Helium allows you to easily switch between multiple databases (libraries) and even different types of databases.

Helium comes with support for the following database types

  • Sql Server Compact - this is the default and only available database type in the free version of Helium. This database is not recommended for larger libraries due to performance limitations.
  • Sql Server (Express)
  • MySql/MariaDB


For larger collections we generally recommend MySql/MariaDb databases for the best browsing performance. The performance when adding files can be a little bit slower than Sql Server (Express):


To create, open and manage datbases in Helium, use the FILE > Library management tool.


The tool is divided into tabs, based on database type.

The topmost buttons allows you to:

  • New - Creates a new database of the active type
  • Open - Open an existing database of the active type
  • Import - Import an existing database of any of the supported types into your active database. Please note that your active database needs to be empty to be able to perform an import.
  • Optimize active database - Performs housekeeping and repair functions on your active database. Use this option only if you suspect that something may be wrong with your database.


The list below the buttons will display recently used databases of the active type. Double click an entry in the list to activate it.


Image cache folder

You can control which cache folder that should be used for each database. This is useful if you for example switch between several databases and would avoid that the image cache is regenerated after each change.

The image cache folder will be stored in the database itself.