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What are the [email protected] files?

I noticed files in my Quicken directory with names like:
[email protected];03;38.QDF
There are several a year at random times. Can I delete these files?

Best Answer

  • FrankxFrankx ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    [email protected],

    Is it possible that you have setup "automatic backups for your Quicken file?  To check go to:  Edit > Preferences > Backup...

    If you have "Automatic backups" checked then this could be why those files are being created.  The random dates would coincide with how often it is set for - i.e. the "Backup after running Quicken x times"

    Let us know how this goes.

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R26.23 - Build 27.1.26.23  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 1909
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Like" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -

Answers

  • FrankxFrankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    [email protected],

    Is it possible that you have setup "automatic backups for your Quicken file?  To check go to:  Edit > Preferences > Backup...

    If you have "Automatic backups" checked then this could be why those files are being created.  The random dates would coincide with how often it is set for - i.e. the "Backup after running Quicken x times"

    Let us know how this goes.

    Frankx


    Quicken H&B-Subscription - Ver. R26.23 - Build 27.1.26.23  - Windows 10 Home - Ver. 1909
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Like" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Hmmmm,  Backup files should end in .qdf-Backup.  When you backup you can choose to add the date to the file name or not.  Here's some info on backups.

    There are 2 kinds of Backups in Quicken, Manual and Automatic.  For Manual Backups you can tell it where to put the backup file and if you want to add the current date to the end of the name or to overwrite any existing backup file.  If you add the date to the end of the name over time you will end up with a lot of files.  

    In addition to any manual backups you make, Quicken makes an automatic backup after so many times (which you can set). Quicken makes all automatic backups to a folder named "BACKUP" in the same folder where your Quicken data resides.

    Your data is kept in a file ending in .qdf. So look for files that might have .qdf or .qdf-backup in them.  Starting with the 2010 version they added "-backup" to the file extension.

    To do a manual backup go to FILE - Backup and Restore -  Backup or do Ctrl+B.  Or I put a backup icon on my  toolbar.

    How to Backup or Restore Quicken Data Files…….

    https://www.quicken.com/support/how-backup-or-restore-your-quicken-data



  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    Frank,
    I suspect you are correct. The files in my Quicken directory span dates from 2014-11-01 to 2018-01-13. My Preferences->Backup settings say that the backups are to be saved in Quicken/BACKUP. In that directory there are files starting at 2018-01-23 to 2020-04-22. So I'm guessing when I upgraded Quicken in 2018 the location and naming of the backup files changed.

    But it looks like there is a defect in Quicken. My settings say "Maximum number of backup copies: 5". I have over 100 backup files.


    Volvogirl,

    The backups in BACKUP do end with QDF-backup, a name that makes it clear what it is. The earlier backups were just "QDF". But I think the change happened later than 2010. I'm guessing between 2015 and 2018 based on how often I had been upgrading Quicken. But that is a minor point.

    I also see some automatic backups with what looks like a revision code in the name after the timestamp. E.g., "R-24.21". Maybe an automatic backup when Quicken was doing an upgrade?

    Anyway, thanks to both of you. I am confident now that those are just old backup files that I can safely delete.

    Dan
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The 5 backup limit is for files with the same name.  Your timestamped files all have different names ... so the 5 limit doesn't apply.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    Why would the automatic backup files have the same name? There is no option to add or not add a timestamp to them like there is on the Manual backups.
  • GeoffGGeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why would the automatic backup files have the same name? There is no option to add or not add a timestamp to them like there is on the Manual backups.
    Why wouldn't the system generated backup have the same name. The time stamp is what makes the filename unique.

