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Unable to open your Neat database

Last Updated: May 04, 2017 01:31PM EDT

Help! My Neat database won’t open!

If you see a message that says “Unable to Open Neat Database” while trying to launch Neat, this means that a file in your database may be missing, corrupt, or locked by another program. This article will walk you through a few potential remedies to this issue. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have any data currently in Neat or you want to start from a new database skip to Step 8 on this article.

Troubleshoot: Unable to load your Neat database

  1. In the “Unable to Open Neat Database” message box, take note of your database location by hovering over the location with your mouse.
    Neat-Windows-Unable-to-Open-Neat-Database-Step-1
  2. Browse to your database location.
    Neat-Windows-Unable-to-Open-Neat-Database-Step-2
  3. As a precaution, make a copy of your Neat Data folder before making any changes to it by clicking the back button, then right clicking on the Neat Data folder and selecting Copy from the drop down menu. Then right click anywhere in the library and select Paste.
    Neat-Windows-Unable-to-Open-Neat-Database-Step-3
  4. Double-click on the Neat Data folder. There should be at least three files in your Neat Data folder: a Neatworks file (.nwdb), a Cabinet file (.nwcab), and an Image file (.nwdb). you may have more than one Image db file. If you do not see one or more of these files, search your Recycle Bin to see if the file has been deleted by clicking the Start button, and then go to Computer then Recycle Bin. If you find one of these files in the Recycle Bin, right click the file and select Restore.
    Neat-Windows-Unable-to-Open-Neat-Database-Step-4
  5. Similarly, you should search your hard drive to see if any of the files have been moved to another folder by clicking on your hard drive location and searching the name of the file, as seen below. If your hard drive search finds the missing file, you can drag and drop it into the Neat Data folder to restore it.
    Neat-Windows-Unable-to-Open-Neat-Database-Step-51
  6. If all three of the database files are in the Neat Data folder, then the files may be being accessed by another program, and locking them. If you have any anti-virus or backup software programs running, you’ll want to disable them and then reopen Neat. Click here for more information on conflicts between Neat and third-party software.
  7. If you have followed all these steps and are still unable to open Neat then check your Neat error log and compare it to the articles we have listed in our knowledge base to see which one applies to your issue.
  8. If want to create a new cabinet and restore from a backup or start over with a new database, browse to the location of your Neat Data folder listed in Step 1 of this article, rename your Neat Data folder to Neat Data.old (or any other variation) and then follow the steps here. PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to rename your Neat Data folder before creating a new database and do NOT delete it unless you are sure you don’t need that data, or you are able to restore from a backup successfully.
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