Where Does NeatWorks Store Your Data?

Where Does NeatWorks Store Your Data?

If you use NeatWorks by the Neat Company, you may be wondering where it actually stores your data.

NeatWorks is a document organization software for Windows and Mac that comes bundled with the NeatDesk and NeatReceipts scanner, but on the Mac is also available for purchase standalone.

Once you have scanned your documents in, it puts them in its own proprietary database, but where that is depends if you are running Mac or Windows.


NeatWorks will store your data in the following location:

C:\ProgramData\The Neat Company\NeatWorks

I don’t believe that it is possible to change that, but you can use a program like Junction to trick NeatWorks, if that is something you want to do. For example, you may (or may not) want to try putting it on Dropbox.


NeatWorks on the Mac is a bit more flexible. You can have a number of different cabinets (aka data files) and put them wherever you want.

To change your default cabinet, go to NeatWorks > Preferences and on the General tab there is a section for the Default Cabinet.

NeatWorks Default Cabinet

If you are in a cabinet and can’t remember where you have stored it, the easiest way to find out is to hold down Command and click the little proxy icon beside the name of your data file at the top of the window, like so:

NeatWorks click proxy icon

There you go, there are the locations of your NeatWorks data. Now make sure they are backed up!

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 32 comments

Don Caskey - April 1, 2021 Reply

I use the legacy Neat software (version 5.7.1_474 on Windows 10) and recently discovered that the Search function has stopped working for older records. If I manually locate an older records and make a change (e.g., add a period (“.”) to the comment field, then that record starts showing up when I search for a keyword in that record. So, I figure that the indices that are used for searching need to be recreated. Does anyone know how to get Neat to recompile it’s indices?

Dan - February 6, 2020 Reply

I found a reference in the some of the community comments that Neat just posted re: the “Error Icon and tax information.” Another attempt at Neat’s attempt to cripple completely 5.7. I’ve continued using it without any noticeable issues. It appears that the original tax table is the same as it always has, and I have continued to use it the last 4 weeks. Since it the reporting system still works I can get a 2019 tax report off. You just have to be cognizant that there might be some new codes that don’t show up and you may have to manually adjust your tax report for a few entries. It is also interesting to note that they did provide a tax table in their cloud version. If we new where the tax table database was located and it was a generic database you could add or delete categories manually, but it would probably not eliminate the “error icon,” since they probably have a hard coded date check to generate the icon. Since it’s the beginning of the year it is getting pretty close to decision time to start up a new system like Filecenter, and just leave Neat receipts in case there is some vital old information that is needed. One other error that has recently showed up is that the scans are very light and don’t respond to the adjustment tool. This started after I upgraded to Windows 10 on 1/2/20. Other than the mentioned issues above everything else seems to work. I even reinstalled after the Windows 10 upgrade and it took without hesitation.

Taken from: https://support.neat.com/retired/error-message-in-neat-legacy-software

“Users who still access the retired Neat legacy software will notice a new error message in red at the top of the Neat software. This error provides no other details regarding the underlying cause of the error.

Opening the Neat Support Center and checking the Application Log reveals this error is related to an unsuccessful attempt to update tax information for the Neat software. Because there have been no updates to either the Windows or Mac versions of the retired software in several years, the tax related updates are no longer available.

This error does not appear to affect general usage of the legacy application and is related only to tax information used by the Neat software such as the list of available tax categories. Scanning and editing is still possible though no longer supported.

It is recommended to discontinue use of the retired software and strongly recommended to export any data out of the database or contact Neat for options on migrating your data to the current cloud version. To contact support, sign into app.neat.com and click Help & Support in the bottom left or click here to open a support case. Since no tax information is being updated, the retired software should not be relied upon to prepare your financial documents for tax purposes.”

