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Quicken runs VERY VERY Slow

High powered PC. Yet Quicken runs like it is a Win 95 program. Wait, wait, wait.

Is there a way to tweak to improve Quicken performance?

Answers

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I suggest you boot Windows in Safe mode.  If Quicken's performance is significantly better, incrementally add the remaining services and startup programs to determine what may be impacting Quicken's performance.
  • deanbaker
    deanbaker Member ✭✭
    I have read many of the treads related to Quicken's slow performance. It seems that many of the responses focus on hardware, Internet, or network potential causes - so the recommendations relate to strategies such as "safe mode", cloud storage, Windows fixes, more powerful computers, etc. While it is possible that some of these issues are causes, the overwhelming likely explanation is that Quicken is a poorly written and updated program that cannot efficiently process large data files with many transactions. I have seen many posts and share the same issue that the performance is particularly slow for long-time users (>10 years) with multiple banking and investment accounts. My guess is that the program is trying to update the entire investment record for every changed or new transaction. The solution (in addition to Quicken doing a full re-programming to make efficient use of multi-core 64-bit processors, etc.) might be to include an archive function that moves the archived transactions to a separate file or inactive proportion of the same file, so the archived transactions are not re-scanned for every change in investment files. My understanding of the instructions regarding the current archive feature is that the archive file is created but the transactions remain in the active data file, which does not address the performance problem. Does anyone have technical knowledge of the archive feature or any other suggestions (beyond the Validating file, etc. standard recommendations for beginners that has been posted multiple times) ?
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    On of the biggest problems with help people with performance problems is that you that you get questions like above that basically give no indication of what is slow and expect the person answering to some how "just know".  Without more details information about what is slow the only thing a person answer such a question can do is throw out "general answers" and hope.

    I will say that I concur on your guess that they might be recalculating every transaction in an investment account and that leads to poor performance when there are a lot of transactions, securities, security lots.  I also think that the GUI widgets they are using have terrible performance.

    And yes a rewrite would certainly help, but is very unlikely they would do it.

    And Quicken Subscription has an archive function, but even before that when the user would pin down their problem to investment accounts the recommendation has always been to transfer the active securities to another account and use that account.  Because yes Quicken in fact doesn't read in an account until you access it.  Once you do, it caches it in memory.  That is why when you first access an account in a new session it takes longer than if you access the second time.

    Of course transferring the active transactions to a new account only works if there is a small amount of them in comparison to what was in the old account.  And as such doesn't really work for "active traders", and as such Quicken isn't recommended for those people.

    The new archive function in Quicken Subscription basically make the moving of transaction to another account easier.  Select the settings/gear icon in an investment account to see the menu item.

    Note that using Year End Copy won't do anything for the performance of investment accounts since it doesn't touch them.  Splitting of existing security lots would be complicated so they don't even touch them.  In the copy function you can use a cut off date and choose to remove investment transactions, but if you do there isn't anything that ensures that the lots are properly handled so what you get is correct.
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  • solostorm
    solostorm Member ✭✭✭
    I'm running a very powerful, brand new Dell Precision with fast processors and loads of memory. The $5,000 type - well beyond the processing capacity of most Quicken users. Fully patched and up to date.

    Yet Quicken is slow. I don't think anything is interfering with it. I do have a large Quicken file - but it should just run faster.

    I do think that Quicken needs to look into how their code interfaces with the hardware and OS. It should be a speedy program, especially on a high end machine like this one.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @solostorm It has been my observation that the "power of the hardware" has little to do with how well Quicken will perform.  In fact some of the slowest performance has been reported by people that have the "fastest GPUs cards".

    Quicken makes almost no use of of multiple cores.  It was designed and written long before they were available.  So what determines that part of the speed is probably the cycle time of one of the cores, which really doesn't vary that much.  For instance I have an AMD A10 which runs a 4GHz, and it is quite old by today's standards.

