Curio Troubleshooting Tips

Getting Started

Downloading and Installing Curio

If you've purchased a traditional license key from our online store then you can download and install Curio by following these steps. Note if you've purchased a Zengobi product using Apple's Mac App Store then you need to use the Mac App Store app to download and install the product.

  1. Using your browser, download the latest Curio (or an earlier release) from the Zengobi website.
  2. Curio will appear in your browser’s Downloads folder, automatically uncompressed by your browser. If it was not uncompressed then double-click the zip file to allow the default macOS unarchiver to unzip the download. Please note that using alternative unzipping apps such as EncryptedZip may cause issues.
  3. Using the Finder, drag-and-drop Curio from your Downloads folder to your Applications folder. Other utilities such as PathFinder cannot be used to perform this move as only the Finder can clear the Gatekeeper restriction.
  4. If you’ve purchased a license key, you can copy and paste your key into the License dialog via Curio’s Curio > License menu item.

Fixing Project Loading Issues

Launching Curio without opening previously opened projects

Hold Shift while launching Curio.

Removing the internal Session Settings folder

Every blue moon we hear of an invalid session setting. These are minor things like the ID of the last-opened idea space.

  1. Right click on the project in the Finder and choose Show Package Contents.
  2. Drag the "Session Settings" folder you find within to the Trash.

Removing the internal Sync folder

If this is a Calendar/Reminder-synced project, there's a rare Apple EventKit bug that can sometimes cause a project to crash when the sync occurs on project load.

  1. Right click on the project in the Finder and choose Show Package Contents.
  2. Drag the "Sync" folder you find within to the Trash.

Syncing Service Tips

Sync Services

Using Curio with sync services (Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, etc) is okay as long as:

  1. You make sure everything is synced up before sleeping or disconnecting from the network.
  2. You make sure everything is synced down before launching Curio and loading the project on the other machine.

It is incredibly important that you follow those two steps to ensure project integrity!

Dropbox in particular makes this very straightforward since they show a little animating menu bar icon so you know it's syncing up or down. It also seems to instantly pick up on the need to sync either when a file is changed or immediately when you login.

In contrast, iCloud Drive, for example, only shows some sort of syncing indicator when you're viewing the project file in a Finder window. It also doesn't seem quite as responsive to initiate a sync and there's no way to tell it to sync now.

These sync services are great in that the entire project file package exists on your local disk and they only sync delta changes made within the package. Change a 2 KB file within a giant, 200 MB project and only the delta changes for that 2 KB will need to sync. However, it is still incredibly important to make sure a sync is complete before sleeping/opening as that small file may be an idea space!

An incomplete sync could result in an invalid or corrupted project, and Curio has no way of knowing if the project has completely synced up or down. So play it safe and watch those syncs!

Offloading Files

There's a new feature appearing in sync services which permits offloading files. For example, both iCloud Drive's "Mac Optimized Storage" and Google's Drive File Stream can keep a document file in the cloud and only download it if it's needed.

iCloud Drive's Mac Optimized Storage

Apple's feature can determine that a file stored in your Desktop or Documents isn't in demand and will automatically remove it from your local hard drive to save disk space. The file or folder will then appear in the Finder with a little cloud icon alongside. You can click the icon to force it to download, or opening a file will force a download as well.

Since this is Apple, we assume they treat the project's package file as a single entity just as it appears in the Finder, and won't offload a file within the project's file package. And, assuming they have tight integration with their own OS, when you double-click an offloaded project file it won't actually let Curio open it until the project package file is entirely downloaded and exists on disk.

If you decide to enable this feature, you may want to click the cloud icon next your Curio document folder or next to individual project files to ensure everything is downloaded before opening.

Google Drive File Stream

We're not perfectly clear how Google Drive File Stream works. Does it have the ability to automatically remove files that aren't in demand? If so, does it treat the package as a single entity or could it selectively remove files within the package? When the user double-clicks the project package to open it in Curio does it integrate with the OS so the entire package is downloaded and then the OS will open the file?

Since we're not sure we recommend that you right-click on a project and choose Drive File Stream > Available offline to make sure it's local before launching.


