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Size of my Quicken Mac File >500MB

My Quicken Mac file is now 537MB. It is taking at least 30 seconds to open or save the file - getting the dreaded spinning beachball. I am on the latest version of Quicken Mac Version 5.15.3 (Build 515.33035.100), but this has been going on for several months and getting worse. I have no attachments. So is there a way to shrink this file? And why can't we archive data in Quicken Mac like the Windows version?
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  • Quicken AnjaQuicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited March 29
    Hello @GaryKantz,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community about your issue, and I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing this.

    Unfortunately, you're right, there is not a way to archive data the way the Windows version allows you to do so.

    However, I would agree that it is in fact the size of your data file that's causing the delays.

    What I recommend you do is to follow these steps--
    - Save a backup of your current data file and restore the backup with a different name so it creates a copy of your existing one.
    - Once restored-- write down the correct balances for each account before proceeding with the following steps.
    - Click on all transactions at the top of your account list on the left side.
    - Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the first transaction from the bottom to highlight and select it (where your transaction data would start with the oldest date)
    - Scroll up to the last transaction with the latest date that you would like to remove from your file.
    - Hold shift on your keyboard and click on that transaction to select it as well as all the other transactions in between the earliest and latest date, leaving the dates that you would like to keep going forward unselected.
    - Once selected click delete on the bottom left of the register to remove them
    - After that, you will go to each account register and will need to add a new opening balance for each account to correct the today's balance back to what it was prior to deleting the older transactions. To add the correct amount for the new opening balance, you will simply calculate the difference between the correct today's balance and the incorrect today's balance. You can add the opening balance by simply creating a new manual transaction (the plus sign on the bottom left) or you can also choose to do add a live balance adjustment or balance adjustment by going to the today's balance dropdown menu on the top right of each register and choosing the option "Adjust account balance" which will give you those 2 options to choose from. Read the description for both to decide which one you think is best to add (see attached screenshots at the bottom of this response). Also, you will want to date it for 1 day prior to the earliest date of the transaction that the accounts now starts with.





    Please do let me know if any of these steps are unclear or if you have any questions!

    You can also contact Quicken Support via chat or phone by clicking here if you prefer to have a Support Representative assist you through these steps.

    Let us know how it goes!

    -Quicken Anja


    -Quicken Anja
  • John_MJohn_M Member ✭✭✭✭
    You may not want to do this with any of your investment accounts, as the transactions there may be important to have for cost basis purposes.
  • Quicken AnjaQuicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited March 29
    John_M said:
    You may not want to do this with any of your investment accounts, as the transactions there may be important to have for cost basis purposes.
    Yes! Thank you @John_M for adding that! 

    Definitely not for investments, loan accounts, etc.

    Only checking, saving, money market and credit card accounts, in which case you would select "Banking" instead of "All Transactions".

    -Quicken Anja

    -Quicken Anja
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think it is unlikely that the problem is too many transactions. It seems unusual for a user who does not have attachments to have a 500 MB file. I have 25+ years of transactions, and my data file is roughly 1/10th that size. We all use Quicken differently, so someone having more transactions, even double the transactions, I have wouldn't surprise me. But an order or magnitude does seem odd.

    I'd recommend taking a peak under the hood to see if it yields an insight into what's going on. Quit Quicken, find your Quick data file, Control-click on it, and select Show Package Contents. A Quicken data file is really much more than a file; it's actually many files and folders, saved in a format macOS calls a Package in order to allow it to be moved, copied and otherwise treated by users as if it were a single file.

    Inside the package, you'll see something similar to this…

    Note that in this example, there is one file not in a folder called "data" which shows it is 65.5 MB. That is the actual SQL database for Quicken. This Quicken data file is 67.5 MB, so yo can see all the other folders and files they contain don't take a lot of space.

    In your case, is "data" close to 500 MB, or significantly less?And if less, then start looking in each of the folders to see if you can identify what it taking up a lot of space. Don't move or delete anything at this point -- we're just exploring. Report back what you find. 

