Sonarr FAQ

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How does Sonarr find episodes?


  • Sonarr does not regularly search for episode files that are missing or have not met their quality goals. Instead, it fairly frequently queries your indexers and trackers for all the newly posted episodes, then compares that with its list of episodes that are missing or need to be upgraded. Any matches are downloaded. This lets Sonarr cover a library of any size with just 24-100 queries per day (RSS interval of 15-60 minutes). If you understand this, you'll realize that it only covers the future though.
  • So how do you deal with the present and past? When you're adding a show, you'll need to set the correct path, profile and monitoring status then use the Start search for missing checkbox. If the show has had no episodes and hasn't been released yet, you don't need to initiate a search.
  • Put another way, Sonarr will only find episodes that are newly uploaded to your indexers. It will not actively try to find episodes you want that uploaded in the past.
  • If you've already added the show, but now you want to search for it, you have a few choices. You can go to the show's page and use the search button, which will do a search and then automatically pick episode(s). You can search individual episodes or seasons automatically or manually. Or you can use the filters of Missing and Cut-off Unmet.
  • If Sonarr has been offline for an extended period of time, Sonarr will attempt to page back to find the last release it processed in an attempt to avoid missing a release. As long as your indexer supports paging and it hasn't been too long Sonarr will be able to process the releases it would have missed and avoid you needing to perform a search for the missed episodes.

Why didn’t Sonarr grab an episode I was expecting?


First, make sure you read and understand the section above called “How does Sonarr find episodes?” Second, make sure at least one of your indexers has the episode you were expecting to be grabbed.

  1. Click the ‘Manual Search’ icon next to the episode listing in Sonarr. Are there any results? If no, then either Sonarr is having trouble communicating with your indexers, or your indexers do not have the episode, or the episode is improperly named/categorized on the indexer.
  2. If there are results from step 1, check next to them for red exclamation point icon. Hover over the icon to see why that release is not a candidate for automatic downloads. If every result has the icon, then no automatic download will occur.
  3. If there is at least one valid manual search result from step 2, then an automatic download should have happened. If it didn’t, the most likely reason is a temporary communication problem preventing an RSS Sync from your indexer. It is recommended to have several indexers set up for best results.
  4. If there is no manual result from a show, but you can find it when you browse your indexer’s website - This is a common problem that is most frequently caused by having an insufficient number of indexers. Different indexers index different content, and not all shows on your indexer may be tagged properly, which would cause Sonarr’s search to fail. Having several indexers active is the best solution to this problem.

How does Sonarr handle scene numbering issues (American Dad!, etc)?


  • How Sonarr handles scene numbering issues
    • Sonarr relies on TheXEM, a community driven site that lets users create mappings of shows that the scene (the people that post the files) and TheTVDB (which typically follows the network’s numbering). There are a number of shows on there already, but its easy to add another and typically the changes are accepted within a couple days (if they’re correct). TheXEM is used to correct differences in episode numbering (disagreement whether an episode is a special or not) as well as season number differences, such as episodes being released as S10E01, but TheTVDB listing that same episode as S2017E01.
  • Problematic Shows
    • This by no means is an all inclusive list of shows that have known issues with scene mapping however, these are the big ones that come to mind while writing this.
    • Typical Issue: Scene numbering does not match TVDb numbering so Sonarr doesn't work. Well enter XEM which creates a map for Sonarr to look at.
      • Scene releases double episodes in a single file since that is how they air but TVDb marks each episode individually.
      • Scene uses a year for the season S2010 and TVDb uses S01.
    • XEM works in most cases and keeps it running smooth without you ever knowing. However as with most things, there will always be a _black sheep_ and in this case there is a list of them.
    • This is a list of the known shows and how/why they're **fu...** Problematic!
      • American Dad
      • Arrested Development
      • Mythbusters
      • Paw Patrol
        • Double episode files vs single episode TVDb but also not all episodes are doubles so the map can get added wrong pointing to which ones are singles vs doubles
      • Pawn Stars
      • Pokemon
        • On TheXem, pokemon is tracking *dubbed* episodes. So if you want subbed episodes, you might be out of luck.
  • Possible resolutions:
  1. TVDb adds alternate ordering to the API (Current status: They say v4 but dont count on it to work or be stable based on the history of v3)
  2. XEM adds a map to allow for alternate orders that sonarr can use (Current status: Unlikely)
  3. Sonarr allows for disabling of XEM maps when doing manual searches (Current status: Unlikely)
  • Sonarr side effects:
    • On top of the issues with the shows already, Sonarr also has some odd behavior so you may just need to overlook this as well. Example:
    • American Dad is currently on S17 based on TVDb or S16 based on Scene at the time of this writing. So searching in sonarr for season 17 will only return S16 results because of the XEM map. If you have a tracker with S17 episodes (because they use P2P and not Scene), you are SOL & sonarr will never see them or find them. Right click > Save as on the torrent and add it manually is your solution. However here is the odd part, if you use tags and you add it to your client with a tag that Sonarr looks for, it will see the episodes and when they download it will automatically import them to S17. So it wont find S17 because it is mapped to S16 but it will import S17 to S17 even though it is mapped to S16. Cant explain it & never got an answer for it so enjoy the inconsistent logic as it will save you having to import it.
  • Final thouhgs:
    • This may or may not happen on other shows but we have only tested it on this one. Main point, if you have any issues related to these shows you're kind of out of luck and just have to deal with it. It is something that is constantly being worked on and discussed as it is a pain for us as well as much as it is for you.

Why can’t Sonarr import episode files for series X? / Why can’t Sonarr find releases for series X?