You may lose data for any number of reasons: hard drives die, machines stop working, OS bugs, application bugs, corruptions due to incomplete syncs, and other catastrophic events.

For the ultimate in safety let's discuss backups.

Automatic Project Backups

If you own Curio Professional (version 11 or above) or Curio Standard (version 14 or above) then Curio itself can automatically make backups of any projects found in the specified projects folder. Choose the Curio > Preferences menu item to set the default projects folder, backups folder, and to enable automatic backups. Using the Projects inspector you can enable automatic backups for projects stored in other locations. More information can be found in the Curio documentation.

Time Machine

Buy an inexpensive hard drive (like this one) and plug it in. Time Machine will make sure everything is backed up: "After you set up Time Machine, it automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months." Eazy, peazy.

Online Services

Services like Backblaze can securely store all your data to their cloud for a very inexpensive fee.


A clone of your hard drive created using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper makes precise copies of your drive so you can quickly boot off that clone to get going again.

The Curio Project Package

Curio projects have a .curio file extension and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk, although the default is within the Documents/Curio folder.

A project file is technically a Mac OS package file. This means it looks like a regular file, but it's actually a sneaky directory hierarchy potentially holding dozens or even hundreds of files!

We'll explore what's inside but don't delete or rename anything as you could accidentally corrupt your project.

The Tour

Let's begin by right-clicking on a Curio project file in the Finder and choosing Show Package Contents.

Some of these items are optional so you may not see them in your project. Library is a folder containing your project's internal asset library. Preferences contains project preferences. Proxy Project is an extract containing your project's tasks. Reference Tag Sets are pointers to non-local global tags referenced by your project. Resources contain this project's associated meta resources. Session Settings is a subfolder with per-user, last session info such as last viewed idea space. Styles contains the master styles for this project. A Sync folder may exist if this project syncs with Calendar/Reminders.

In the Library folder we find this project's internal asset library. Documents contains all documents and files your drag into the project. Idea Spaces contains all project idea spaces. Objects contains other assets, such as the root, section, trash, archive, and Organizer folder assets. SearchKit files are used by Apple's SearchKit framework so Curio can search asset contents. Tags contain this project's associated meta tags.

Let's go into Documents to see how these are stored. Here is an image file that was dragged into the project which Curio stores within a uniquely named subfolder. The associated .data file references this asset and contains additional asset info.

The contents of Library's Idea Spaces subfolder is similar. Idea space asset files are also stored within uniquely named subfolders but have a .curioIdeaSpace extension. It also contains an image file which is a preview of the idea space.

Why Uniquely Named Subfolders?

Curio uses uniquely named subfolders for its assets to prevent name collisions. So you're safe to drag in several files named Image.jpg, or create several idea spaces all named Untitled.

Project Load

On project load, Curio scans the contents of the Library subfolder to load all .data and .curioIdeaSpace files and dynamically construct the Organizer item hierarchy.

Things to Note

There are two key points to note about these contents:

  1. Your dragged-in assets are safe and sound within the Documents subfolder. Each document's uniquely named encapsulating folder begins with the document's file title so you can easily find it.
  2. You can find a preview image for every idea space. Each idea space's uniquely named encapsulating folder begins with the idea space's title so you can easily find it.

Deleting an Item

When you delete an idea space or other Organizer item in the Curio interface those assets are moved under the internal Trash asset. Then when you quit, Curio moves those assets — that is the .curioIdeaSpace and preview file — to the Finder's Trash.

Likewise when you delete an asset, such as an image figure on the idea space, then Curio will move those assets to the Finder's Trash as well.

Recovering a Deleted Idea Space

If you deleted, confirmed the deletion so it went into the Organizer Trash, then quit Curio so it was moved to the actual Finder Trash then all is not lost.

Re-open the project and drag the .curioIdeaSpace file from the Finder Trash directly to the project's Organizer. Curio should be able to reconstruct the idea space itself, including any text figures, although any file assets referenced will not be able to be reconstructed unless they are still in the internal Library folder.