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Anyone Seeing OneDrive Cause Erratic Behavior in Quicken?

I just started letting OneDrive back up my Documents folder. Right away I noticed that OneDrive is constantly backing up the QDF during a Quicken session. This can't be good for software known to not play nice at the end of a session during file backups using 3rd party software.

Specifically, Tax Planner began behaving erratically, not saving changes made and seeing projection method settings changing during the session. After pausing OneDrive and closing/opening Quicken, Tax Planner behaved normally. I could repeat the bad behavior by turning OneDrive syncing back on.

So if you are seeing erratic behavior and you are using OneDrive to backup your documents folder, consider that Quicken is not very good at sharing a data file session with other apps.  I'm not sure whether this is a OneDrive problem or Quicken not properly protecting access to the data file from other apps during the session. Given its nature, Quicken should be locking the data file during an open session and preventing any non-Quicken process from interacting with it.


  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Google Backup will do the same thing.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Quicken for Mac also does not like live backup to cloud based services and can lead to data corruption.

    The ROT for QMac is to not allow anything to interact with Quicken while it is live, so best to set up scheduled syncs.

    No surprise that QWin would behave in similar fashion.
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  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    OneDrive seems to show it is communicating with the cloud during a Quicken session, but I have never detected any actual traffic during a session. I think the OneDrive icon is actually indicating the Quicken file is currently locked from being used by other apps including OneDrive, and therefore is not being synchronized with other linked computers.

    However --- OneDrive has two operating modes. The default is that applications use a local file on your computer, and that file is synced to the cloud and to other linked computers after the application is closed and the lock is released. If you don't change anything from the default, that's the mode you get. I have been using Quicken in this mode for more than five years (near-daily use) and have never had a problem with it.

    The other mode is for the application to work directly on the cloud copy of a file. In this mode, there is continuing communication with the cloud file during a session. Application response is much slower due to communication lags, and you are risking corruption in the data due to sync lags and conflicts. Don't use this mode for Quicken files! In OneDrive-speak, this mode is called "Files On Demand".

    You can check the mode by finding your .QDF file in file manager. If it shows an icon with a green check, your Quicken application will use a local copy (good!). If it shows a cloud icon, it will use the cloud file (bad!).
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know you posted that you're using OneDrive to sync your Quicken data file and there have been no problems for 5 years, but please don't come back to the Community and complain when you suddenly discover corruption in your data file and you have to go back years to find a good copy.

    To other members of this community, I would strongly recommend not doing what @Ray Cosner suggests and use OneDrive for backup only.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    @Ray Cosner - Thank you for the feedback. I was seeing the cloud icon behavior that you describe except that the QDF was residing locally and not in OneDrive cloud. There was syncing activity with the QDF mid-session in Quicken as well as with the OFXlog and Synclog files. I turned off Files on Demand for a couple of days and all my local files were populated with green checks, replacing the cloud icon. I then turned Files on Demand back on and my green checks have remained. The QDF is no longer syncing mid-session and is behaving as you indicate it should.

    But, I still see the OFXlog and Synclog files syncing during the session so that has the potential to cause problems and it did cause an interruption of an FI download during an OSU session. Both of those are also green check files so there may be some "learning" algorithm working under the hood in OneDrive to wait on certain files. Or Quicken is properly locking the QDF but not properly protecting the associated DAT files. I'll be watching the sync activity more closely for a while to see if there is a pattern.  Thanks again for your comment.
  • Ray Cosner
    Ray Cosner Member ✭✭✭✭
    @markus1957 - There is a "Storage Sense" algorithm at work in the background. It comes into play if your disk free space drops below some level which I don't know how to set. If that happens, it deletes as needed local files that are replicated in the OneDrive cloud, if those files haven't been touched in a set amount of time. You con control that untouched time in Windows 10 settings System / Storage / Storage Sense. I have mine set at 14 days.

    My Surface Pro 2 only has 128 GB of storage, but thanks to this feature about 25 GB of my files (mostly photos) reside only in the cloud. File placeholders remain on my local storage, and if I try to access one of those files the first thing that happens is a pop-up that says the file is being restored from the cloud. It generally only takes a couple seconds.

    The Quicken QDF file seems to be a sort of wrapper for various types of data, rather than being a monolithic database. My QDF file is over 80 MB, but the OneDrive sync after a Q session only uploads about 12 MB and then it declares victory. Apparently I'm not touching the remainder of the data inside the QDF wrapper, and the algorithm doesn't upload the contents I didn't change. Everything is fine when I then launch Quicken on my wife's computer.
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    A Quicken data file is a special zip file that can be opened with 7-Zip. It contains 4 files. 

    I still would not let OneDrive sync my data to the cloud automatically.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
This discussion has been closed.