Arq® Blog

How to Recover Your Things Database with Arq

The other day Wendy emailed me because Things crashed and she lost a lot of work, and she couldn’t figure out how to get back her data using Arq.

We traded a few emails over the next few hours, but it quickly became clear to me that she wasn’t wasn’t comfortable digging into her Library folder and move files around. So we jumped on Skype and did it together. She shared her screen with me so I could follow along with what she was doing.

The support person for the Things app had emailed her a web page with the location of the Things database, and we actually found some backups that the Things app had made by itself, but the newest one was a day old and the work she had lost had been added that morning.

So Wendy and I found a more recent Things database in her Arq backups and restored it.  Here’s how to do that:

  1. Quit the Things app.
  2. Click the Finder on the Dock.
  3. Click “Go to Folder” from the Finder’s “Go” menu, enter the path ~/Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.things/Data/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code/Things/ and click “Go”.
  4. Click the “ThingsLibrary.db” file once to highlight it.
  5. Click it a second time to rename it. Change the name to “ThingsLibrary.db_old”.
  6. Open Arq.
  7. Click the triangle next to your home folder.
  8. Select the most recent backup record (or whichever backup you want to use).
  9. Click the triangles to drill down to the same folder as mentioned in Step 3: Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.things/Data/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code/Things/
  10. Select the “ThingsLibrary.db” file and click the “Restore” button:
    Screen Shot 2015 02 14 at 10 30 40 AM
  11. Wait until Arq finishes restoring the file.
  12. Launch the Things app. You’ll see your Things data as of the backup date that you chose in step 8.
  13. To look at your Things database as of a different point in time, repeat the above steps, choosing a different backup record in step 8.

If you want to go back to the Things database you had before, quit Things, go back to the Finder, delete the “ThingsLibrary.db” file, and rename the “ThingsLibrary.db_old” file back to “ThingsLibrary.db”.

If you run into trouble with an app and you’re not sure how to restore the app’s data from a backup, send me email at and we’ll figure it out!

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"Best backup solution? @arqbackup with your choice of cloud provider. Great program!! Always helpful when I have questions also. Great support!" @Tony_Simek Feb 5, 2021

"Just used @arqbackup for my first real world restore, which saved me hours of rework. Would recommend." @jonathon Nov 14, 2020