    And the same goes for the GPUs they certainly aren't taking advantage of any on the high powered ones and I have a feeling that however Quicken is hitting up the graphics tends to hit weak points in the fancy drivers for these cards.  For instance lots of times when this is reported people can update their graphics drivers and get better performance (but not always).
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  • solostorm
    solostorm Member ✭✭✭
    I'll have my IT tech look into graphics card issues. Thank you for that information.

    It sounds like there is some serious coding necessary to bring the guts of the Quicken program up to date. It really should be capable of utilizing the power of modern hardware.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @solostorm one thing I should also point out.  "Slow is relative" and doesn't really tell us if what you are experiencing is "abnormal".

    If you give us some times for what this or that operation takes we might be able to tell you if that is normal or not.
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  • solostorm
    solostorm Member ✭✭✭
    Chris-

    I guess i should bring the stopwatch over to time some of these. :)

    Downloading transactions sometimes takes 1/2 an hour. Accepting a transaction pauses for probably 15 seconds. Everytime it needs to save something the hourglass spins for probably 15 seconds. This adds up to much longer sessions.

    Thanks,

    Solo
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Well the downloading of transactions problem is definitely too long, and it might in fact be related to a problem others are reporting in this thread (no real solution has been found yet though)

    On the delay of entering transactions. If this is in an investment account it might be possible that you are running into the problem that was mentioned above with Quicken seeming to recalculate everything and if there are a lot of securities/transactions/lots in the account that can be the cause.  If you can start Quicken and go to another investment account with less securities/transactions/lots in it and it performs well then that is probably what is going on.  And the workaround for that would be to archive the old transactions in that register that is performing badly, which should help if most of them aren't active any more.  Select the gear icon to find the archive function.

    If the problem is in a non investment account those usually perform well up until there are about 16,000 transactions.  If that is the case then moving a lot of the old transactions to a new register might help (you move the old not new so that you won't get duplicate transactions downloaded in a new account).

    One other thing to try is to first run validate and repair, and then copy.
    File -> File Operations -> Validate and Repair -> select Validate file -> OK
    File -> File Operations -> Copy... -> use the defaults (you can change the name if you like) and open the copy when finished.
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  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Chris_QPW said:

    One other thing to try is to first run validate and repair, and then copy.
    File -> File Operations -> Validate and Repair -> select Validate file -> OK
    File -> File Operations -> Copy... -> use the defaults (you can change the name if you like) and open the copy when finished.
    @Chris_QPW:  Why do you suggest performing the recommended process with the sequence reversed?  

  • solostorm
    solostorm Member ✭✭✭
    I have validated. The file comes back fine. Just checked and I'm not finding account with in excess of 16,000 transactions. But I probably have more than a 100 accounts and many of them have 3 - 7,000 transactions.

    While typing this I downloaded one credit card account where I knew a transaction should be there. Download toot 2.75 minutes for a single transaction. Hourglass. Accepted transaction and then hourglass for almost two minutes before free to move around the program.

    Task manager shows that there is plenty of CPU and memory available.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    Chris_QPW said:

    One other thing to try is to first run validate and repair, and then copy.
    File -> File Operations -> Validate and Repair -> select Validate file -> OK
    File -> File Operations -> Copy... -> use the defaults (you can change the name if you like) and open the copy when finished.
    @Chris_QPW:  Why do suggest performing the recommended process with the sequence reversed?  


    Hmm, I thought that was the right sequence, but I certainly could be wrong that the reverse works better.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @solostorm That definitely is anomaly slow, especially for a non investment account.

    Note that Quicken doesn't load in the account data until you access it so having lots for accounts shouldn't matter.

    Another thought is that maybe there is something wrong with the install of Quicken.
    I would use this procedure to get a clean uninstall and then reinstall.  Note use the part of the procedure that renames the folders (I would actually just delete them).
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    One other thought.   Some people have had slow performance in non investment accounts when they have thousands of memorized payees.

