Saving data VERY slow on large database

Greetings! I am a relatively new RM user (version 9) and enjoy it. I bought it because it makes it easy to sync with my Ancestry Tree, including media.

I’ve been working on my family tree passionately for 30+ years (starting in the old PAF 2.31 and FTM Broderbund days) and am fortunate to live in the same area where generations of my ancestors have lived for centuries. So a big part of my work is keeping current on all their descendant branches using newspaper obituaries and other local resources. I also merged my data with that of a now-deceased cousin some years ago who was just as passionate about the work. As a result, I have a VERY large, active database – approximately 406,000 individuals at present.

NOW, the problem. When I open up an “Edit Person” page and make changes (adding a middle name, a death date, etc.) and then click “Close,” I have a lag of about 20-30 seconds where the screen is entirely “frozen” until the data is updated and I can proceed to click on something else. Obviously, this is a considerable pain and slows down the data entry process.

I’ve already turned off every web hint option, as well as the automatic FamilySearch and/or Ancestry syncing options. I’ve turned off the options to enable FamilySearch support and Show problem alerts on individuals. Turning all of those features off has gotten me to my current speed.

Some specs – I am using a Lenovo ideaPad laptop with an Intel(R) Core™ i5-8250U CPU @ 1.60GHz 1.80 GHz, with 8.00 GB of installed RAM. It is a 64-bit operating system with x64-based processor. I am using Windows 11 Home version 22H2. The laptop only has a 117 GB SSD hard drive, so my database resides on a My Passport external hard drive with a capacity of 931 GB which has 350 GB free space. The RM database is 476,524 KB in size at present. I’ve not yet downloaded the latest RM update (

In the background of my computer I am generally running Carbonite for automatic backup as well as McAfee AntiVirus.

I’m no software expert but can follow instructions and know enough about computers to be “dangerous” and to make minor tweaks or solve basic problems. Any help to resolve my speed issue would be greatly appreciated. Before I go out and buy a new laptop, I am wondering if there is something I could do with my present set-up to make this faster.

Thank you very much in advance for reading this, and any suggestion you can offer.

P.S. Forgot to add that my computer is ~4 years old. Battery life is very minimal at this point so it is almost always running on a power cord.

Just off the top of my head … put the database on C: drive and see what the response time is.

If you haven’t already, investigate how to set exclusions for RootsMagic.exe and (databases) .rmtree files. from any monitoring/checking by McAfee.

To my surprise, I discovered that it IS already on the C: drive, so that won’t help. I was sure it was on my external hard drive, but it’s not.

I did that but there is still a 10-20 second lag.

Wild guess: I see that symptom when I have the Index in the left sidebar filtered by a large group, or when I have the main view set to People List View and I filter People List View filtered by a large group. My database is about 1/10 the size of yours and I have plenty of hardware capacity and yet I see this kind of delay when I am filtering by large group.

You may not have the exact same situation as me, but I’m willing to bet that there is something global that RM is updating after every Edit Person operation. It may be something different than a group filter. I do doubt that any of the features you turned off actually had much impact on the problem. I think it’s something different. So here are some specific questions.

When you go into Edit Person, which main view are you in - Family View, Pedigree View, Descendant View, People List View, etc? If it’s People List View, is it filtered by a group? Is it filtered by a person’s name?

When you go into Edit Person, which tab is selected in the bottom half of the left sidebar - Index, Family, History, Bookmarks, or Groups? If it’s the Index tab, is it filtered by a group? Is it filtered by a person’s name?

Usually I am in Family View when I am adding or editing data/individuals.

It is almost always Index. It is usually filtered by a surname or given name; basically, it is showing the results of the most recent search I did to find the person about whose family I am now entering data / adding relatives. Right now, for example, it is filtered by a surname that I searched to find the relevant person and there are about 11 people showing in the list for that surname.

How much free space remaining

With that size of database, you may be facing the constraints of a 6-year old processor with 8.00 GB of installed RAM. Besides upgrading RAM, one might could “test install” somewhere else to another PC comparable or better… to seek comparison results for judging the efficacy of using RootsMagic on that many individuals.

29.3 GB free of 117 GB

That was my thought/fear, but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t something else before getting a new computer and potentially facing the same problem. I like your idea of testing it on a newer computer with more RAM/larger free Hard Drive space before doing so. Now to find a friend who has one . . . .

