNote?

2.) If I assume the worst happens and I lose my EN information in a crash, will I be able to later use my backup with the .exb file extension to reopen (and therefore recover) all of my files in EN?

Thank you for your help!

The exb file is a MySQL database file.

In Windows, to restore from a backup or move your database to another computer:

Hi Tymbee,

welcome to the forum.

Actually it is quite simple:

Install a new and clean EN app on your new harddisk.

Go to TOOLS >> OPTIONS to make sure where your (new and empty) database file is located (username.exb).

Then replace that file with your backup .exb file (the old one that you saved).

Exit and restart EN.

You should see your notes.

Good luck.

Wern

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You're welcome!

I think I am understanding you to say that you copy the entire folder, for example mine contains "myname.exb" and a couple of other files as well (e.g. "myname".esb.back and "myname.exb.thumbnail) I could simply choose to copy the all important "mynamefile.exb" and that would be sufficient, but If I copied the entire folder --I would also be backing up the other 2 files I saw in that file folder as well?

Correct. Occasionlly, when I'm backing up, I end up getting the message that the target drive isn't large enough & it's b/c of a bunch of files in the attachments folder (I think that's the one.) So I just delete them all, so I can get a good backup on another physical drive. (BECAUSE...the attachments are actually stored in the exb file. The ones in the attachment folder are the temp ones used when viewing the attachment...or something like that...) But indeed, per CTO Dave Engberg, the exb file is the crucial one. So if you just do that one, you should be covered.

One last question, do you have any clue what the "myname".esb.back file would be?

No clue. :)

so i no need copy the folder Attachments ????

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so i no need copy the folder Attachments ????

AS far as I know, you do not. It's a temporary storage location for attachments when they are activated/edited, so that the handling program can get to them, but the actual Evernote copies are stored in the Evernote database (the .exb file).

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I have always known the importance of backups, and have twice lost data because I wasn't backing up regularly enough. So eventually I just set up CrashPlan on all the computers and the house.

A nice "set and forget" tool so I don't have to worry any longer. I went online to browse my backups to make sure they were getting my Evernote files as my entire life seems to be going into Evernote.

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que sucede cuando caduca mi cuenta premium de prueba gratis de evernote?

mis notas son borradas?

Inglés, por favor.

You notes will not be erased.

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Just a thought......

I use DropBox and pay for them to save old copies of all my files.

If I MOVE the evernote files to a DropBox folder and then point Evernote there I presume Evernote will still work OK and I then gain the benefit of DropBox backing up old versions??

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Just a thought......

I use DropBox and pay for them to save old copies of all my files.

If I MOVE the evernote files to a DropBox folder and then point Evernote there I presume Evernote will still work OK and I then gain the benefit of DropBox backing up old versions??

In theory, yes, but Evernote cautions specifically against this due to both it and Dropbox possibly trying to sync things at the same time causing corruption.

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Hi Folks,

 

I am a newish Evernote user (just a few months) but very computer literate.  I am quite fastidious about backups for everything I do, and since I am pouring my life into Evernote I certainly want to have a local backup, just in case of whatever.  I have read this and related threads and searched elsewhere on the web and I cannot get to the export option on my EN web page, nor can I find the local Evernote database on my computer.  .   I am on a Windows XP machine (I know, I have to update that soon, but if it ain't broke don't fix it til you have to), and not a Premium user.  There is no Evernote folder and no .exb file anywhere in my c:\Windows\Documents and Settings directory.  And when I right click on All Notes, there is no export option.  There is also no Tools menu, as implied in other posts.  So where in the world and how do I find the directory where the full Evernote database is stored.

 

I would really really appreciate it if someone could help me find where the EN directory/database file is so I can do a local backup.

 

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Hi Folks,

 

I am a newish Evernote user (just a few months) but very computer literate.  I am quite fastidious about backups for everything I do, and since I am pouring my life into Evernote I certainly want to have a local backup, just in case of whatever.  I have read this and related threads and searched elsewhere on the web and I cannot get to the export option on my EN web page, nor can I find the local Evernote database on my computer.  .   I am on a Windows XP machine (I know, I have to update that soon, but if it ain't broke don't fix it til you have to), and not a Premium user.  There is no Evernote folder and no .exb file anywhere in my c:\Windows\Documents and Settings directory.  And when I right click on All Notes, there is no export option.  There is also no Tools menu, as implied in other posts.  So where in the world and how do I find the directory where the full Evernote database is stored.

