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You can reference the original article submitted by John Jardin.

Quick Summary

Unread Marks are enabled by default when creating a new Notes database. In most cases, especially for applications used by multiple users, unread marks are not required and has a significant performance cost when the Notes database grows in size.

To disable Unread Marks:

  1. Right-click on your Notes database and select "Application -> Properties"
  2. Click on the last tab
  3. Check the option "Don't Maintain Unread Marks"
  4. Compact the Notes database

Detailed Overview

There have been many cases where unread marks are enabled for Notes applications. One of the main reasons for this is that unread marks are, by default, enabled when creating a new Notes database. Many developers ignore this setting and continue developing an application for their client, where unread marks are most of the time not required.

This comes at quite a cost to performance when the application grows in data, especially if the affected Notes database contains many Views.

From experience, most Notes applications do not require unread marks. This is even more so the case when developing XPages applications. Yes there are some cases where a developer would need this functionality, but the recommendation is: If you don't need it, disable it!

There are 3 settings to manage Unread Marks for a Notes database:

  1. Don't maintain unread marks (Database Property - Last Tab)
  2. Do not mark modified documents as unread (Database Property - Tab 4)
  3. Manage Unread Marks on a Notes View level (View Property - Tab 5)

It's important to note that if you want to leave Unread Marks enabled for your Notes database and instead specify in your Notes View that there should be no unread marks, the Notes View is still affected. See below abstract from the Domino Designer Help:

Note: Designing views that don't display unread marks doesn't improve database performance because they are still maintained but not displayed.

This means that to improve database performance, you have to implement one of the first 2 options mentioned above, or at the very least option 2.

Important Notes

  • Remember to compact your Notes Database after changing these settings
  • It is assumed that by disabling Unread Marks, it automatically disables marking modified documents as unread. That been said, there is no reference to this in the Domino Designer Help, so the suggestion is to check both options in the Database Properties.


Step-by-step guide

  • Right-click on your Notes Database and go to the "Database Properties"
  • Click on the last Tab
  • Check the option "Don't maintain unread marks"

  • Compact the Database (You might need an admin to help you with this)