If you use any software program long enough, eventually you’ll experience what I refer to as “a state of wonkiness” (technical term). While we’d like to think that Accordance is above the fray of such things, occasionally something can go wrong. In situations like this, what are you to do?

If Accordance (or any other software program for that matter) is not working as it’s supposed to, usually the first line of defense is to close and restart the program. If that doesn’t work, restarting the computer itself may solve your problem if there was something going wrong at the system level. But what if you’ve attempted both of these strategies, and Accordance still is not working correctly? Worse, what if Accordance will not successfully load at all?

This is where Safe Mode comes in, a new feature introduced with Accordance 11. If you’re in a situation where Accordance will not start at all, open Accordance while holding down the option key on the Mac; Windows users should press the alt key immediately after launching Accordance. If you’ve timed this correctly, you will see a dialogue box like this:

Safe Mode dialogue box

I talked with Accordance tech support guru Ryan Mudge who told me that 90% of the support calls he takes in which he asks the user to fire up Safe Mode has to do with a corrupt startup session. This happens when, for whatever reason, the workspace file that automatically loads when Accordance starts up gets corrupted. You may have your startup session set in Preferences: General Settings to the last workspace session you had opened or a particular setup in which you prefer to begin your work in Accordance.

Checking that first box, “Remove startup session” will allow Accordance to start from your default search text. Note that removing the startup session will not affect your other preferences, including your personal Accordance Library arrangement. And as Ryan indicates—and as I have confirmed in my own experience—often this will take care of most startup problems.

Sometimes it’s a highlights or user notes file that’s causing problems. You can disable these without deleting them to see if they are the culprit. Side note: if your user notes are as important to you as mine are to me, make certain you keep good backups. Easy built-in backup strategies can include Time Machine on the Mac or File History in Windows. These utilities make multiple backups as you add content to the notes files, so that if a file does get corrupted at some point, you can find a “last good” version to retrieve.

If a file has been corrupted and it keeps getting put back into your Accordance setup from Dropbox, note that there is an option for temporarily disabling Dropbox sync. As it states in the Accordance Help files (run a search for “Safe Mode” in Accordance Help), you should avoid checking any of the boxes in the Settings section unless an Accordance tech support rep tells you to do so. These are the more “nuclear” options when it comes to your settings and will require you to reset Accordance to your preferred workflow.

See more about Accordance Safe Mode in the Help files. If you’re comfortable trying a couple of the options I mentioned above on your own, by all means do so if you’re experiencing problems. However, know that our crack Accordance Tech support team is only an email or telephone call away if you need them.