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Use Evernote’s Secret Debug Menu to Optimize and Speed Up Searching

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If your Evernote installation has become sluggish after adding thousands of notes, you might be able to speed it up a bit with this great tip from Matthew’s TechInch blog that uncovers a secret debug menu in the latest Windows client.

It’s important to note that Evernote runs database optimization in the background automatically, so this really shouldn’t be necessary, but if your database is sluggish, anything is worth a shot, right?

Accessing the Secret Evernote Debug Menu

Make sure to close out of Evernote completely (including the tray icon), and check in Task Manager to make sure all the Evernote processes are killed. Once you’ve done that, open up your Start Menu and type in the following:

evernote /debugmenu

You could also do this from the command prompt in the Evernote install directory if you wanted, but generally this should work for Windows 7 users.

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Once you’ve done this, you can access the new [Debug] menu, which lets you Optimize Database, which rebuilds the full-text database and optimizes it, or you could recreate the thumbnails.

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You should note that this process is going to take a long time, especially if you have a ton of notes, and you can’t use Evernote while it’s running.

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Once it’s done, your searches should execute quite a bit faster. You can close out of Evernote entirely and restart it to get back to normal mode.

Also, you should make sure to subscribe to the TechInch blog, the personal web site of our very own Matthew, who has been a core part of our team for quite a while now. He’s trying to build his personal site, and we should definitely support him, since he’s one of the most honest and decent people I know.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/17/11

Comments (5)

  1. Louise

    I tried this and it didn’t work, search for evernote/debug menu turned up no results and when I restarted Evernote the debug option wasn’t there. Would be useful cos my Evernote is rather slow.

  2. Scott

    I’m using Win7 Pro 64, and I couldn’t get it to run from the Search box, as described in this article.

    I used the Run box (Win+r), and that worked.

  3. Lopik

    Louise, did you include a space between ‘evernote’ and ‘/debug’ ?

  4. Jason

    Works great for me.. Pretty useless so I wouldn’t worry about it.

  5. Louise

    Thanks Lopik, working now

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