Quicken for Mac -- does it now work with Dropbox?

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For as long as I've been using Dropbox, I've been warned to NOT save Quicken files there, as the "file" is really folders that Dropbox nevertheless perceives as individual files. The result is that files can easily become corrupted. This is something of a pain, as it means constantly moving the file manually between my desktop and laptop instead of just knowing it'll be there on either computer, as is the case with all my other important info.

I noted in the release notes to 5.6.5 this update:

"Quicken will now remove unnecessary conflicted database files caused by cloud storage services such as Dropbox to improve file integrity and reduce file size."

Does this mean we can now safely use Dropbox to sync our Quicken for Mac files? That'd be great!

Comments

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2018
    No, it doesn't mean it's an all-clear to have your primary Quicken file reside on Dropbox. It is still designed for the file to be on your local hard drive at all times, with Dropbox used for backup files if you wish.

    What they found is that Quicken sometimes duplicated the database inside the data file if a cloud service had it locked, so they apparently did some clean-up to remove existing duplicates and, presumably, prevent the situation from recurring. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2018
    Well, just to clarify further, the file would be on my local hard drive at all times. I would use Dropox to make sure that the copy of the file on the hard drive of my desktop was automatically synced to the copy of the file on the hard drive of my laptop. Would that still risk the file becoming corrupted? I'm not sure what the distinction is between that and using Dropbox as a backup.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited August 2018
    I won't claim to be the definitive expert on this issue, but here's my understanding...

    The Quicken data file is not actually a file; it's what the macOS calls a "package", which means it's a bunch of files and folders inside a wrapper that makes it look like a single file. As those files and folders get moved from one place to another, there are sometimes permission problems which develop because Dropbox doesn't have the same UID (user ID) values as on your hard drive. It doesn't happen often, and people have used it without problem for years -- but if/when the permissions problem occurs, you're suddenly locked out of your data, permanently.

    The safe and sanctioned way to move a Quicken data file -- whether to Dropbox or another computer -- is in a zipped archive (either Finder > Compress or make a backup from within Quicken, which zips the file. It takes only a second or three to compress and decompress, but the permission values of the files and folders inside the .zip wrapper can't be altered. So the recommended process is to manually zip your datafile and copy the .zip file to Dropbox, or allow Quicken to make a backup to Dropbox.

    I can't tell you definitively you'll have a problem doing what you want, but if you can find yourself locked out of all your financial data and years of history, is it worth saving the couple extra seconds it takes to do it differently?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    jacobs said:

    I won't claim to be the definitive expert on this issue, but here's my understanding...

    The Quicken data file is not actually a file; it's what the macOS calls a "package", which means it's a bunch of files and folders inside a wrapper that makes it look like a single file. As those files and folders get moved from one place to another, there are sometimes permission problems which develop because Dropbox doesn't have the same UID (user ID) values as on your hard drive. It doesn't happen often, and people have used it without problem for years -- but if/when the permissions problem occurs, you're suddenly locked out of your data, permanently.

    The safe and sanctioned way to move a Quicken data file -- whether to Dropbox or another computer -- is in a zipped archive (either Finder > Compress or make a backup from within Quicken, which zips the file. It takes only a second or three to compress and decompress, but the permission values of the files and folders inside the .zip wrapper can't be altered. So the recommended process is to manually zip your datafile and copy the .zip file to Dropbox, or allow Quicken to make a backup to Dropbox.

    I can't tell you definitively you'll have a problem doing what you want, but if you can find yourself locked out of all your financial data and years of history, is it worth saving the couple extra seconds it takes to do it differently?

    Also note that the backup file created by Quicken is a compressed file, so that would be a safe file to store on a cloud storage. So you could have Quicken Auto-backup set up to save backups to the DropBox synced folder.

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)
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    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2018
    jacobs said:

    I won't claim to be the definitive expert on this issue, but here's my understanding...

    The Quicken data file is not actually a file; it's what the macOS calls a "package", which means it's a bunch of files and folders inside a wrapper that makes it look like a single file. As those files and folders get moved from one place to another, there are sometimes permission problems which develop because Dropbox doesn't have the same UID (user ID) values as on your hard drive. It doesn't happen often, and people have used it without problem for years -- but if/when the permissions problem occurs, you're suddenly locked out of your data, permanently.

    The safe and sanctioned way to move a Quicken data file -- whether to Dropbox or another computer -- is in a zipped archive (either Finder > Compress or make a backup from within Quicken, which zips the file. It takes only a second or three to compress and decompress, but the permission values of the files and folders inside the .zip wrapper can't be altered. So the recommended process is to manually zip your datafile and copy the .zip file to Dropbox, or allow Quicken to make a backup to Dropbox.

    I can't tell you definitively you'll have a problem doing what you want, but if you can find yourself locked out of all your financial data and years of history, is it worth saving the couple extra seconds it takes to do it differently?

    Yup, that's what I meant by making a backup from within Quicken -- either automatic or manual backups.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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