Don't delete your records, move them to a different table.

Like acts_as_paranoid, but doesn't mess with your SQL queries.


gem install acts_as_archive

Rails 2


config.gem 'acts_as_archive'

Rails 3


gem 'acts_as_archive'


require 'acts_as_archive'

class Application < Sinatra::Base
  include ActsAsArchive::Adapters::Sinatra


Create config/acts_as_archive.yml to define the archive class and archive table for each of your models:

  - class: Article::Archive
    table: archived_articles

It is expected that neither the archive class or archive table exist yet. ActsAsArchive will create these automatically.


Run rake db:migrate. Your archive table is created automatically.

That's it!

Use destroy, destroy_all, delete, and delete_all like you normally would.

Records move into the archive table instead of being destroyed.

Automatically archive relationships

If your model's relationship has the :dependent option, and the relationship also uses acts_as_archive, that relationship will archive automatically.

What if my schema changes?

New migrations are automatically applied to the archive table.

No action is necessary on your part.

Query the archive

Use the archive class you specified in the configuration:


Delete records without archiving

Use any of the destroy methods, but add a bang (!):

Article.delete_all!([ "id in (?)", [ 1, 2, 3 ] ])

Restore from the archive

Use any of the destroy/delete methods on the archived record to move it back to its original table:

Article::Archive.delete_all([ "id in (?)", [ 1, 2, 3 ] ])

Any relationships that were automatically archived will be restored as well.

Magic columns

You will find an extra deleted_at datetime column on the archive table.

You may manually add a restored_at datetime column to the origin table if you wish to store restoration time as well.

Migrate from acts_as_paranoid

Add this line to a migration, or run it via script/console:


This copies all records with non-null deleted_at values to the archive.

Running specs

There is a wiki entry that describes the development setup in-depth.