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Are you paranoid?

Destroying records is a one-way ticket--you are permanently sending data down the drain. Unless, of course, you are using this plugin.

Simply declare models paranoid:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base

You will need to add the "deleted_at" datetime column on each model table you declare paranoid. This is how the plugin tracks destroyed state.


Calling destroy should work as you expect, only it doesn't actually delete the record:

User.count  #=> 1


User.count  #=> 0

# user is still there, only hidden:
User.count_with_destroyed  #=> 1

What destroy does is that it sets the "deleted_at" column to the current time. Records that have a value for "deleted_at" are considered deleted and are filtered out from all requests using default_scope ActiveRecord feature:

default_scope :conditions => {:deleted_at => nil}


No sense in keeping the data if we can't restore it, right?

user = User.find_with_destroyed(:first)


User.count  #=> 1

Restoring resets the "deleted_at" value back to nil.

Extra methods

Extra class methods provided by this plugin are:

  1. Model.count_with_destroyed(*args)
  2. Model.find_with_destroyed(*args)
  3. Model.find_only_destroyed(*args)


  • validates_uniqueness_of does not ignore items marked with a "deleted_at" flag
  • various eager-loading and associations-related issues (see "Killing is_paranoid")