How to Delete Database Files and Re-Index Media in Avid Media Composer

Deleting Databases and Re-Indexing in Avid Media Composer

This post is on how and why you would need to delete your Avid Media Composer database files in order to re-index your media. Simply put, re-indexing your media the most likely and easiest way to get offline media back.

What are Avid Media Composer databases?

Media Composer indexes media into databases so that it can quickly look in an Avid MediaFiles folder to connect the MXF files to the master clips inside your project.

Note: I have no idea how Avid defines any of this but this is how I interpret how everything works.

Sometimes things get messed up in the little 1’s and 0’s and the MXF files can’t be read by Media Composer. To fix this the database files in Avid need to be deleted and recreated. I’ll show you when you might need to do this and how.

When do I need to Delete Database Files in Avid?

  • Whenever your media is offline and you are certain your media on the correct file path (root level of hard drive > Avid MediaFiles > MXF > 1)
  • If Media Composer is crashing when you are opening a project. This won’t always fix it but it’s a good place to start
  • Moving media onto Avid NEXIS or another type of shared storage solution and the media is offline

Need more Avid Media Composer knowledge? Check out our Ultimate List of Avid Media Resources

How do I delete databases and rebuild them?

Here are the steps to delete database files in Avid Media Composer in order to re-index your media:

  1. Close out of Media Composer
  2. Open up Finder (Mac) or Computer (PC) and navigate to your hard drive. Find the Avid MediaFiles folder on the root (top) level. Open it up. Open up the MXF folder. Inside here you’ll see a folder named 1. There may be folders numbered 2, 3, etc. depending on how much media is in the folder.
  3. Inside the 1 folder you’ll find two files: msmMMOB.mdb and msmFMID.pmr. Delete them. Don’t worry, they automatically rebuild when you relaunch Media Composer. See picture below.
  4. Cross your fingers.
  5. Open Media Composer.
  6. Media Composer will re-index the media and doing so recreates the two database files when it boots up before you get to the Select Project window.
  7. Open up your project.
  8. If it worked, give me a shout out on Twitter or send me a private message. If it didn’t work, hit the Avid forums.
Avid Media Composer Database Files
Avid Media Composer Database Files (Step 3)

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Some Other Notes About Deleting Database Files in Avid

If you have the right media folder on the correct file path for the project with media offline, your media should reconnect after re-indexing. Re-indexing can take some time too (this is in regards to Step 6 from above). It can take upwards of 30 minutes or more depending on how much media there is and how fast your system is.

This method has fixed about 85% of my offline media problems over the years. It won’t fix everything, but it’s always the first thing I do when my media is offline.

Okay, that’s it for the instructional part. Now I just have a couple personal comments.

First, I’d love to know who is reading this. Head on over to my contact page, put Hi Josh! in the subject line and let me know a little about you like who you are, where you’re from, what kind of projects you like to edit, what you’re struggling with, … anything. I’m here to help you as an editor in any way that I can.

Second, if you found this post helpful and want to get an email when I come out with a new one (typically once a week and a new tutorial once a week), go here and sign up. I’ll never spam you or anything like that. You’ll simply get an email you can easily unsubscribe from when I come out with a new post.

Lastly, thank you so so much for reading. I look forward to hearing from you and hope I was able to get your media back online!

Suggested Reading:

5 thoughts on “How to Delete Database Files and Re-Index Media in Avid Media Composer”

  1. Hey Josh, this is an old article but hopefully you see this comment. One question, does this work on ISIS/shared storage systems? I’ve been told that I shouldn’t delete the database inside the project (i.e. inside a particular episode’s project)

    • Hi Rawb! Yes, this DOES work on shared storage systems like the one you mentioned. However you will have to drag the MXF files from the other folders into whatever folder your computer is named (to force Media Composer to re-index all the MXF files and not just the ones in your computer’s folder). If someone at your work told you specifically not to though, you may want to respect their wishes and ask them why. However this does work. If you need more assistance feel free to shoot me an email — josh [at] or message me through the contact page in the menu bar.

      PS: I wrote the following article on another site that might explain deleting database files on a shared storage system a bit better than I just did. Check out tip #2:


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