Dan - January 28, 2020 Reply

I just ran into another problem with Neat Legacy, in Windows 10. There is a “Error Icon.” that has appeared at the top of the program screen that looks like a page. Although everything appears to be working correctly the scans are so light that they are useless. The brightness/contrast adjustments do nothing. The temporary solution I came up with is to make a copy on my printer set to maximum dark setting and then use that copy to scan into neat. It sort of works, but obviously creates a huge processing problem. I can only assume this error icon indicates something is wrong with the scanning software, but I cannot find any documentation on how to fix this. I have tried reinstalling Neat and it does install without errors, but the error message is still present. Can anyone point me in the right direction to perhaps fix this error message and then hopefully I can scan again, otherwise I am probably finally at the end of Neat Legacy. BTW I am looking at Filecenter system. It seems to be close to Neat, but not as powerful when Neat works. Unfortunately Neat has made sure no one can read their database, so their suggestion was to just leave Neat in the background for old information, and start up with their new system going forward.

    Don Caskey - February 6, 2020 Reply

    I’m also having the problem with the “error” message at the top of the screen (as though an error was encountered when the software tried to add a scanned file to the database). I tried deleting all the residual images from the Images folder, which has fixed problems in the past when the program hit a file that was too hard/confusing to add to the database. However, that did NOT fix the problem. fyi: I too am using version 5.7.1_474 on Windows 10. From the comments, I’m beginning to think the program may have been hitting the web for information that ceased to be available on Jan 1, 2020. That’s about when I noticed the error message.

Dan F. - January 25, 2020 Reply

I am using Windows 10 Pro. Without any intervention Neat Receipts Legacy 5.7 has worked as well as can be expected. However all of a sudden an “error icon,” appears at the top of the screen where the processing notification drops down to show a document is being scanned in. (The icon has an image of what appears to be a document page in red.) Even with this “error Icon” showing everything still works, and syncs. Documents still scan. My log file shows the following error; “There was a problem reading tax information from the web.” Is there a solution? I have a good copy of 5.7.474, but don’t know if I should install it in Windows 10.

    Chris - January 26, 2020 Reply

    I just googled “There was a problem reading tax information from the web.” as I am experiencing this too as of January 2020. I also was able to migrate my Neat database and installation to Windows 10 in 2019 and it seemed to be working pretty much. Occasional crashes but operational when not crashing.

    I assume there was some aspect of the Neat client contacting Neat servers to download some back end data related to Tax. Perhaps they shut that down just recently.

    Other than the annoying “Error” at the top of the page, everything else seems to be operational.
    I hate to say it but I guess I will need to find a replacement for this product finally as I’m sure it will eventually just stop working overall.

    Chris - January 26, 2020 Reply

    Also I have been running 5.7.1_474 since May of 2019 on Windows 10 and it is experiencing this error too since this month.

Dan - January 14, 2020 Reply

Brooks, I just upgraded to Windows 10, and still use Neat Receipts Legacy 5.7, because it works best for my needs. Now it appears the program wants me to start from scratch in Windows 10. I know exactly where my neat database is located….I have kept it in another drive other C: all these years, but it won’t accept that location. Can you tell me how to access and continue with my original database. Thanks in advance.

    Chris - January 26, 2020 Reply

    I was able to move my database files to the default installation path for Neat’s database when I setup my Windows 10 installation.
    I installed Neat on 10, applied the latest patches (474) and closed Neat. I then copied/pasted a copy of the Neat database from the old PC to the new one in the default path for the application.
    It found and opened my database. I ran a backup and closed/opened Neat to ensure it was working.

    I more or less used this help link to locate the database file (old PC) and copied it to the new one in the same spot.

d - October 27, 2018 Reply

.nrmeta files, I desperately need to open. please help

rob - June 5, 2015 Reply

How do you edit and delete receipt categories on neat scanner

NeatDesk or ScanSnap? I Should Have Spent the Extra $50 and Bought the Ugly Scanner | Wild Rye - January 30, 2015 Reply

[…] Change the location where NeatDesk stores your data […]

Kristi Campbell - October 28, 2014 Reply

even though I am using the new neat desk, should I still keep paper copies of all my receipts?

