How do I locate/clean up/delete old Quicken files?

I am a long time Quicken user and have lots of old date files on my computer that I would like to clean up. This question may have been asked/answered previously. If so, if someone could point me to that discussion, I can follow along there. I have several questions:

1. I am a current Quicken for Mac subscription user; where are the data files for this version located?

2. How do I determine if a Quicken file is no longer needed by the new program? If I look at the "date last modified" and it is from 2017 or earlier, does that equate to being an old, unused file that is safe for deletion? Here are some examples of files that I am looking at:
a.) Backup (Automatic) - Data File 3 2017-7-27.quicken2017backup. ( There are about 9 files with a similar name, slightly different dates.)
b.). Backup (PreUpdate) - 2017-7-31.quicken2017backup
c.). Data File 3
In all cases these have a "created/last modified date" in 2017 with an extension of quicken2017backup.

3. There are a number of files named "Data File." Using the Get Info, the "Kind" is listed as Quicken 2007 and last date was around 2015. I'm assuming these should be safe to delete as well?

Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Trash in macOS is just a special-purpose folder. So if you move something to the Trash but don't empty the Trash, it's still on your Mac and it still shows up in searches. You can't open a file that's in the Trash, so it's pretty safe to have old stuff in there. Some people empty the trash every time they put something in there. I typically don't empty the Trash for months at a time. It's up to you. If it bothers you that those files still show up in your Trash, and you don't have anything else in your Trash that you might possible need again, then feel free to empty the Trash. (This is another case where having a reliable ongoing backup, like Time Machine or some cloud backup service, provides reassurance that if you empty the trash and then discover to your horror that you need something that had been in the Trash, your backup will cover you.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited May 2020
    Hello @Dorothy H,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community with your questions.

    All Quicken data files and backup files are located in your hidden library. To get there, please, follow the steps below.
    1. Open Finder 
    2. Hold Option on your keyboard and click on the Go menu tab 
    3. Continue holding Option and click on Library
    4. Let go of Option and open the folder called Application Support
    Once opened you may find more than one folder titled Quicken. The one that just says Quicken will hold files for the new program any others titled with a year behind it (i.e.: Quicken 2017, Quicken 2016, etc) will hold data files for those previous versions of Quicken.

    Each of these folders will also hold 4 different folders, Backups, Documents, Downloads, and Logs. If you have already converted all the data you need for the new program, then you should be fine to delete any backups or data files from previous programs as even the latest dated one will only hold data from the last time it was used. If there are some with fairly recent data you would like to hold on to just a little longer, it doesn't hurt to do that either.

    I can't really say yes or no to what you decide to delete as it is more so dependent on your own comfort level as to how far back and how much past data you would like to keep. However, I can recommend you save backups in the new program regularly (separately from the automatic backups) so you always have one to restore should you ever experience any data loss or corruption.

    I hope this helps and let us know if you have any additional questions!
    -Quicken Anja
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    One quick addendum to @Quicken Anja's reply. All your data files live in Your Library > Application Support > Quicken > Documents if you have never moved a file (with the File > Move To… command). Most users probably leave the files where Quicken puts them, but some people move them to a folder in your Documents folder.

    How do you know for sure where your current Quicken data file is living? Two ways. One, look in that folder and verify that the modification date of the file is the last time you used Quicken. (Or launch Quicken, make a minor edit to a transaction, and quit -- and you should see the date and time change to right now.) Alternatively, when you launch Quicken, Command-Click on the red Q logo in the top bar of the Quicken window; that will display, from the bottom up, the path to your current data file. If it's in the default location, the first line under your file name would be Documents, followed by Quicken followed by Application Support, etc.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Dorothy H
    Dorothy H Member ✭✭
    Thank you both. In looking at my folders/files, perhaps I moved the data file in the past. Currently my Quicken folder contains 3 folders - Backups, Downloads, and Logs. There is no Document folder.

    If I understand correctly, most users would see a Document folder in the Quicken folder and the Document folder would hold the data file, correct? I would like to have mine set up the way most users do.

