Quicken Mac Takes Long Time to Load

I have had a problem for quite some time, which is that Quicken Mac (2019, latest version) takes nearly two minutest to load.  The data file itself is only 250M, so while it does have data going back nearly 20 years, I'm not a super-heavy user. I've searched for answers to other questions but haven't found one that addresses this specifically. So what are the things that can cause such slow load times? Can I clear out old quotes, old accounts, or do something else to help with this?

Best Answer

  • moskimoski ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Just to follow up, I returned to normal boot mode and since then, my load times are still a respectable 10-15 seconds, so I think the problem is solved for now. I think perhaps restoring from the backup had the most effect. Maybe the old file was spread onto a sector of the hard drive that was going bad or something (I'm reaching, admittedly) and putting a new file down helped solve the issue. Whatever, so far so good...


  • Quicken HaroldQuicken Harold Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    Hello moski. Appreciate your question. :)

    With the amount of your current Quicken file, that could be an issue with the delay in getting your data loaded..

    A recommendation is to make a backup of your current file for historical purposes, and then go through your existing file and delete the old data.

    Hope this helps.. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

    ~ Quicken Harold.
    Quicken Harold
    Community Moderator
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @moski I'm a little skeptical about Harold's response to basically give up. I, too, have data going back 20+ years, but my data file is only about 50 MB. I'm wondering if you have attachments in your file? (These add to the size of the file, but shouldn't affect the file's start-up time.) If you click on All Transactions on the left sidebar, how many transactions are there in your file (shown on the right side under the Search box)? I have about 50,000 transactions.

    The developers have made several changes over the past few years that drastically improved launch times for users with large data files. It used to take about 45 second to open my Quicken data file two years ago; today, it takes under 10 seconds. Other users reported similar improvements, from 2+ minutes to under 20 seconds. I haven't seen reports similar to your about very slow launch times since they made those improvements, so it's worth trying to dig into what might be causing your problem.

    One thing you could do is experiment a bit: make several copies of your data file, and try deleting several accounts to try to quickly reduce the size of your data file, and to see if the file launch time decreases proportionally.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Quicken_TykaQuicken_Tyka Moderator ✭✭✭✭
    This may or may not be the issue but can cause a file to be slow to open.

    I would go to Quicken > Preferences

    Under the General tab, there is an option to have investment quotes automatically download this is done upon opening the file.

    I would try deselecting this and see if that has any effect on the performance. 

    Let us know how it goes!

    -Quicken Tyka
  • RickORickO SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    You don't happen to leave your file on an investment portfolio screen with the graph showing, do you? That markedly increases the time to open the file when the file re-opens on that screen.
  • moskimoski Member ✭✭
    Thanks for the help so far.  To Jacobs, I have 40K transactions in total, so not as many as you. I'm not sure where I would look to see if I have attachments, so if someone can point me to that it would be helpful.  Other than that, I guess I'll have to start testing with deleting some old data to see if that helps. This data file was converted from Quicken Mac 2007 last year when I finally went to the subscription version of the software, so I wonder if there are some database anomalies that crept in and are causing this problem.  Any thoughts on that?
  • RickORickO SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You would probably know if you have attachments since you would have added them. However, to check, go to the All Transactions register and add the Attachments column (menu View > Columns). Then click the Attachments column header to sort by that column. Look at the each end of the register. Any transactions with an attachment will have a paper clip icon in that column.

    The size of your file seems about right. I have $41.3k transactions and my file is about 272MB (and performance is good).

    You didn't mention what model of Mac you have and what kind of hard drive. If you have an hard disk (as opposed to an SSD), that can slow performance while the data is read off the disk. Other factors such as many programs open or an almost full drive can cause general slowness.

    One thing you can try (just related to Quicken) is to save a backup of your file then restore that backup to a new file. See if performance is improved in the new file.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @moski You didn't note whether you checked the preference setting Tyka referred to above, and whether your confirmed what @RickO suggested above about what register is open when you launched Quicken.

    I actually think it's worth paying extra attention to windows and registers. When Quicken is running, if you pull down the Window menu, is the last item "Sync Errors", or are there other register windows below? If so, select them one at a time, and when the window comes to the front, close it; repeat until you have only the main Quicken window (Command-1) open. And in that window, select one of your banking accounts, like checking. Then quit Quicken and re-launch it.

    In terms of Mac speed, as @RickO discusses, I'd note that my primary machine for Quicken is a Late 2012 iMac with has a slow, spinning hard drive, and Quicken launch speed is nonetheless quite zippy. I also used an even older MacBook Pro for testing until recently, and while it was a little slower, it still launched Quicken 2019 quickly.