Given your entire situation, the only thing I can suggest to try is to remove that name filter after highlighting the person for whom you want to do the Edit Person and before you actually go into Edit Person. The exact sequence is important. I’m doubtful it will help, but given the size of your database it might.

Here’s my theory. RM knows that you might have changed somebody’s name while your are in Edit Person. Therefore, it has to rebuild the sidebar Index after you exit Edit Person. Rebuilding the filtered sidebar Index after exiting Edit Person is the only thing I can think of that might create this sort of slowdown. So try removing the filter before entering Edit Person.

The slowdown happens for me when I filter the sidebar Index by group and not so much when I filter the sidebar Index by name. But you have 10 times as many people as me in your database and you have half as much memory as me. So maybe the name filtering is the problem, and maybe it’s not. By the way, I do think that the 8GB you have is way more than enough to run RM, even with your large database. So I was just touching all the bases when I mentioned that my machine has 16GB.

Oh, one more thing. Are you running the 32 bit version of RM or the 64 bit version of RM? Just because you are running a 64 bit Windows does not necessarily mean that you are running the 64 bit version of RM.

I honestly doubt that my suggestion will help. If not, the only other recourse would be to open a trouble ticket with the RM Helpdesk and submit your database to them for testing.

I threw together a database copied upon itself numerous times to contain a similar person count (dragNdrop to a copy followed by copying the doubled databases and again dragNdropping) and ran RM9 on an old Dell Inspiron laptop with an i5-4210u (about 30% less powerful than yours) but with 16gb RAM and a HD (no SSD). Definitely experienced that delay. Additionally, there was delays of the same (or slightly less) in just navigating to and from the People tab from the File tab and from some others (eg. Search). Not a great usability experience.

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Was your Index tab in the left sidebar filtered? If so, did you try it by removing the filter to see if the timing was the same with and without the filter?

The HDD is going to be a good deal slower than the SDD in general. But my experience with this particular problem is that the delay in returning from Edit Person with a filter in place is CPU bound rather than I/O bound, so maybe the slower HDD is not going to be the cause of the problem in this particular case.

Filtered Index to a single person at RIN 450000 (to get away from index number 1 person). Opened person 450000, then closed filter, switched to Bookmark tab. Edited and the delay was there. It’s true about SSD versus Iron, but should be less so for single operations than bulk. (Edited to reverse opened person with closed filter and to add “should be”)

Have you tried disabling “Carbonite” when you are running RM?
It could be trying to backup the DB while RM is still doing all the updates required!

Have you rebuilt the Index in the RM DB Tools? (Ensure you have a good backup first)

I think a higher spec Laptop is required with at least 16Gb of RAM.

Well, that’s my last idea down the drain. It’s just slow.

I think JustinHouser needs to submit his database to RM for analysis of the problem. A 20 second delay every time you exit from Edit Person is not acceptable.

Did you run Windows Task Manager during the delay to see if RM was CPU bound or I/O bound? I suspect it will turn out to be CPU bound. What on earth could RM possibly be doing during that time?

It is wild that the few forum posters here (with such massive databases) who’ve visited… have sort of petered off into the background with regard to problems or responses.

CPU looked to rise steadily to 40-41%, but DISK saturated to full usage at last shown numbers in the highest 90’s.

Interesting that it’s both CPU and disk. The disk usage surely would be lower on an SDD, but even so that seems too high. The CPU usage reflects at least one CPU core is maxed out. Task Manager report total CPU usage, not CPU core by CPU core usage. So for example, if the old machine has two CPU cores, totally maxing out both of them would be reported as 100% rather than 200%.

Yes, 2 cores 4 logical processors on Windows 10 Pro
CPU going from baseline 5-6-7% upwards to 41%
HDD going from baseline fluctuating 0-10% and rising to Max

Did you try turning off Carbonite? I’ve found recently that Dropbox and BackBlaze were the cause of my computer running really slow and freezing up and I don’t even have my database inside of Dropbox. Carbonite is like BackBlaze so it maybe causing the same issue. I have to run BackBlaze overnight because its indexing during working hours makes my programs crawl. Dropbox is odd because I’m not using any files in there, yet it must be looking at all my computer files now to see what is and isn’t set to update. I could barely function in RM until I changes the settings on both of those programs.