Sonarr relies on being able to match titles, often the scene posts episodes using different titles, eg CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as just CSI so Sonarr can’t match the names without some help. Sonarr maintains a list of problematic series which lets us solve this issue. For anime, it will need to be added to, for other series to request a new mapping:

  1. Make sure it hasn’t already been requested. Requested Mappings
  2. Make a new request here: Scene Mapping Request Form

Typically these are added within 1-2 days.

Again, do not request a mapping for Anime; use XEM for that.

Sonarr grabbed a release, why can’t it import it?


The reason it was able to grab the release in the first place was because the indexer returned the tv rage ID for the series and Sonarr was able to match it to that, but that ID is not available during import, so it fails.

I see that feature/bug X was fixed, why can’t I see it?


Sonarr consists of two main branches of code, master and develop, master is released periodically, when the develop branch is stable and develop is for pre-release testing and people willing to live on the edge, if you want to help out testing or want more information on the two branches, please see: Release Branches. When a feature is marked as In Develop it will only be available to users running the develop branch, once its been move to Live (in master) it is officially released.

Episode Progress - How is it calculated?


There are two parts to the episode count, one being the number of episodes (Episode Count) and the other being the number of episodes with files (Episode File Count), each one uses slightly different logic to give you the overall progress for a series or season.

  • Episode Count
    • Episode has already aired AND is monitored OR
    • Episode has a file
  • Episode File Count
    • Episode has a file

If a series has 10 episodes that have all aired and you don’t have any files for them you would have 0/10 episodes, if you unmonitored all the episodes in that series you would have 0/0 and if you got all the episodes for that series, regardless of if the episodes are monitored or not, you would have 10/10 episodes.

How do I access Sonarr from another computer?


By default Sonarr doesn’t listen to requests from all systems (when not run as administrator), it will only listen on localhost, this is due to how the Web Server Sonarr uses integrates with Windows (this also applies for current alternatives). If Sonarr is run as an administrator it will correctly register itself with Windows as well as open the Firewall port so it can be accessed from other systems on your network. Running as admin only needs to happen once (if you change the port it will need to be re-run).

Why doesn’t Sonarr automatically search for missing episodes?


There are two times when we would want to have missing episodes searched for, when a new series with existing aired episodes is added and when Sonarr has been offline and unable to find episodes as it normally would. Endlessly searching for episodes that have aired that are missing is a waste of resources, both in terms of local processing power and on the indexers and in our experience catches users off guard, wasting bandwidth.

In v1 of Sonarr we had an opt in backlog search option, often people would turn it on and then get a bunch of old episodes and ask us why, we also had indexers ask why they saw an increase in API calls, which was due to the backlog searching.

In v2 we sat back and thought about it and realized the benefit is not really there, we could try to throttle the searching, but that just draws it out and still does the same thing; hammer the indexer with useless requests. If the episode wasn’t there the last time the search was performed, why would it be there now? It would be if it was reposted, but if it was reposted, the automatic process that gets new episodes would see it was posted and act on it.

Why does Sonarr refresh series information so frequently?


  • Sonarr refreshes series and episode information in addition to rescanning the disk for files every 12 hours. This might seem aggressive, but is a very important process. The data refresh from our TVDB proxy is important, because new episode information is synced down, air dates, number of episodes, status (continuing/ended). Even shows that aren’t airing are being updated with new information.
  • The disk scan is less important, but is used to check for new files that weren’t sorted by Sonarr and detect deleted files.
  • The most time consuming portion is the information refresh (assuming reasonable disk access speed), larger shows take longer due to the number of episodes to process.

Why is there a number next to Activity?


  • This number shows the count of episodes in your download client’s queue and the last 30 items in its history that have not yet been imported. If the number is blue it is operating normally and should import episodes when they complete. Yellow means there is a warning on one of the episodes. Red means there has been an error. In the case of yellow (warning) and red (error), you will need to look at the queue under Activity to see what the issue is (hover over the icon to get more details).
  • You need to remove the item from your download client’s queue or history to remove them from Sonarr’s queue.

I see log messages for shows I don’t have/don’t want


  • These messages are completely normal and come from the RSS feeds that Sonarr checks to see if there are episodes you do want, usually these only appear in debug/trace logging, but in the event of an problem processing an item you may see a warning or error. Its safe to ignore the warnings/errors as well since they are for shows you don’t want, in the event its for a show you want, open up a support thread on the forums.

Seeding torrents aren’t deleted automatically


  • When a torrent that is still seeding is imported, it is copied or hard linked (if enabled and possible) so that the torrent client can continue seeding. In an ideal setup, the torrent download folder and the library folder will be on the same file system and look like it (Docker and network shares make this easy to get wrong), which makes hard links possible and minimizes wasted space.
  • In addition, you can configure your seed time/ratio goals in Sonarr or your download client, setup your download client to pause or stop when they’re met and enable Remove under Completed and Failed Download Handler. That way, torrents that finish seeding will be removed from the download client by Sonarr.

Why can’t I add a new series?


  • In the event that TheTVDB is unavailable Sonarr is unable to get search results and you will be unable to add any new series by searching. You may be able to add a new series by TheTVDB ID if you know what it is, the UI explains how to add it by an ID.

Why can’t I add a new series when I know the TVDB ID?


  • Sonarr cannot add any series that does not have an English language title. If you try to add a series via TVDB ID that does not have an English title. If no English title exist for that series on TheTVDB it will need to be added (if available).

Sonarr won't work on Big Sur


Run chmod +x /Applications/