Does Quicken do enough testing before releasing updates?

Andrew Dubin
Andrew Dubin Member ✭✭
I've been a Quicken user for over 10 years and I rarely go one year without having to start a new file from "scratch" and reinvent the wheel (extremely frustrating and huge time investment). I get to the point where I call Quicken Support and spend a lot of time troubleshooting. At the end of the call Quicken advises me that my data file is corrupted and to start a new file. This unfortunately requires all the setup work in the original file to be re-created.

I suggest Quicken spend more time and resources on testing new releases to avoid major issues which require customers to start from scratch.

I like the product but hope future releases are more stable and properly tested before a general release.


  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    See for yourself how much beta testing is done by Quicken by being one.

    Not sure what is causing your issues, but my data file goes back to 1996 and it has no apparent corruption issues.

    -splasher using Q continuously since 1996
    - Subscription Quicken - Win11 and QW2013 - Win11
    -Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    This is a generalization, but the largest source of problems people seem to have is if they use the Quicken mobile app or web interface; the interactions between the data in the cloud and the data on your desktop Quicken just seem to be the source of a significant number of problems. 

    The safest way to use Quicken is to do everything manually, and some people do just that; the odds of corruption, damage or data loss seem very small. But, of course, many people want the ease of downloading from their financial institutions, and possibly the remote access of the Quicken cloud, and possibly online bill payment -- and the more interactions of data seem to increase the odds of problems. Quicken is built to do all of it, but the complexity of different Mac, Windows and cloud systems, along with interfacing with thousands of financial institutions, means there are ever-changing moving pieces, and it is a less-than-perfect ecosystem.

    That all said, I do find it frustrating that certain problems that occur result in Quicken Support declaring (not all times correctly) "your file is corrupted" and telling people to start over. In my opinion, maintaining a history of one's finances over many years is the single most important aspect of Quicken, and telling a user to start over should come only after exhaustive efforts fail. The Support representatives seem to have little opportunity to take problem files to the development team in order for them to hunt down and fix problems, and the culture of the company seems to not be interested in diagnosing and fixing such problems, or building diagnostic tools for Support representatives to be able to identify and purge problem data.

    Yes, there are sometimes changes pushed out by Quicken which should have been caught by internal or beta testing. But with a system as complex as Quicken with so many variables -- files which have been updated through dozens of versions over decades, and thousands of different financial institutions which are constantly changing their own systems -- real-world usage by millions of customers is bound to unveil problems that a few hundred beta testers simply didn't encounter. But those problems shouldn't cause any users to have to abandon their valuable data.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I find it interesting that @Andrew Dubin is a Mac user.  Judging only by the posts in the forum, it seems like Quicken Mac Subscription is much less prone to problems so large that you have to start over than Quicken Windows Subscription.

    Here are some of my thoughts such things.  Please bear in mind I'm a Windows user, and as such these answers are slanted towards what happens on this side.

    How can you get "full testing" if most of your beta testers are long time users, that a long time ago learned to avoid the "dangerous" parts of Quicken like Mobile/Web sync, and as such if they test it at all they are testing it not as someone that really uses it, but just what they think someone might use it for?

    And that goes for some of the less dangerous, but "new" features.  Like there being two ways to review downloaded transactions, and the default for the new users is the "new way", but almost all for the testers are using the "old way".

    Data Corruption:
    Sort of a misleading term to begin with.  Sort of implies that "something" stomped on the data, like maybe having the data file on the network and the network caused errors writing to the data file.  Where in reality I would guess that more than 90% of the "data corruption" was caused by a bug in Quicken, or by a long forgotten setting that Quicken now doesn't know how to handle, especially since the Windows data file has gone through many conversion, and sometimes there isn't a perfect one to one translation.  And of course how it is employed in the response to a problem.  As instead of saying "I don't have a clue what is wrong, and there isn't any tools available to me to find out, let alone fix it, the best I can offer is "start over"".

    This ranks right up there is "Reset Cloud Data".  "Restore from backup"...
    Followed of course with "Did that fix it?", "yes", "Great I'm glad it fixed it."  (None of which are "fixes" for the problem.)

    Possible "Repair" methods:
    Validate and Repair (I don't think Mac has this, but in my opinion it is relied on way too much on the Windows side.  It mainly scanning the database for inconsistencies and trying to make the database consistent.  Not only is it not guaranteed to fix your problem it is also not guaranteed not to cause problems!)
    Restore from backup
    Reset Cloud Data
    Export/Import (On the Windows side this would be QIF, because the QXF import has no support for investing.  On the Mac side it would be the QXF export/import, but just like the QIF format it is missing a lot information, and also it very easy to use if all you want is the data from one account)
    Start new data file
    Avoid using "know dangerous" parts of Quicken to begin with.  Which is of course a real shame because you can't use what might some nice features, but even more important is the fact that the "average user" probably has sucked up the marketing hype and doesn't even realize that they are walking on thin ice.

    BTW I don't know if it is provided on the Mac side, but on the Windows side you can send them a "sanitized" data file that can help them track down bugs.  But I doubt they look at such unless they have a really big problem (lots of users reporting it, and they don't know what is causing it).  I can't imagine they have the time to actually use it for most problems.
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