    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 1909
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    So the option to only keep the last 5 automatic backups is pointless since Quicken always puts a timestamp on the file, so no two automatic files will ever possibly have the same filename. ??
  • GeoffGGeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 25
    The auto backup count has always been a mystery in its counting. It is a bug that is the least important of all bugs. It is far better to have too many backups than not enough. To respond to your original question, the auto backups should be in the Backups folder under Documents/Quicken. Perhaps over the years your settings got messed up and these are orphans that did not get removed by Quicken.
    As an example I have auto backups set to 10 and yet have 47 files in the Backups folder, but no date spans more than 8 days. On one day there are 7 backups based on my exit activity on that day.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 1909
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    I can agree with that. A minor bug.
    I have since discovered something that might explain the old files in the Quicken directory. I went to clean out my system backup drive (managed by Memeo, it automatically backs up files as they are created) and noticed the same [email protected] files that are recent, including today. Something Quicken made then deleted but my backup system caught it and had made a copy. So I am thinking they are not Quicken "backups" at all, but part of Quicken's normal process (temp working files, maybe) and something went wrong and Quicken didn't delete those.

    But, they are ancient history so not really important. Just a curiosity.
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    The automatic backups save 5 (or however many)   So it adds a 1 - 5 at the end of the name and only keeps overwriting them.  Rotates through them.   Don't think that's a bug.  It saving the last 5 backups.
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    That would make sense, but it isn't what it is doing. Attached is a screen shot of my BACKUP directory. This morning, the files went all the way back to 2018, but I deleted the older ones.
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    I wonder ... I have manual backups turned on too (and as of today I disabled automatic backups - doesn't make sense to me to run both. I didn't realize I had both enabled). In manual backups, I do have the option to put the timestamp on the file name. I suspect that this also puts timestamps on the automatic backups, which defeats the max backup counter. But that is just a guess.
  • volvogirlvolvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Those might be the manual backups.  Obviously if they add the date/time stamp to it then it not be overwritten because they will have different names.  Only the automatic backups adds a 1,2,3,4,5 etc. to the name.  Then when it saves another "1" it will overwrite the first one.  Check your auto backup settings.  
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    What I am looking at are NOT my manual backups. Those are directed to a NAS box out on my network, not to Quicken/BACKUP. (A backup on the same drive as the main file isn't much of a backup)

    I sent a screen grab of my backup settings a few messages ago. Although that didn't show that I had both Auto and Manual backups enable.

    Also note that the filename format is slightly different. Manual backups only have the date (if enabled). The files in Quicken/BACKUP include the time-of-day, which isn't an option on the Manual backups. But then, it isn't obviously an option on the Auto backups either, but that's what is happening on my system. And my guess is it is because I have the date option enabled in my Manual backup settings.
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In my experience, the automatic backup count is being honored.  If there is an update, Quicken inserts the prior revision in an automatic backup and maintains the prior automatic backups.  If you don't want to maintain the older automatic backups, they're simple enough to delete.
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    volvogirl said:
    Only the automatic backups adds a 1,2,3,4,5 etc. to the name.  Then when it saves another "1" it will overwrite the first one.
    You're using QW2013, right? This numbering scheme no longer exists in current versions. Auto backups get time stamps.
    Sherlock said:
    In my experience, the automatic backup count is being honored.
    Not for me. I always have more auto backups than I specify. Like twice as many. Quicken is such a mystery, I always wonder why different users see different behavior.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • demessingerdemessinger Member ✭✭
    Sounds like Rocket Squirrel is seeing the same thing I am. I just deleted 90 GB of old Auto Backup files this morning. I see no signs that Quicken ever deletes an old one. But the fix is easy. I turned Auto Backups off. Manual is better since I can direct it to save on a different drive.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I wonder ... I have manual backups turned on too (and as of today I disabled automatic backups - doesn't make sense to me to run both. I didn't realize I had both enabled). In manual backups, I do have the option to put the timestamp on the file name. I suspect that this also puts timestamps on the automatic backups, which defeats the max backup counter. But that is just a guess.
    The manual backup file name does not affect the automatic backup file name.
    I do both auto & manual. I always do a manual backup before making any major changes to my data, and I do one at the end of every session.You can't have too many backups. I don't think I've ever had to restore an auto backup, but I'd rather delete the extras.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Rocket J SquirrelRocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I noticed files in my Quicken directory with names like:
    [email protected];03;38.QDF
    There are several a year at random times. Can I delete these files?
    But back to the original question. In all my decades of Quickening, I don't recall ever seeing a Quicken file with an @ sign in it. Given that date, maybe QW2014 left such files around, but I never noticed them.
    So chalk this up to yet another Quicken mystery.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
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