    When I take the steps outlined by Jacobs using the command click on the red Q, my path is Macbook >HD>Users>Myname>Quicken>DataFile

    The only thing about my setup that may be different than others is that my husband and I share a mac and we each have our own profiles. I am the one in charge of Quicken if that makes any difference in where things are located.
  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You are on Mac?  No, the Quicken folder would be inside your Documents. Not the other way around.   On Mac I think you have 2 folders in the right bottom corner - Applications and Documents? Quicken data should be in the Documents folder.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'll disagree with @volvogirl on this. You can tell Quicken to put your data file anywhere on your Mac that you have access to. @Dorothy H in your case, you say that you have a folder called "Quicken" inside your home folder (the folder you labeled as "MyName"). That is not inside your Documents folder; it's at the same level within your home folder as Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Movies, Music, Pictures, etc. As long as you know where your data file lives, and that it's being backed up by whatever backup solution you use (Time Machine? iDrive? Backblaze? You do have a backup of some sort, don't you? ;) )

    @Dorothy H So since you know where your data files live, you can delete any you don't think you need any more. Keep in mind that Quicken only works with one data file at a time, so in theory you need only the current file (and backups). I think it's a good practice to keep manual backups/old copies to some extent in the unlikely event you need one. What would cause you to need an old data file? Fortunately, the modern Quicken Mac is not prone to database corruption, but you can make a mistake and not realize it until months or years later. Let's say you go looking for some old transaction, and you discover that there's a block of transactions that are missing. Maybe you accidentally deleted a bunch of transactions one day when you thought you deleted just one. And they've been gone for months or years, and you didn't realize it. If you have an old data file, you can open it and look for the missing transaction(s). How many data files should you keep? There's no right answer. One per year? One per month? Maybe once a quarter? Do you need an old Quicken 2007 data file if you've been using modern quicken Mac for years? Probably not. Do you need old backup files from three years ago? Probably not; maybe one or two. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Dorothy H
    Dorothy H Member ✭✭
    OK...now I am understanding it a bit more. On my computer, data file is located in one folder; the Quicken program and automatic backups are located in a separate folder. You are correct, jacobs, my "Quicken" folder that holds the data file is on the same level as the applications, documents, music, etc.

    Do most users keep their data file in the same folder as the program and backups? If so, I would like to move my data file there as well. Is there any concern with doing that?

    I've been a Quicken user since 2001 and have been through many versions over the years. In 2020, I began using the subscription Quicken. Have been on a major kick to clean up files and it looks like many old files related to Quicken, but not necessarily data files, reside on our computer. For example, when in finder and do a search on "quicken," a whole slew of files come up. Connlog.txt, fidir.txt, OFXlog.txt, OFXold.txt, three files with quicken essentials in the name. Was Quicken Essentials a quicken version somewhere along the way? Ideally I would like to delete the files related to the previous Quicken versions. Is looking at the "last modified date" a good way to determine if a file is from a previous version?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Dorothy H I think the majority of Quicken users keep their Quicken data file in Quicken's default location (your Library > Application Support > Quicken > Documents) -- but I want to stress that there is no compelling reason for you to move your data there. In fact, because it's easier to get to, I think where you have it now is perfectly fine. But, as you note, having your live data file and your backups in the same place might be preferable. (If you wanted to do that, you could move your data file to where the backups are, or move the backups to where the data file is now; there's a place in Quicken Preferences > General where you can set the location of your automatic backups folder.)  But it's 100% a matter of preference; there is no right or wrong place. 

    Quicken Essentials was the first product to attempt to replace the venerable Quicken 2007 legacy application. It came out in 2010 and wasn't well-supported by then-parent Intuit, but it kicked around for a few years until the new Quicken Mac debuted in late 2014. The code and general user interface from Quicken Essentials formed the core of the current Quicken Mac. You can certainly delete anything which says Quicken Essentials. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Dorothy H
    Dorothy H Member ✭✭
    Thanks. Last question...I moved three of the Quicken Essentials folders to trash; however, when in finder, a search still displays the folders. When I "get info," the path is Mac HD>Users>MyName>Trash.

    I haven't emptied the trash yet if that makes a difference.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Trash in macOS is just a special-purpose folder. So if you move something to the Trash but don't empty the Trash, it's still on your Mac and it still shows up in searches. You can't open a file that's in the Trash, so it's pretty safe to have old stuff in there. Some people empty the trash every time they put something in there. I typically don't empty the Trash for months at a time. It's up to you. If it bothers you that those files still show up in your Trash, and you don't have anything else in your Trash that you might possible need again, then feel free to empty the Trash. (This is another case where having a reliable ongoing backup, like Time Machine or some cloud backup service, provides reassurance that if you empty the trash and then discover to your horror that you need something that had been in the Trash, your backup will cover you.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Dorothy H
    Dorothy H Member ✭✭
    Thanks. Forgot to mention...we use Time Machine as a backup.
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