FAQ: Year End Copy

John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
edited December 2018 in FAQ'S (Windows)
Howdy All: It's a new year, and I wish to perform a year end copy.

How do I do this on my Quicken for Windows Machines?
How do I do this on my Quicken for Mac versions?

What are the benefits/drawbacks to performing a Year End Copy?

Thanks in Advance-I hope other users can glean something from this post. :-)


  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021
    For Windows:

    NOTE: With the release of, the File->File Operations menu choice was eliminated and Year End Copy was moved under File->Copy or Backup File… menu selection.


    Nothing else has changed in its operation.

    Let me start out by saying that I never do a year end copy. I prefer to have all of my information in one file for historical purposes and ease of reporting. I have almost 15 years of data in my file at the moment, banking, credit cards and investment. Also, do you plan on converting these archive files you are making to the next version of Quicken you buy so that they stay usable?  Enough said on that subject.

    I do a year end copy every once in awhile when there are complaints that it is not working, so I tested it against a copy of my current data file. My file passes validation with flying colors, no issues reported. When I just ran the test, the only account that was not up-to-date as far as reconciliation was a cash account that had not be reconciled since last November and I left it that way on purpose.

    The dates used in this example are to do a Year-End-Copy at the end of 2010, so adjust the dates as needed for when you are reading this.

    On the year end copy screen, I chose the second option, "I only want transactions in my current data file starting with this date" and used 1/01/2011 as the date.
    The archive file was given a name with BKP in it and a date of 12/31/2010.

    I executed the routine and the file that resulted had the following:
    -Opening Balances dated 12/31/2010 for all but a savings and cash accounts
    -one transaction (a transfer to savings) in the cash account from December, it was not reconciled
    -one transaction (the transfer from cash) in the savings account from December, it was reconciled
    -savings and cash accounts had Opening Balances with a December date
    -the investment accounts still had all their data as expected

    When I have done this in the past with lots of unreconciled transactions scattered throughout the accounts, I found that everything left behind that I might have expected to have been removed was connected in some way to an unreconciled transaction.
    They were either:
    -unreconciled themselves
    -the mating transaction in a transfer to an unreconciled transaction
    -involved in a split that had a piece that was unreconciled
    -a transfer to a transaction that was a split that had a unreconciled piece

    The only advice I can suggest is to validate a copy of your data to make sure that everything is okay from that angle.

    [added] Investment accounts are NOT changed in anyway by the YEC process

    [added] You will also want to go into the "BKP" file immediately and delete all of the reminders so that if and when you do open the file in the future, they won't fire off and pollute your file with "new" transactions.


    -splasher using Q continuously since 1996
    - Subscription Quicken - Win11 and QW2013 - Win11
    -Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    One additional concern when doing a year end copy.

    Once you split out your Quicken data into separate files, it is difficult if not impossible to merge the separate files back into a single file. Any historical reporting you want to do will involve running reports in multiple Quicken files and agregating the report data in Excel.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited February 2019

    Performance is almost always stated as the reason people want to do year end copies, but does this really hold up with something like Quicken which is basically a database?  Note this is on the Quicken for Windows.

    My current data file 130 MB. What is the difference between it and a brand new data file?

    It takes about 20 seconds to load (about 10 seconds the second time that day, as in it is cached in memory).

    It takes about 5 seconds to load the brand new data file. So there is a difference.

    In the area of loading a register (which gets cached after opening so it takes basically no time after the first time) it takes a few seconds for the first time opened. In a empty register pretty much no time.

    And if you are a high volume trader with lots of investment transactions you can see performance hits while running the program especially in those registers with the high volume of transactions, which by the way the year end copy does not remove any investment transactions, so it is no a solution to this problem.

    Now what am I giving up? I can't see good history of my data. I can't compare my budget to the past. I can't see my net worth history. If I ever have to recombine the data its a REALLY PAINFUL process. When I upgrade each year I will have multiple data files that all need to be converted. The list of bad things goes on and on.

    So you have to ask yourself are those few seconds worth these other problems?

    UPDATE:  I like to point out something about my numbers above.

    I'm a network expert and I the times represented above are for my data file that is stored on an low powered NAS (network server), which is not recommended by Intuit because of all the problems that can come up doing so.  Anyways the 20 seconds is because that NAS could only transfer at about the rate of 11 MB/s.  It was not meant for high performance it was meant for being low power.  I have recently upgraded to a faster network server, which can basically keep up pretty close to what a local hard drive can do, and it now takes about 6 seconds to load my current 150 MB Quicken data file.  So the point is that on a local machine, the performance difference of loading in a brand new "empty" data file, and a large one is very small.

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 2019

    Thanks all. And for Quicken Essentials for Mac, I learned that there is no automated way to do this. If I insisted on doing one (against your better judgement), then I would have to duplicate the file in the Finder, and go in, note balances and unreconciled transactions, and clear out older transactions. Then, I would enter opening balance transaction with the noted amounts with the uncleared transactions taken into account.

    Thanks again!

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