(Finally) Biting the Bullet, from 2007 to 2019 — How to avoid landmines?

Hi All, I've been using Quicken for decades, and currently (happily) use Quicken 2007 (on High Sierra for Mac). I realize I'm on borrowed time though, so I'm finally ready to install Quicken 2019.

Here's why it's taken so long: A few years back, I purchased the then-latest version of Quicken 2017, and when I attempted to migrate my 2007 files, disaster ensued. Nothing translated properly, and all account balances were way way way off. Since all my accounts are up to date and reconciled, I don't know know what went wrong, but it was such a mess that I immediately quit using the 2017 version and went back to my trusty old 2007, and here I still am.

To avoid that kind of fiasco with Quicken 2019, I'm thinking that I will just start all over on January 1 with current balances and current accounts and not migrate anything over.

Here are my questions:

1. Will installing Quicken 2019 delete or uninstall or in any way mess with my Quicken 2007 and its data files? I want to keep Quicken 2007 for reference, as it has all my financial history. This is my most pressing concern.

2. I pay $9.95/month for Quicken Bill Pay. Since bill paying is included with a Quicken 2019 subscription, how difficult is it to transfer bill paying (and the monthly charge) without paying twice?

3. I still have Quicken 2017 on my computer, and its completely inaccurate data, from that failed attempt to migrate my info from 2007. I haven't looked at it or opened it since my one fatal attempt. How do I ensure that information doesn't make its way into my new 2019 data? If I just delete Quicken 2017 (trash it) before installing Quicken 2019, will that solve this problem?

4. I have the choice of purchasing via a download link or a backup file ($3 more). Is there a reason I should prefer one way over the other? My iMac doesn't have a built-in DVD drive, but I have a portable DVD writer. I've read that there are some download issues with the link . . .is that true?

5. I have a laptop and two desktop Macs, all running El Capitan or higher. Once I purchase Quicken 2019, will the same link (or disc) work for all three, or does each device need separately purchased software? How easy/difficult is it to transfer the software/data files from one device to another?

6. Finally, what does everyone think of the plan to not even try to transfer over my years and years of financial data, and just start from scratch? It seems foolproof . . . except I lose all that history.

Anything else I should know or ask? Thanks, everyone . . . despite using Quicken since the 90s, I feel like a real newbie right now.

Best Answers


  • John_in_NCJohn_in_NC SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Hi Maryanne:

    You have many questions! :)  I cannot answer whether your next import will be more successful, but I think my answers will assuage your worries as you have plenty of options without harming your ability to go back if needed.

    1). Don't worry: installing newer versions won't tamper with or affect either your old version of Quicken or its data file. You can run both side by side if needed. All new version installs always leave the old version and data file untouched-it always upgrades a copy to the newer format so that you can go back if needed.

    2) This I cannot answer as I don't use this service.

    3) You can trash 2017 from the Applications folder. Your newer version of 2020 might try to immediately upgrade that older version's data, but that isn't an issue. Simply File:New and create a new file and point it to your 2007 file (or start from scratch)-whichever you choose. You can always create new files and it won't affect the older ones. 

    4) I haven't used physical discs for software installs for many years-it certainly is an outmoded delivery method. But, you can certainly use them if you feel more comfortable. If you have a reliable internet connection, I wouldn't foresee any issues with buying via a download link. You will need a reliable internet connection anyways as updates are pushed up relatively frequently as new features are added.

    5) Either way you purchase Quicken (disc or link), you can install it on multiple devices. You don't need to purchase a copy for each machine.

    6) I would try the import and see the results. The majority of users don't have issues, but I don't know the uniqueness of your data. If you don't like the results, you can always File:New and create a new file and start anew. (You can do this as often as you want.) It will be harder to have 1/1/2020 be your start date, but I think your goal would simply be to start from scratch with recent data.

    Good Luck!

  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since John has already given good answers to your questions, I'll just offer a few of my thoughts.

    First, I'd definitely try the conversion from Quicken 2007 again. You've got nothing to lose; if it's a mess you can't figure out, you can toss the file and start with a blank, new file. Before you try to convert, please re-index your Quicken 2007 file: Command-Option-B. That fixes a lot of corruption problems, which might have been your problem when you tried a few years ago.

    Second: even if the conversion results a mess and you decide they aren't worth sifting through and fixing, keep the file around anyway, even if you start with a separate blank file for your transactions from 2020 and on. That way, iff you ever need to look up a transaction -- when did we replace the dishwasher? what was the name of that restaurant on that trip? -- you'll be able to open your "historical file" and look it up. (The point is you can have multiple Quicken files.)

    Third: There's really no reason to buy a CD version. All that's on the CD is basically a simplified version of the program which will, upon first launch, download the current version of the program. And since there are new version updates roughly monthly, having that CD is really of no value, in my opinion. There are not problems with downloading the program files, either originally or each time updates come out.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • chitownhockeychitownhockey Member ✭✭✭✭
    A few things that weren't addressed or need further explanation:

    1 "Free" Quicken Bill Pay is only with Quicken Mac Premier.  Deluxe does not offer that.  And "free" is in quotes because it only encompasses 15 transactions a month...which may have transfers from one account to another counting as TWO separate transactions toward the 15.

