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Any Way to Reduce Size of Quicken File

Paul C
Paul C Member
I've been using Quicken for years and as a result my QDATA file is very large (~138M).  Archiving used to be a way to reduce the size of a file, but that feature isn't available in Quicken for Mac.  Any suggestions?

Alternatively, thoughts on just starting over with a clean slate (given how close we are to Jan 1). I'd keep the old QDATA file hand for historical reference.

Comments

  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    What version of Quicken Mac are you using?
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Paul C
    Paul C Member
    edited January 2019
    Sorry, Quicken 2016 (Version 3.8.3).  Considering switching to Quicken 2019.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • John Burgess
    John Burgess Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    I have occasionally deleted accounts that have been closed for say 10 years or more. ALWAYS do a back first. Two downsides to this. You’ll lose the value of those accounts from net value reports, and transfers to/from other accounts will be left dangling. I forget what the default behavior is for those transactions, but it isn’t too serious.



    Why 10 years? Because I do like to look at the long term performance of my portfolio and if things are deleted, the report is distorted from reality. Ten years is my own limit of look-back.
  • Paul C
    Paul C Member
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    Thanks RickO.  1. I have restored from a backup recently so no change there. 2. I don't store attachments.  3. I saw the plain data file (91MB) but no other "data" files with numbers appended.  I did see a folder called "converted", which had a subfolder "1" which, in turn, contained 3 files: "Exportinfo.plist", "logfile.txt" and "SourceData" (the latter being 39.7MB in size).  The logfile was created in Sept 2016, about the time I switched from Quicken for Window over to Q for Mac.  The text of the logfile referenced exporting information from BOOTCAMP, again suggesting it was created when I converted from Q Windows over to Q Mac.  Any thoughts on whether I can delete the "converted" folder and its contents?
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    My guess is that the "converted" folder is an unnecessary waste of space at this time. Since it's been over 2 years since the conversion, you will probably never go back and dig into that log file. But if you wanted to, you could always stash it somewhere. It's probably quite small.

    I have a converted folder in my file from when I converted from QM2007 back in 2014. However, it only has the logfile and exportinfo files for a total of 4kb. 

    I would do this...

    1. Take a screenshot or write down your total net worth to the penny.

    2. Make a backup or copy of your data file so you can go back to it if needed.

    3. Then delete the entire "converted" folder from the Contents.

    4. Launch the modified file and test a bit to make sure nothings changed. Check the net worth and do a download to make sure that works. I'm sure you'll find there's no difference and you've saved 40MB. Be aware though, that while you will have saved some disk space, this is not going to improve performance.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Paul C
    Paul C Member
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    After making a backup, I deleted the contents of the "converted" file.  When I relaunched Quicken, many of the account balances were different.  Didn't have the energy to try and figure out why there were differences and just restored from the backup.  Guess the "converted" folder is going to be staying around.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    I've very surprised. As a check, I deleted the "converted" folder in my file and there was no change. Of course, I didn't have a "SourceData" file in mine. But I'm extremely surprised that Quicken would be reading that sub-file. The only thing I can think to explain it would be there was an account update or a bill pay downloads or auto-entries that happened on the 2nd launch.

    Nonetheless, 40MB should not really be a big deal to just leave there.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Paul C
    Paul C Member
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    I was surprised too.  For the heck of it, I tried it again using a different method.  Rather than working with a copy file on my desktop, I exported a copy to my laptop, deleted the contents of the "converted" folder and opened it on my laptop.  The net worth and account balances shown on my laptop and my desktop matched exactly.  I checked several accounts I know had large activity pre the 2016 export and all the historical transaction looked to be there.

    Not sure what was different when I tried (and failed) the first time, but deleting the contents of the "converted" file does not seem to do any harm to the data and reduced the size of my QDATA file by 40MB.  

    Thanks.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited January 2019
    RickO said:

    My QM2019 file goes back 20 years (starting from before QM2007) and is now almost 250MB. The file size doesn't cause any trouble. 

    If I were you, I'd just leave it be. If you split it, you won't save any disk space because you'll still keep the old file for reference, and then you'll have to switch files every time you want to look up something earlier than 2019. That's a pain.

    With the modern Quicken database (2015+), file size really doesn't affect performance, except perhaps for register searches. There was a recent update in QM2019 that really sped up searches in large registers which pretty much eliminated that issue.

    Given all that, there are some things you can check/do to possibly reduce the files size:

    1. Save a backup and then restore it. The backup files are compressed and there's a chance it will uncompress smaller. However, I really don't think it will change.

    2. Don't store attachments in Quicken. Just keep them in a separate folder structure in the finder. There are many reasons, one of which is that they are easier to search in the finder.

    3. Right click on your data file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. You will see a file there called simply "data" with a generic icon. That is the bulk of your Quicken file and its size should be almost the whole 138MB. The only other thing there that may be very large is the Attachments folder (if you have lots of attachments). 

    You may see another large file called "data" but with a date or words appended. These are old copies of your data resulting from old upgrades. There is a Quicken update a while back that was supposed to automatically delete these. But it's possible that there would be one or more hanging around inside the Quicken file structure. You can safely delete these (never the one called just "data"), but always make a safe backup of your file before doing anything inside the Contents. 

    Good. That's more what I expected. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
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