 

I would really really appreciate it if someone could help me find where the EN directory/database file is so I can do a local backup.

 

 

If you are using the Windows client (rather than the web client), there absolutely is an exb file on your computer.  Be sure Explorer is set up to display hidden files.  But it sounds like you're using the web client (via a browser), rather than the downloaded Windows client.

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Thank you very kindly for the quick response.  Dunh, I did not even know there was an EN Windows client!  Yes, I have been using the web client.  I just downloaded and installed the Windows client and sure, now I can see the directory and the EN exb file.  But after using the web client all this time I do not like the WIndows client appearance and the way it works, and would prefer to stick with the web client.  Is there any compelling reason to use the Windows client apart from being able to easily access the EN database on my local drive?  Is there a way to use just the web client and still do a local backup?  I could continue to use the web client and just open the windows client when I want to do a backup, but since I do frequent backups that sounds like a bit of a pain.

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Alison,

In my opinion, to fully harness the power of EN you should be primarily using it as a desktop client eg:home and work.  I almost never use the web version unless I'm travelling and have no option.  Perhaps others may object to this point of view but I would be surprised if any of the "power users" on this forum use an exclusively web version.  Personally, I have it at home PC, work PC, on my ipad, on my kindle fire and on my android phone.

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idoc, you should check out the web version -- it's been getting better over time. No, it's not as powerful as the Windows client yet (though it does support reminders, if you're using those), but it's come a lot closer...

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I use DropBox and pay for them to save old copies of all my files.

If I MOVE the evernote files to a DropBox folder and then point Evernote there I presume Evernote will still work OK and I then gain the benefit of DropBox backing up old versions??

 

I'll echo Michael Campbell, above, and say, do not do this.

Specifically, do not use any multi-device Sync service - such as DropBox - directly on your Evernote database.

As a programmer, I have a mental picture of both Evernote and DropBox trying to sync to your device at the same time, and the ensuing chaos is not pretty.

 

However, using an online backup such as Crashplan should be fine, because it is a one-way operation - copying from your PC to the backup target. Worst is, you might get a backup of a partially updated database, but the risk of that is a meellion times less than not having any backup.

 

With DropBox, the problem would occur when the cloud service is trying to update a PC from the online backup.

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What are the steps to restore this back up that have worked?

You can overwrite your current ENW database with the old one and then resync.

Steps are as follows:

In Evernote for Windows:

- Sync

- Tools -> Options -> General -> Open Database folder

- File -> Exit

In Explorer:

- Rename e.g. "user.exb" to "user.exb.old"

- Copy backup user.exb and paste to current Databases folder.

Restart ENW and sync.

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I moved my user.exb file from the old Windows pc to a new Windows pc. I installed EN 5 on the new pc and started it. EN starts to sync immediately, so i closed it completely.

 

After that i copied my user.exb file to the new database folder, replacing the user.exb of the fresh EN install.

 

After restarting EN i tried to sync, but that fails.

 

What did i do wrong? 

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I moved my user.exb file from the old Windows pc to a new Windows pc. I installed EN 5 on the new pc and started it. EN starts to sync immediately, so i closed it completely.

 

After that i copied my user.exb file to the new database folder, replacing the user.exb of the fresh EN install.

 

After restarting EN i tried to sync, but that fails.

 

What did i do wrong?

I'm not sure. There can be a few reasons a client may not be sync'ing. Copying one exb file over another does not affect sync'ing ability.  As long as you fully exited Evernote (no elephants in the system tray & no Evernote apps in process manager), then copying one exb over another works fine. (I've done this more times than I could count on two hands.)   Based upon what you've posted, you did everything correctly & it should work fine & cause the new install to have the same data that's on your old PC. If you continue to have sync problems, you should submit a support ticket (see my sig.) 

One question...were you running EN 5 on the old PC?  If you were running EN v4 on the old PC, then that could be a problem.  I would suggest only copying an exb over another one when they are running the same "major" version.

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I did a relogin in Evernote, now all works well. Thank you.

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