    2 Removing the old Quicken 2017 software will NOT remove the data file from Quicken 2017.  You can find the data file using Finder and search for *.quicken2017.  You can right click on that file and Move to Trash.  You might also want to look for any backup files of your Quicken 2017 data also located on your hard drive and move them to the trash.

    4 If you do download Quicken Mac, keep the download install file on your Mac...and another copy in a cloud based storage such as Dropbox.  I find that easier than searching on quicken.com for the download file...as sometimes things get changed and that file can "disappear".  I'm not saying Quicken Inc will be sold...but you never know.  It's already happened with the previous Intuit website and downloads.  

    5 Since the Quicken subscription product is an ongoing update, you're not going to have each upgrade become a new standalone product.  So whereas you can have Quicken Mac 2007 and Quicken Mac 2017 and Quicken Mac 2020 all reside as different software apps on your Mac, starting with Quicken "2018" it's just a subscription.  Therefore, Quicken 2018, 2019 and 2020 are NOT separate software...it's just Quicken Mac.  So don't expect every year to have another Quicken software app product.  It's not gonna happen.  Think of the subscription as a perpetual update...and not as a new upgrade.  

    6 I would try to convert your Quicken 2007 data into Quicken 2020.  You have nothing to lose.  If it doesn't work, just create a new data file and start from scratch on Jan 1.  
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    You might want to read the following to assist in identifying any potential problem areas:

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

    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:
  • VoiceMDVoiceMD Member ✭✭
    I'm sure this has been on ongoing discussion but haven't found the exact posting.
    What will I lose when I convert my decades of Quicken data from 2007 for mac to a 2019 version? What functions are not available? What reports are not available? What expected faults in the conversion with custom categories and subcategories? Is there anything new that will actually be better? Are people staying on Mojave to avoid the final forced upgrade to 64bit? What is wrong with Quicken that they have never made an excellent upgrade to Quicken 2007 Mac?
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @VoiceMD  You ask why didn't they update Quicken 2007. They did: it's the current Quicken! ;)  But it's not an update in the traditional sense, because they had to throw out the old code and completely re-write Quicken from scratch. The core database in Quicken 2007 was built for the pre-Intel Macs, and it's a small miracle that they found a way to keep it running on the modern macOS as long as they did; it's quirky, prone to corruption problems, and has file size limits that some users smacked into. The database used in the new Quicken Mac is a standard SQL database that is fast, rock-solid reliable, and can handle virtually limitless file sizes. The entire way Quicken 2007 draws elements on the screen uses an Apple technology called QuickDraw that dates to the earliest days of the Mac; QuickDraw was 32-bit code that Apple long ago superseded -- and finally dropped from the operating system in Catalina -- with Quartz and the modern Core Graphics framework, so for Quicken that meant the entire user interface needed to be re-created. There are more changes under the hood, but that gives you an idea why the engineers at former parent Intuit decided back in 2006 that they would need to start over. 

    Now, there's a long, messy story behind the development of Quicken Mac from then until now. They first tried to create a very reimagined financial management software called Quicken Financial Life -- which never made it out of beta testing. After more time in development building a more traditional approach to Quicken, the developers were still a long way from the finish line when Intuit acquired Mint and hired the creator of Mint to head development of Quicken. He decided they couldn’t spend years in development without releasing something, so in 2010 they released a subset of Quicken which would meet the needs of at least some users who didn't need to track their investments: Quicken Essentials. Essentials was roundly criticized as inadequate for many Quicken users and they promised to have a full-featured Quicken Deluxe ready to come to market by 2011 -- but shortly thereafter the head of Quicken left, there was management turmoil at Intuit, and Mac development ground to a halt.

    Finally, Intuit re-committed to building out a full Quicken Mac -- but they allocated money for only a handful of developers. From 2012 to 2014, the small team worked to modernize some of the core code in Essentials, which again needed changes to keep up with macOS, and to add investing functionality. Quicken Mac 2015 launched in fall 2014 as a modernized and expanded version of Essentials -- but it still lacked many of the features in Quicken 2007 or Quicken Windows. Quicken management acknowledged it wouldn't yet meet the needs of all users, but promised to continue adding features as quickly as they could.

    It's now been a little over 5 years since the launch of the modern Quicken Mac, and the development team has added a lot of key functionality to the program. Since Quicken became independent of Intuit three-and-a-half years ago, the size of the Mac development team has supposedly doubled. But it's still a fairly small team, and they had to initially spend time re-writing back-end code just to move off some of Intuit's servers; combined with the complexity of the Quicken code and data structures, the progress has been steady but slower than user (or management) had hoped.