DonC - April 4, 2014 Reply

I have a different question about NeatWorks/NeatDesk and am not sure how to create a different thread, so will ask if someone on this thread can help me. I want to create a separate database for another company (my son’s). So I figure if I delete or rename my existing folder, it will ask me if I want to create a new one (like it used to do). But now when I rename my old one, it just keeps asking me for the folder location of my Neat files. So how can I create a new database?

Tim - March 29, 2014 Reply

I have a question about the actual scans. My cabinet is saying that it is 230mb, but I have over 500 scans, @5 mb piece, that is over 1.5 GB. So where are the scans located? I understand that the database is located through the preferences, but that doesn’t have all the scans in it does it?

Thanks in advance.

Astroid - January 29, 2014 Reply

I wish I had found this thread earlier…..
I use a Mac and in trying to move my neat library to dropbox a few months ago I lost everything in my library. It looks like I have the files still on the computer in the Library/Caches/Metadata/Neatworks folder but it won’t open the .nrmeta files when I try to import them to Neat. Is there a way to get these files to open again?

GardenGirl - January 25, 2014 Reply

Where is the cabinet stored? On the computer hard drive or on the neat machine HD and can I back it up to my external storage?

I was told it goes to the cloud which you have to pay or but I can’t find out if this is true and how much it costs?

    Brooks Duncan - January 27, 2014 Reply

    The Neat scanner scans to the NeatWorks software, which lives on your computer. You can back up the Neat library to an external storage if you’d like.

    You can optionally subscribe to the NeatCloud service and have your documents uploaded the cloud, which is paid but not required.

DONELL - December 26, 2013 Reply

I am trying to log on to my site , where i stored my receipts an i cant fine them.Where i started my receipts on January 2013 . HELP

    Brooks Duncan - December 26, 2013 Reply

    Hi Donell, what do you mean your site? Are you using NeatWorks?<p style=”color:#A0A0A8;”>

Ian - December 16, 2013 Reply

Does anyone know how to fix a Neat DB? I have a corrupted file and the DB won't sync. Any help would be appreciated.

sandy - October 30, 2013 Reply

is it possible to change the name of the cabinet after set up?

TTPinc - August 7, 2013 Reply

Easier way to do it:
If you want to change the location of the cabinet, with Neat closed down, go to Documents (or wherever you created your database) and look for a folder called Neat Data.

Then move the Neat Data folder to another location (ex: your DropBox folder)
Then reopen the Neat program it will prompt you to Open or Create a new Database.

Click Open Database and point to the new location of your Neat Data folder.

    Brooks Duncan - August 7, 2013 Reply

    Thanks TTPInc!

    TONI - February 17, 2015 Reply




Max - March 24, 2013 Reply

Dude, you are a freek'n genious!! How did you find that? Did you use something like SysInternals Process Monitor? Just finding the right config.nrcfg took me a while (due to various backup of profiles, etc.) Thanks a bunch.

I know I have done this before and don't remember now how I did this.
I think I reinstalled and maybe even restored from a backup.
Thanks again.


derek - February 16, 2013 Reply

Actually, there is a configuration file for the new NEAT program which contains the location for the link. You can then move the data base directory to anywhere you want – including DropBox. Just make the appropriate edit.

The config file is called Config.nrcfg. Do a search, or look in the Users…AppDataThe Neat….

    Brooks Duncan - February 18, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Derek!

    Elizab - April 24, 2014 Reply

    Thanks!! That worked beautifully!!

DocumentSnap Time Machine | Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - March 18, 2012 Reply

[…] Where Does NeatWorks Store Your Data? The title says it all. On Windows and Mac. […]

Ron C - March 17, 2011 Reply

On the Mac, are the files indexed via Spotlight? If so, then it doesn't matter where (as long as they do indeed get backed up, as you well noted).

    Brooks Duncan - March 31, 2011 Reply

    Yep it looks like Spotlight does index it. I put this word in the Notes field and as you can see, Spotlight found it: http://cl.ly/41420t0R1v3V3F0K1o3z

Leave a Reply: