RM8 Database File Size

I’ve had one or two glitchy database errors for some time including a few phantom name records, which the Database Tools didn’t seem to shift, so I finally took the plunge and exported/reloaded a Gedcom into a fresh database.
So far so good, the only major ‘loss’ has been the Groups information which I have had to set to and recreate.
However there has been an astonishing reduction in the overall file size of the database on disk, down from 95 to 42 Gb (excluding the media files in a separate folder). The overall numbers of Persons, Families, Sources, Citations etc have not changed.
Any thoughts on this?

Contributors include:

  1. You haven’t built thumbnails for all the media in the new database.
  2. You haven’t compacted the old db.
  3. You have a lot of unused media linked to the old db with thumbnails that are not linked to the new.
  4. Your GEDCOM omitted some things with media tags so these items have no records nor thumbnails in the new db.
  5. Your old db has a lot of garbage left behind by RM processes and no means of cleaning out garbage in the UI.


  1. The Media view does seem rather slow to load, but does eventually. So is it possible that the thumbnails have not yet fully integrated into the database. Is there a way to force them to do so?
  2. I did compact the old db a few times when I was trying to clean it up, but have not done so as a matter of routine. Should this be done repetitively? When I used Family Tree Maker you were supposed to do it repetitively virtually every time you used the program, is RM the same? RM doesn’t give any indication how much compaction has been achieved on each pass.
  3. There are no significant differences in the numbers of Media Items or Media links - about 100 fewer links.
  4. My database started life as an RM7 database created by Gedcom transfer from FTM about a year ago. It was coverted to RM8 part way through the year when this seemed sufficiently stable to risk doing so. So plenty of scope for accumulating unwanted crud!
  1. I think you meant MB, not GB, for the database file size! Build thumbnails…

  2. Compacting is rarely needed in RM because that’s all it does. FTM includes under it a lot of data checking and perhaps fixing of sorts. If you deleted half of your media, compacting would return a good chunk of storage space to the OS.

  3. If you drag’n’drop your RM7 database to a new RM7 database, I suspect you will see a similar drop in file size.

I’d previously discounted using ‘Build thumbnails’ because at first sight it just opened an empty pop up box and then seemed to ‘hang’ the program. However looking at the Task Manager, although RM was marked as ‘not responding’ there was quite a bit of disk and processor activity going on. Leave it alone for 20 minutes and it does what it says on the tin. RM8 could really do with a progress bar or counter in that box!
File size is now similar to what was there before, so the mystery is now largely solved. Amazing that low-res thumbnails take up slightly more space than the whole of the rest of the database.
Thanks for your input.

1 Like