How to disable and delete tonido.db files

If you’ve used Tonido for a while, you’ve probably noticed that it creates tonido.db files in some folders. According to Tonido’s documentation these are index files that Tonido uses to quickly serve rich info about the contents of corresponding folders to remote clients, as opposed to rescanning said contents on demand.

That’s all nice and dandy, except that the .db files can be huge, especially if the folder in question contains a lot of media. How huge? I spotted a >2 GB tonido.db file in a folder containing 5.8 GB of pics. That’s a massive 34% storage overhead. In my case, the problem was compounded because that folder – among other indexed folders – was being synced to my non-Tonido laptop via BitTorrent Sync, and so the index files were needlessly eating hard drive space on the laptop, not to mention sync bandwidth.

Since I don’t use rich remote browsing in Tonido due to the extra bandwidth demand and the fact that I usually know exactly what I’m looking for and where to find it while remote browsing anyway, I decided to disable indexing and delete the corresponding files.

CodeLathe – Tonido’s developer – understandably doesn’t provide disabling instructions, since it has the potential to degrade mobile UX. Here’s how to do it:

Disable indexing

  1. Right-click the Tonido icon in your system tray.
  2. Click Open….
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Misc tab.
  5. Under Indexed Folders, uncheck Enable Indexing.
  6. Delete all the folder listings under Indexed Folders.
  7. In the When to index: drop down menu, select Manually.
  8. Close the browser tab
  9. Right-click the Tonido icon in your system tray again.
  10. Click Shutdown.
  11. Relaunch Tonido.
We don't index around here!
We don’t index around here!

The above steps should absolutely ensure that index files don’t get regenerated after you delete them in the steps that follow.

Delete all tonido.db files

  1. Download and install Everything Search Engine (ESE). I highly recommend the Beta build, x64 if you’re running 64-bit Windows. We’ll be using ESE to easily hunt down and delete the files.
  2. Launch ESE. If you want to ensure ESE stays up to date while preventing it from launching with Windows and running the in the background, follow Steps 3 to 10. Otherwise, skip to Step 11.
  3. Click Tools.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Click General.
  6. Check Check for updates on startup.
  7. Uncheck Start Everything on system startup.
  8. Click UI.
  9. Uncheck Run in background.
  10. Click OK.
  11. In the search field at the top of the ESE window, enter tonido*.db. The * wildcard ensures that files such as tonido.1.db that are generated by programs like BitTorrent sync are surfaced in results along with tonido.db files.
  12. When the files surface (practically instantly), select all of them.
  13. Hit Delete.
  14. Click OK on any subsequent confirmation dialog. Depending on how many tonido*.db files you have, their size, and your HDD, the deletion process may take a while. Fortunately, deletion takes place via the Windows Shell, which pops up the usual progress dialog.
  15. Empty the Recycle Bin.
  16. Close ESE.
  17. Relaunch ESE.
  18. Repeat Step 11 to ensure all offending files are gone.
All index files are gone!
All index files are gone!

So how much space will this actually save you? In my case, a whopping 10 GB. If you’re a Tonido user who doesn’t need (fast) rich remote browsing, I highly suggest you do the same.

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.

One thought on “How to disable and delete tonido.db files”

  1. Great! Thanks for the guide, and thanks for the info on Everything Search Engine, now that is a fantastic tool.
    I googled tonido.db files as I wanted to check that by deleting the little c4nts it won’t then mess things up even though I’ve uninstalled, removed, deleted etc Tonido from all my windows PCs and server and my Android devices but it was when i got to the point in your instructions advising to stop it running at startup or in background etc told me that this guide (especially as downloading and installing software as part of it) was written as a genuine HELP guide and it’s author must be an experienced IT pro and know what they are doing. As a fellow IT pro I doff my cap to you good sir!



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