Will working on live QDF file on OneDrive or DropBox be a problem? On which? or Both?

I have recently upgraded from 2017 to 2020 quicken for windows. I'm on Win 8.1. For a long time I've kept my QDF files on Dropbox, used the internal backup tool to save it on OneDrive. Now, when I say I kept my QDF files on Dropbox, I don't actually operate on them there. I have a script which copies the file to a local directory, runs qw.exe, and on exit copies it back to Dropbox. The script is not perfect though.

I'm wondering if Dropbox, OneDrive or Quicken have improved enough in Spring 2020 to safely just leave the QDF file on one or the other and run qw.exe directly on it. One of my QDFs is 142MB, and takes a while to sync UP to any cloud.

Best Answers


  • Bob_L
    Bob_L SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am not aware of anything that would make me feel safe running directly from a cloud service; I just backup to them.

    Quicken Business & Personal Subscription, Windows 11 Home

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Q lacks the "Lock", "Commit" and "Rollback" commands which would be necessary to operate safely in networked environments such as DropBox and OneDrive.
    Also, don't let DropBox, etc backup your Q data file directly.  They interfere with Q's ability to do the backup.  Instead, have them backup the backup file created by Q.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I thought I would add something else since I notice that @NotACPA mentioned Quicken not having locks.

    In general there are three main locks

    The one @NotACPA is talking about is a database record lock.  And given that most likely the Quicken database is a designed for single user use, I think it is correct to assume it doesn't have this kind of lock.  This would be needed to work in a multiple user environment, where it could lock a record one user is updating, and still allow another user to update another record.

    Another kind of lock is the file lock at the Windows file level.  And Quicken is definitely using this kind of lock, and I know that Dropbox and OneDrive are "respecting it".

    The last type is basically the same as a file lock, but done over the network.  These can be reliable for some kind of network protocols, but the big unknown for a program like Quicken is what protocols are being used.  The "other side" could be a Windows share, a Mac share, an NFS, ...  And it can be over different kinds of hardware, like Ethernet or WiFi and such.  And there is no telling if the network was setup properly or not.  And as a result can be everything from very reliable to terrible.  That can affect the reliability of the lock, but even more important the reliability of the reads and writes.  Quicken isn't setup to tolerate read/write failures it expects a rock solid local disk.

    Note that even though Dropbox and OneDrive are "cloud folders" the locks are on the local file system.  And also they do have checks on the transferring of the data to correct for errors due to the network during the sync.
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Lock, Commit and Rollback commands that I referenced are standard database commands for processing individual records.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

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