How to keep Quicken from sifting through investments on import (Q Mac 2007 -> 2019)

louabilllouabill Member ✭✭
I just re-tried to import my QM 2007 file into Quicken 2019. One thing I do NOT want is Quicken peeking into my finances, scooping up info about what I have my 401(k) money in. I'm happy enough keeping private and causing myself extra work.

So... After aborting the first import as soon as it started calling home, I trashed the half-imported file, turned off my internet connection and started over. I expected Quicken to want to check it's rental information (i.e. that my software rental aka subscription fee had been paid), but it did not care.

After importing without an internet connection, all my 401(k) accounts were garbage, with most showing few or no entries, even though all the info has been entered into the QM 2007 account by hand.

Question: Is there a way to truly run quicken 2019 offline?

Failing this basic functionality: Would it make sense for me to replace all the valid ticker symbols with fake symbols, so that Quicken can check to its heart's content, only to find its desires unrequited?

For what it is worth: Because of seeing troubles that others had had with the conversion, I first rebuilt the QM 2007 indexes before importing, and I made sure that all the mutual funds had ticker symbols.

Thanks for any tips,

Tempted to ask for a refund and instead spend the money on Parallels or some such.

Best Answer


  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bill, what exactly is it that you're trying to prevent? If you have Mobile & Web sync turned off, your data is not uploaded to the Quicken Cloud. 
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • louabilllouabill Member ✭✭
    Here is what I would like to protect: my account information from ever making it to Quicken's servers. Ever. QM2007 could be used in a strictly local context. That is what I would like from all future versions.

    Anyways, here are the details that make it clear that even if you tell Quicken to keep away, it does not.

    When updating, Quicken first needs an internet connection to download the translation utility. Good enough, though this really should be something that the user can do independently.

    So... I turned the internet connection back on and started the data translation. I was sure to check the radio button saying I wanted nothing to do with mobile connections or the like. This would make me think that this means that what is local stays local.

    Once the translation started, I turned off the internet connection. The savings/checking/cash/etc. accounts got converted easily enough.

    Once that was done, a popup said

    Importing Investment Data...

    Once this popup dialog shows up, Quicken threw a huge number of error screens up.

    One said

    Unable to find internet connection.
    Quicken cannot find an internet connection to use.


    One said

    Verifying connection to Quicken Cloud...

    This despite not wanting anything to do with Quicken tracking anything on the cloud.

    Most say

    Sync Error
    Quicken encountered and error while communicating with our servers.
    Try again later, yada yada

    Hmm... why would it need to communicate with its servers to translate data in a file? My guess is to 'verify' prices or some such, thus allowing Quicken to peeks about in accounts. This is not my idea of local data being local.

    All I would like to do is to import the QM2007 file and use its information without Quicken getting access to what I have in my accounts. Turning off Quicken cloud is a partial solution, but it does not appear to be the full solution.

    i don't know what I'm supposed to do to simply translate the file without having _any_ of the data _ever_ go off my computer.

  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Here is what I would like to protect: my account information from ever making it to Quicken's servers"
    Re-read Jacob's reply.  If you do as he states, you get what you want.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • louabilllouabill Member ✭✭

    Even with the Quicken Cloud deseleted before the translation, Quicken is still contacting its servers to do the translation. This means that there is likely some data about the retirement funds going to Quicken's servers. This is not my idea of keeping the data local.
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    What "translation" are you talking about.  Q only "speaks" English.
    Q contacts it's servers to verify that you're running a currently supported version of the product (you can't download if your Q product is no longer supported) and to verify that the FI has signed the contract with Q and it contacts it's servers if you use Quicken Connect.
    Your data only resides on Q's servers if you use Quicken Connect. If you don't like this, quit using Quicken Connect.  It's that simple.
    It also, when first installed, contacts the servers to register your product.
    What other contact do you believe is happening?
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • louabilllouabill Member ✭✭
    What bothers me is that there is simply no difference between translating [1] a savings account and translating an investment account, so I don't understand the need for an internet connection to translate the investment accounts. There simply should be no need to go to Quicken's servers for either one, esp. if the cloud services are shut off. I realize that I'm not exposing any detailed information that could bite me in a breach. i just despise the gratuitous data collection (fund names, amounts of holdings, etc.) that appears to happen when importing the investment account information.

    Anyways, I wanted to do some experimenting before I replied, hence the delay.

    The experiment I wanted to run was whether it is possible to use Quicken with investment accounts offline. So: I duplicated my QM2007 account and deleted all the investment accounts. I then made a bogus account with bogus securities and bogus transactions, and translated the copy. Again, Quicken called home, and it called home once per bogus security. This is annoying. Still...

    I then quit Quicken, pulled the connection to isolate the computer, and opened the account again. No complaints. I entered a whole slew of bogus stuff. No complaints.

    Hence, it appears that it is possible that Quicken isn't continually calling home to check on investment accounts, though I don't know whether it does call when possible.

    This makes me think that I can tolerate the one-time gratuitous data collection, even though as I experiment with QM2019, it strikes me as inferior to QM2007. I will have to bite the bullet at some time, so I might as well do it now.

    FWIW, I have gone to the features pages and voted for restoration of many of the QM2007 features that have yet to be restored to QM2019.

    Thanks for the help,


    [1]@NotSCPA: translation: moving from one file format (qm2007) to another (qm2019). Nothing to do with human languages.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @louabill  I do understand your caution about exposing your financial data in this era where information is sold and bought and sometimes stolen. And while I can note that there has never been a breach of Quicken users' data, as the stock people say, "past performance is not indicative of future results." ;)

    You assume that they are collecting your financial data, and that's what you object to. I don't think there's anything to support that -- but I can't disprove it, either. Without your account numbers and login credentials, I don't think there's anything they can do with just knowing the names of the funds you own. And my belief is that they are not storing this data; my guess is that the the security symbols are used simply to establish or update pricing data in the security pricing table inside your local copy of Quicken, nothing more.

    You definitely can use Quicken offline, and it is designed to allow that. It does phone home periodically to verify your subscription; when they first started subscriptions, it was roughly monthly, but soon thereafter they lengthened the time interval. I believe in most cases, you could use Quicken offline for months if you wanted to. 

    Building out of old features in the new Quicken continues, and I think they remain committed to getting there. ("There" is likely not 100% of every feature, implemented in the same way, as Quicken 2007, but similar key functionality of Quicken 2007 and Quicken Windows.) I think even Quicken management is surprised how long it's taking to accomplish. The code base for Quicken is apparently quite complex -- more than many users give it credit for -- with some features originally developed a decade ago and others grafted on over the years that followed, so changing something that seems pretty basic to many users can sometimes turn into a major project to rebuild a large section of code. It's hard to be patient at times when a feature is lacking, or doesn't work as well as expected. But they keep plugging away, slow though it may be; when I look back at changes since a year ago or two years ago, I do appreciate that the program is getting steadily better.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
This discussion has been closed.