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Open & Close a Realm - React Native SDK

On this page

  • Overview
  • Key Concept: Realm Files
  • Open a Local Realm
  • Open an In Memory Realm
  • Open an In-Memory Realm
  • Close a Realm

Realms are the core data structure used to organize data in Realm Database. At its core, a realm is a collection of the objects that you use in your application, called Realm objects, as well as additional metadata that describe the objects.

This page details how to configure and open a realm using the React Native SDK.

Realm Database stores a binary encoded version of every object and type in a realm in a single .realm file. The file is located at a specific path that you define when you open the realm.


Implement Compacting in Your Production Application

Every production application should implement a shouldCompactOnLaunch callback to periodically reduce the realm file size.


Auxiliary Realm Files

Realm Database creates additional files for each realm. To learn more about these files, see Realm Database Internals.


Use Caution When Deleting Realm Files

In some circumstances, such as a client reset scenario, you might need to delete a realm file and its auxiliary files.

If you delete a realm file or any of its auxiliary files while one or more instances of the realm are open, you might corrupt the realm or disrupt sync.

You may safely delete these files when all instances of a realm are closed. Before you delete a realm file, make sure that you back up any important objects as you will lose all unsynced data in the realm.

To open a local (non-synced) realm, pass a Realm.Configuration object to the asynchronous method


Accessing the Default Realm Path

If the path property is not specified in your Configuration object, the default path is used. You can access and change the default Realm path using the Realm.defaultPath global property.

const Car = {
name: "Car",
properties: {
make: "string",
model: "string",
miles: "int",
// Open a local realm file with a particular path & predefined Car schema
try {
const realm = await{
schema: [Car],
} catch (err) {
console.error("Failed to open the realm", err.message);

To create a realm that runs entirely in memory without being written to a file, add inMemory: true to your Realm.Configuration object:

const realm = await{
inMemory: true,
schema: [Car],


In-memory realms may use disk space if memory is running low, but files created by an in-memory realm are deleted when you close the realm.


See also: Additional Ways to Configure a Realm

It is important to remember to call the close() method when done with a realm instance to avoid memory leaks.

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