    I'm curious: during the two minutes you say it takes to load, what do you see on the screen?
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • moskimoski Member ✭✭
    Continued thanks!  Yes, I did ensure that the "download securities on login" box was unchecked (it was) and I typically leave my Quicken with one of the main checking accounts as the open register and no other open windows.  And I have never added any attachments, so I don't think that's a problem.

    I admit that the Mac I'm using is getting long in the tooth...a late-2012 iMac with Core i 5 CPU at 2.9Ghz. It is a spinning HD, which I know will add some time to the process.  I only have 8G of RAM but I keep Activity Monitor open and I make sure I'm not getting too much RAM pressure. I do run the Office365 Apps for work, and I know those are memory hogs so I try to close them periodically to reduce their RAM usage.

    It's most likely a combination of things that are contributing to the slowness. I did make a backup of the main data file so I can try restoring from that to see if it helps. I'll try that next. Thanks!  
  • RickORickO SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    One test you should try is to quit all apps, shutdown the Mac then startup and launch Quicken with no other apps running. If it's quick, that will tell you that it's some other apps or processes that are contributing to the slowness.

    Another variant on this is to start up with the Shift key held down, and then log in (if not auto login) with the Shift key held down as well. This is called Safe Mode. In addition to performing some disk checks and cache cleanup, it prevents any ancillary processes from loading. Launch Quicken while in safe mode. Again, if it's fast, that will give you a clue where to look.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    For comparison, my iMac is the same generation as yours, except mine is a 2.7 GHz Core i5 and yours is the slightly-faster 2.9 GHz processor. We both have spinning drives. I have more transactions than you do, but a much smaller data file. And my Quicken launches in about 5 seconds. 

    @RickO: any idea what could account for the 200+ MB difference in file size between your file and moski's versus mine? I have more transactions, and I type fairly extensive notes (although that can't use up much space). My Quicken 2007 data file from which my Quicken 2019 data file was imported didn't have my investment accounts connected to financial institutions, so I don't have decades of daily stock quote downloads -- but that can't account for 200 MB, can it?
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickORickO SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @jacobs ... beats me. It might be the quotes. I opened the data file with DB Browser for SQLite to check some counts. I have about 190 securities and about 3700 payees. There are two tables related to quotes. Table ZSecurityQuote has over 176K records. Table ZSecurityQuoteDetail has over 215K records. I have no idea how big these records are, but I guess they could add up.

    If I knew more about SQLite, I could probably figure out how much storage each table uses. But I don't have time to figure it out.

    I'm running on an SSD based 2017 MacBookPro and my file opens in about 3-4 seconds.
  • moskimoski Member ✭✭
    So, I did have a chance to start up in Safe mode...which took forever, so maybe during that process it was cleaning out some old caches or otherwise cleaning things up.  I started up my normal Quicken file and it was faster, down to about 30 seconds instead of 90.  Then while in Safe mode I restored from the latest backup and created a new file to use, and that's when I saw some significant improvement so far.  The load process was down to 5-10 seconds!  I am still running in Safe mode to see if that helps some other general slowness issues I've been having.  Once I return to normal boot mode I'll see if the improvement holds.  Fingers crossed!  Thanks again for all the tips.
  • moskimoski Member ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Just to follow up, I returned to normal boot mode and since then, my load times are still a respectable 10-15 seconds, so I think the problem is solved for now. I think perhaps restoring from the backup had the most effect. Maybe the old file was spread onto a sector of the hard drive that was going bad or something (I'm reaching, admittedly) and putting a new file down helped solve the issue. Whatever, so far so good...
  • moskimoski Member ✭✭
    I'm re-energizing this thread to describe the latest findings. Unfortunately, as time went on, my Quicken became slower and slower to load upon initial opening of the application. We are back to about 35 seconds as of this morning. Interestingly, if I quit the app and then immediately reload it, it's very fast at sub-5 seconds. So this indicates to me that it is taking a long time to load data into a RAM cache of some sort. (Disclaimer: I'm not a hard core geek, so that may be wildly wrong.) I have Activity Monitor open on my Mac, and I see that when Quicken first loads it's only using 95M of RAM. Now, after just 5 minutes of being open and doing absolutely nothing (I don't have any automatic updates turned on, and I haven't messed with any register) it is up to 156M and likely will go higher. After being open for about an hour this morning it had ballooned up to 600M! Could there be some sort of memory leak in the app that gradually chews up RAM? Curious if anyone has insight into this. I tried to search for a similar topic here on the forum, but either I am not smart enough to figure out their search mechanism, or it is woefully inadequate. Thanks!
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