Using one Quickeen file on two computers-what is the best way to do this?

Alan3
Alan3 Member ✭✭
edited September 2018 in File Conversion and Backup (Mac)
I am running Quicken 2017 for Mac (soon to be updated to QM2018) on a desktop iMac. Occasionally (once a week or less) I will work with the same data file on a Macbook. Based on various posts on this forum, I plan to make a backup to a flash drive and then restore from that backup to the second computer.

Two questions: (1) Are there any problems with what I plan to do? (2) Is there a better way to work with two computers? I should note that I am not a big cloud user.

Thanks,
Alan

Comments

  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Though you are not a big cloud user, another alternative to consider is to use remote access software (several free options, e.g. NoMachine and Teamviewer) to access Quicken on one computer from the other, or even mobile devices (see this great article for complete review of many options (most are free): http://machow2.com/rdp-for-mac/ ).

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    One more note: if using a flash drive to move your field back and forth, make sure it is formatted for a Mac (which you can do with Disk Utility).
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Alan3
    Alan3 Member ✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Thank all three of you for your suggestions. After I've played with your ideas, I will let you know what I've decided to do.

    Alan
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2018

    Though you are not a big cloud user, another alternative to consider is to use remote access software (several free options, e.g. NoMachine and Teamviewer) to access Quicken on one computer from the other, or even mobile devices (see this great article for complete review of many options (most are free): http://machow2.com/rdp-for-mac/ ).

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)

    Is this option viable if one computer is a Mac and the other a windows box?
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited August 2018

    Though you are not a big cloud user, another alternative to consider is to use remote access software (several free options, e.g. NoMachine and Teamviewer) to access Quicken on one computer from the other, or even mobile devices (see this great article for complete review of many options (most are free): http://machow2.com/rdp-for-mac/ ).

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)

    Yes, you can screen share across platforms. You will need to choose which platform will host the Quicken file and run that version of the Quicken software. In general, the Mac version has not caught up to the capabilities of the Windows version, so hosting on Windows may be your best bet, depending on the capabilities you need and your familiarity with each OS.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Alan3
    Alan3 Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    jacobs said:

    One more note: if using a flash drive to move your field back and forth, make sure it is formatted for a Mac (which you can do with Disk Utility).

    Thank you for your comment. I was surprised because I was under the impression that a Mac could read and write Windows drives [MS-DOS (Fat 32)] without problems. Am I wrong or am I misinterpreting your comment?

    Thanks,
  • Alan3
    Alan3 Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Though you are not a big cloud user, another alternative to consider is to use remote access software (several free options, e.g. NoMachine and Teamviewer) to access Quicken on one computer from the other, or even mobile devices (see this great article for complete review of many options (most are free): http://machow2.com/rdp-for-mac/ ).

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)

    Thank you for the suggestion regarding remote access software. At some point I will try one of these for intellectual curiosity if for no other reason. For the moment, I will do a physical backup.
  • Alan3
    Alan3 Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    RickO said:

    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.

    Thank you (belatedly) for your help. Yes, by "make a backup," I mean that I will make and restore the backup from within Quicken. I will use

      File>Save A Backup>[external disk and file name]

    to make the backup  and

      File>Restore From Backup>[external disk and file name]

    to restore the backup on the other machine.

    I have another question: In another comment to me, Jacobs writes that I should format the flash drive "for a Mac." Is this necessary? My flash drive is formatted as MS-DOS (FAT 32). It was my impression that Macs can read and write to this format without problems.

    Thanks.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    RickO said:

    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.

    You are correct, in general, that a Mac can read from and write to a drive which is not formatted for a Mac. The issue of concern with a Quicken Mac data file is that it is actually not just a file – it is a unique Mac entity called a package, which is a wrapper around a bunch of files and sub-folders to make them appear to be a single file. All those internal files and folders have Mac user permissions associated with them, and if anything gets messed up with those permissions, you can get locked out of your data file. This is why we always recommend that people only move a compressed (. zip) or Quicken-generated back-up copy of a data file when moving from one computer to another — these compressed formats essentially put another wrapper around the datafile to prevent any of the file permissions from being affected by a move. Moving a Quicken Mac data file to a FAT-32 flash drive is likely to cause problems. Moving a Quicken Mac .zip or backup version of the data file to a FAT-32 drive might work fine; I’ve never tried it myself, but it makes sense that it would work, in theory. However, when it comes to the security of your Quicken data file, my approach is to eliminate as many potential complications as possible. It would take you about 30 seconds to launch Disk Utility and reformat your flash drive, and I recommend doing so.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    jacobs said:

    One more note: if using a flash drive to move your field back and forth, make sure it is formatted for a Mac (which you can do with Disk Utility).

    See my reply to your question about this above.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    jacobs said:

    One more note: if using a flash drive to move your field back and forth, make sure it is formatted for a Mac (which you can do with Disk Utility).

    here: https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/using-one-quickeen-file-on-two-computers-what-is...

    (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)
  • Alan3
    Alan3 Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    RickO said:

    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.

    Many thanks for your detailed comments.

    I have no problem reformatting my flash drive.  I was just curious as to why I should reformat the drive if I'm moving a compressed file. If I may rephrase your answer:

            I might not have to, but why take a chance?

    Now, a related question. You write that "Moving a [uncompressed] Quicken Mac data file to a FAT-32 flash drive is likely to cause [file permission] problems." This seems to suggest that moving an uncompressed Quicken Mac data file to a MAC formatted flash drive or external disk would NOT cause problems.  This would be great, but I assume it is not so.

    Thanks again,
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    RickO said:

    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.

    I agree with the "why take a chance". 

    Moving an uncompressed Quicken file to a Mac formatted drive could still cause permissions problems depending on who the OS sees as the owner. Again, why take a chance.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited September 2018
    RickO said:

    The safest approach is to compress the file before you move it. Decompress it on the other end, work on it, then compress it again to move it back.

    You can accomplish the same thing by moving an automatic or manual backup made by Quicken as these files are compressed as well.

    So, when you say "make a backup", as long as you are talking about a Quicken-made backup (from the File menu), then you should be good to go.

    Yes, what @RickO says.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    jacobs said:

    One more note: if using a flash drive to move your field back and forth, make sure it is formatted for a Mac (which you can do with Disk Utility).

    (thx for the link fix)
    Have Questions? Help Guide for Quicken for Mac
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    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)
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