    If this applies to you, you might try reducing them by changing this setting.
    Edit -> Preferences -> Data entry and QuickFill -> Remove memorized payees not used in last XX months (reduce XX)
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  • albator159
    albator159 Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    It's poorly written program. We are in 2020. 64 bits CPU are very old now, Quicken was never put to date with 64 bits cpu multi cores in mind. It run like a Atari 2600. Still run like a it take 10 sec to switch windows. I am about to pour everything in excel, it's much faster.
  • Some good info here, I will add some thoughts:
    - I used to download my credit card transactions but go many months before adding them to my account. This was a real performance killer. I don' t download them automatically now, I wait until I'm ready to process them.
    - I agree that having too many memorized payees can impact performance.
    - Yes, Validating and copying to a new file can help if there are data issues in your file. My data file shrunk from 255Mb to 135Mb on a recent occasion.

    Sometimes none of these work. I just archived my investment data, validated and copied, and stripped out two years of data (out of 5.5) from my data file with only a minor impact on performance. It takes 25 seconds to save a transaction to buy a new security and about 5 seconds to save any simple non-split transaction to checking.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Some good info here, I will add some thoughts:
    - I used to download my credit card transactions but go many months before adding them to my account. This was a real performance killer. 
    Another one to put in "the books".  I have never heard of anyone that did it that way before.  No one has even thought to ask about it.
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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some good info here, I will add some thoughts:
    - I used to download my credit card transactions but go many months before adding them to my account. This was a real performance killer. I don' t download them automatically now, I wait until I'm ready to process them.
    I recommend you download daily (or at least weekly) using One Step Update, to keep the volume of transactions down to a manageable number, and to not allow Quicken to automatically add / match transactions as it sees fit. After download review each of the downloaded transactions and manually match to any already existing register transactions or create a new transaction with correct Payee name and Category. That, IMHO, makes for much better results.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
     and about 5 seconds to save any simple non-split transaction to checking.
    Are you talking about manual entry or are you talking about accepting it into the register from the Downloaded Transactions tab?

    Given what you have already observed if this is from the Downloaded Transactions tab then I think you have already identified why you have such slow performance.

    When I stated above that transaction entry into a non investment account takes zero time for me, I'm talking about a direct entry into the register, not from the Downloaded Transactions tab.

    And now that I think about it I can easily see why you would have performance problems with a huge amount of transactions in the Downloaded Transactions tab.

    Quicken does processing on what is in that list, it isn't a static list.  For instance if you change a transaction amount of something in the register it will change the matching status in the Downloaded Transactions tab.
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  • Paul Schneider
    Paul Schneider Member ✭✭
    I am having the same problem with Quicken running slow in non-safe mode. In safe mode it runs fine. In non-safe mode it is showing "non responsive" on every operation . I ran the compatibility trouble shooter and it helped a little bit. I'm using the same files in both modes so I don't think it's a problem with too much data. I tried working with Quicken Tech Support and they offered various solutions of which none helped. It would seem that someone at Quicken who knows programming would be able to figure this out.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am having the same problem with Quicken running slow in non-safe mode. In safe mode it runs fine. In non-safe mode it is showing "non responsive" on every operation . I ran the compatibility trouble shooter and it helped a little bit. I'm using the same files in both modes so I don't think it's a problem with too much data. I tried working with Quicken Tech Support and they offered various solutions of which none helped. It would seem that someone at Quicken who knows programming would be able to figure this out.
    As suggested earlier, incrementally add back the remaining services and startup programs to determine what is impacting Quicken's performance.  
  • Paul Schneider
    Paul Schneider Member ✭✭
    How do you add back the remaining services and startup programs when you're in "safe mode"?
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    How do you add back the remaining services and startup programs when you're in "safe mode"?
    We may select which services and startup programs launch when we boot using msconfig: Press Windows + R, enter msconfig, select OK

    Note: Startup programs are now managed using the Task Manager but msconfig may still be used to get us there.
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