    Where we stand today is leaps and bounds better than where we started in fall 2014, but there are still important features from Quicken 2007 (and Quicken Windows) which don't yet exist in Quicken Mac. How important these omissions are varies from one user to the next. There are plenty of Quicken Mac users who are happy because the program meets their needs. There are some Quicken Mac users who are wishing for features but find the current program good enough to get along. And there are a smaller number of Quicken Mac users who feel they cannot use Quicken 2020 because of a missing feature they depend on. Only you can determine whether Quicken 2020 meets your needs completely, adequately, or not at all. (Buying and trying Quicken is my advice; if you determine there's a showstopper issue for you, you can get a full refund within 30 days.)


    There are dozens, if not hundreds, of posts on this site about differences between Quicken 2007 and Quicken Mac 2020, and if would be impossible to summarize every detail here. (And if you were to read them all, it will likely scare  the %^&*# out of you and you won't give it a shot!)

    There are some things that are different and are (at least arguably) better; there are some things that are different that are (arguably) worse; and there are some things you just can't do in Quicken 2020 yet -- although new enhancements appear roughly every other month, so the gap is continually narrowing.

    Categories and sub-categories carry over. Classes are converted to tags; tags are arguably better, because you can have more than one tag on a transaction, which wasn't possible with classes; however, Quicken 2007 allowed sub-classes, where tags are all independent and not hierarchical. Existing reports don't carry over at all. The structure of the database and the reports is different enough that they never built a way to convert reports. So if you have a lot of reports, you'll spend some time re-building them. You still can't do all the reports you could in Quicken 2007, but they've been pretty steadily chipping away in this area and the reports are good enough for most users now.

    Functions not available? It's hard to quantify, and depends how you define things. QuickMath is an example of a function that is simply not available. (I'm still hoping we'll see that in a future update, but it hasn't been as high a priority for the developers compared to some of the big-ticket functionality like loans and budgeting and flexible reports that they've worked on in recent years.) QuickReports is an example something that doesn't exist in the way it did in Quicken 2007, but there are ways to search/report most data in different ways.

    One user put together a list of obstacles and hindrances for Quicken 2007 users migrating to Quicken Mac, which links to lots of individual issues -- but I'll also note that it was started more than three years ago and many things have changed or been addressed since then; some of the links to missing features have now been partly or fully implemented or addressed. So read it if you wish, but I still think trying it is the best way to assess how Quicken Mac 2020 will (or won't) work for your needs.

    Hope that helps give some perspective and answers to what you were asking about.

    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Actually, the things that have been implemented since it was created over 3 years ago are arguably the following:
    I'd disagree with the characterization that only four things on your original list have been addressed. On quick glance at other things on your list…
    • A significant number of the report requests -- albeit certainly not all -- have been implemented.
    • Many of the feature requests for Create a useful Category/Transaction Detail Report have been implemented.
    • IRR for investments has been implemented
    • Loan amortization has been implemented
    • Quicken Mac does correctly import single mutual funds
    I didn't attempt to evaluate every bullet point in each of the dozens of posts your main post links to, so please don't turn this into a point-by-point discussion -- which gets far, far away from what the original poster was asking. Some of the things on your list, like conversion of reports and carrying over sub-classes as sub-tags, seem to me to be unlikely to be implemented; I might be wrong, that's just my guess. Other things on the list (e.g. batch editing that includes splits) definitely would benefit from developer attention and because it affects more than just the remaining Quicken 2007 users, will hopefully be tackled in the future. 

    In any case, my point to the original poster is that because of the myriad features and functions in Quicken, and the different things each of us depend on, the best way to determine if it is suitable is to try it, and not to try to parse dozens of idea posts which may or may not be up-to-date. I'm not saying everyone can make an easy, clean transition from Quicken 2007 -- a large majority of Quicken 2007 users have found that they can, but some have found they can't. 
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019

    It is NOT a comprehensive list of all features not implemented in QMac that exist in QM2007 or QWin. And it has nothing to do with the implementation of many tweaks implemented in QMac. It is a list focused on those specific to the title of that thread. Many of the items you list are not even on that topic.

    The thread primarily focus is on identifying data migration issues or lack of key functionality that for some would likely get in the way of either functionality or the ability to manage or massage data to make QMac usable enough. So, on that basis of the content, not much has been addressed.

    The thread is there to so users can determine if any of these key areas might adversely affect them.

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

    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I wish you would stick to facts and not speculation. For example, I know for a fact that conversion of reports from other versions IS on their radar (personally confirmed) BUT requires a build out of a more significant amount of the features and report types before that can be considered.

    As for your bullet list:
    • though some reports have been implemented, many more still have not.
    • Still many of the feature requests for Create a useful Category/Transaction Detail Report have been NOT implemented.
    • Loan amortization has been NOT been fully implemented (e.g. variable rate, being a lender)
    • Quicken Mac does correctly import single mutual funds (was not even on the list)
    BTW, I am not arguing that migration to new QMac cannot work nor am I discouraging it. I am simply arming users with information for them to apply as is fitting so they can make an educated decision.

    And yes, I do agree that one quick way to find out some of this stuff is to simply try it, and many have been successful.

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

    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Actually, the items I mentioned above were all directly from your list and the posts linked to in your list. 
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's not what I said. :-\

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

    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:
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