    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • GaryKantzGaryKantz Member ✭✭
    So I tried this. I was able to successfully remove half of my data (3 years worth) from all my checking and savings accounts. All accounts balances are correct after the adjustments. However, this did absolutely nothing to reduce the size of this file. It's even a half MB larger than before. So at this point I cannot see what this accomplished other than to archive my data. Just saw Jacobs post so I'll report back. BTW I have NO attachments in this file.
  • GaryKantzGaryKantz Member ✭✭
    @jacobs So this gets more interesting. I only have 2 files in the package - data and catalog. If you look at the attached image you'll see that the data file is a tiny 25KB, but the catalog file is the huge one. So something is completely amiss here.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In terms of deleting transactions, I'm not surprised that your file size din't shrink. Modern databases don't necessarily shrink the size of their tables as transactions are deleted. 

    There is another process for a corrupted file, but I don't recommend going down this road until you have explored all other options: you can export your data to Quicken Windows format, then create a new Quicken Mac file and start from importing that "Windows" file. In most cases, this will successfully import all your transactions -- but in doing so, you lose any saved reports, budgets, register customizations and you'll have to set up your accounts for downloading from scratch. So it may be an option to explore if nothing else helps, but you just need to be aware that it may take you some time to clean up and get back running.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Quicken AnjaQuicken Anja Moderator mod
    GaryKantz said:
    So I tried this. I was able to successfully remove half of my data (3 years worth) from all my checking and savings accounts. All accounts balances are correct after the adjustments. However, this did absolutely nothing to reduce the size of this file. It's even a half MB larger than before. So at this point I cannot see what this accomplished other than to archive my data. Just saw Jacobs post so I'll report back. BTW I have NO attachments in this file.
    Ok, thank you for checking back. Not sure why that would increase the size. Go ahead and try the other suggestion first. If not-- you can also try exporting the data and importing it into a new file with the steps below and compare the sizes between the new data file and the old data file.

    Export/import steps--
    - In the old file-- File > Export > Quicken Windows Transfer Format .QXF (yes, even if you are on a Mac)
    - Save it somewhere you can easily find it like DeskTop or Documents (you only need this file temporarily and can remove it after doing the import)
    - File > New > Start from Scratch > follow the prompts that follow until it opens an empty data file
    - File > Import > Quicken Windows Transfer Format .QXF > Select the .QXF file previously exported  > Open 
    - Once the import is completed-- you should receive a message saying that the import was successful

    After these steps you can delete the .QXF file that was exported and check your old data file and the new data file to compare their sizes and see if that made a difference. If they are different sizes-- this could indicate that there may be data corruption present in your original file.

    -Quicken Anja
    -Quicken Anja
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29
    GaryKantz said:
    @jacobs So this gets more interesting. I only have 2 files in the package - data and catalog. If you look at the attached image you'll see that the data file is a tiny 25KB, but the catalog file is the huge one. So something is completely amiss here.
    Aha! Then I think I know the culprit. You are storing your Quicken data file on Dropbox, aren't you? This is not supported. Try copying your Quicken data file to your Mac locally and see what happens. 
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • GaryKantzGaryKantz Member ✭✭
    @jacobs

    You got that one right. Yeah, it's in Dropbox. Not sure how to fix this. When I open the package contents for the copied Quicken file when OPENED in Quicken, the data file size creeps up to 39MB (and this is before I deleted all the transactions). But there are two huge "conflicted copy" catalogs in the package contents. When I close Quicken, everything reverts back to what you see in the previous screenshot.

    So - do I delete the catalog files when Quicken is open, close Quicken and hope for the best?

    And can these files be simply copied to Dropbox as a backup when this is all fixed?

    You have been a great help, BTW.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29
    I don't use Dropbox, but I would quit Quicken and then copy your data file to your local Mac (in an area not mapped to Dropbox).

    Now how big is the local data file? If you open this local data file, does it open more quickly? Then quit Quicken and check the file size again. If it is still huge, post a screenshot of what is inside the Package Contents.

    To your last question: it is safe to set Dropbox as a location for your automatic backups from Quicken, or to manually copy Quicken backup files there, or to copy Compressed (.zip) copies of your data file there. You just can't locate your live Quicken data file on Dropbox. Or move a copy of your uncompressed data file there; only .zip or backup files. 
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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