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technical support

See also
  Bug reports and fixes

Email support
I provide technical support via email. Send a message to robert@drive5.com.

Support is provided for standalone USEARCH only
I do not provide technical support USEARCH if it is invoked within third-party packages such as QIIME, mothur or HUMANN. Please make sure you can reproduce the problem in a USEARCH command-line before you contact me for help.

Please include the full version number and all command-line options in your email.

Use attachments -- do not send command lines or data in the body of an email message
Please do not paste command lines, sequences or input / output data into the message. Email systems sometimes change formatting in important ways. Better is to attach files using an archive format like zip or tar, especially if you're sending multiple files. Under Windows, you can use winzip and other utilities to create archive files. If you have data that is too large to send as an attachment,
you can use a free file sharing service.

Response time
I answer most questions same day. If you don't hear from me after a couple of days, maybe your email got spam- or virus-filtered, then you're welcome to send a follow-up message.

Toy example
If USEARCH does something unexpected, e.g. crashes or fails to produce expected results, then
please make a toy example. it's a big help, thanks!

Please be considerate
USEARCH has thousands of users, and on a typical day I get several tech support questions. I'm happy to support the software, but I would appreciate it if you were considerate of my workload, especially if you got the software for free. I am not paid a salary to do this work, and I don't have grant support.

Please make an effort to solve the problem yourself, or at least narrow it down as much as you can. Then, communicate the problem clearly and concisely, but with enough detail that I can understand what's going on. Remember, USEARCH is used in a huge variety of applications, and I don't know anything about what you're doing unless you tell me.

What you can do



Read the documentation


Pretty obvious. You did try, right?

Check the bug list


Make sure your problem hasn't been reported already. Maybe it's already fixed.

Version and options


Tell me the long name of the USEARCH build as reported by the version command, plus the full command line(s) that you're using.

Input data


Give me a brief overview of the input data. Protein or nucleotide? Sequence length? How many sequences?

Make a toy example


(Sorry for repeating myself, but a lot of people miss this one). If USEARCH does something unexpected, e.g. crashes or fails to produce expected results, then a toy example is a big help. Thanks!