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seamless transition of QMac2007 from El Capitan to High Sierra?

For years Quicken opens using this data file—1514Data File 12-31-14 8-26-15.qdfm (or 111514Data File 12-31-14 8.qdfm?)—to run Quicken for Mac 2007 on El Capitan. I must now install High Sierra.
Will High Sierra recognize and use either of those two qdfm files seamlessly?
My whole backup folder has these files:
1111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
2111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
3111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
4111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
5111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
6111514Data File 12-31-14 8.
111514Data File 12-31-14 8-2
1111514Data File 12-31-14 8-
2111514Data File 12-31-14 8-
3111514Data File 12-31-14 8-
4111514Data File 12-31-14 8-
11514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
211514Data File 12-31-14 8-2
21514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
31514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
41514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
51514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
61514Data File 12-31-14 8-26
I've resisted upgrading from El Capitan for years because I'm terrified of losing decades' worth of minutely itemized data and categories and Repeating Transactions, etc. Can you tell me that it will all work just fine?

Best Answers

  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    As I noted above, if you open the Account list, you can see the name of your current data file. Then search the Finder for that data file.
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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yeah, I'd disagree that VMs are quite that simple. Just installing an older macOS inside the VM can be a little tricky -- and then you're running an OS that is unpatched for vulnerabilities. When a user says they have trepidation about updating from El Capitan to High Sierra, I probably wouldn't suggest the added complexity of installing a VM. Anyway, this is a side issue to the matters at hand.

    @smayer97  Thanks for the reminder about the Quicken 2007 file name appearing atop the Accounts list. I keep that window open all the time when I have Quicken 2007 open, and I completely overlook that! It would have saved me some grief one of the times I ended up working in a backup file when I thought I was using my regular file.

    @Mim E. "I'm hoping to keep my current iMac going forever." You can hope all you want, but the likelihood of that plan working is not so great. You have an 8 or 9 year-old Mac. It might run fine for another 5 years, but it's at the age where things like spinning hard drives and power supplies can, and eventually will, go south on you. You'll also run into issues where older web browsers that work on your version of macOS won't work with some websites that require newer and more secure browsers, and possibly other software will become problematic. So while this is something to think about for the future, it isn't something you need to deal with now. :)

    The only other thing that scares me a bit about about remaining on Quicken 2007 indefinitely is that it's a bit, well, flakey. For most people it runs flawlessly almost all the time, but the database can suffer corruption from time to time, and you can simply run out of space in some of its fixed data tables if you've been using it over a long period of years. (The latter is what finally got me to cut my cord with Quicken 2007.) In the 13 years I used Quicken 2007 from 2007 to 2020, I had several instances where a crash -- or something I never even noticed -- caused some data to be lost, and in one case, a block of transactions inexplicably shifted to dates several years off. I fairly regularly had to rebuild the transactions files indexes. My migration to modern Quicken Mac also showed that I had hundreds of linked transfers where the Quicken 2007 has lost the linkage between the two sides of the transfer. I want to be clear that I survived these glitches and continued using and trusting Quicken 2007 until very recently, so I'm not denigrating this wonderful old software -- just noting that it (like probably all software) is imperfect and has potential problems which can bite you. 

    Updating your Mac form El Capitan to High Sierra really shouldn't impact your use of Quicken at all. You have multiple levels of backups, which is great. (For peace of mind, right before you update, in the Finder make a copy of your current Quicken data file and name it something like "Quicken Data Before Update" so you know which one is your most recent backup. But you really shouldn't miss a beat with Quicken after installing the upgrade. The one thing you'll want to make sure of the first time you launch Quicken after the update is that it has automatically opened the correct data file (which we now know you can easily see in the Accounts window).

    I hope the move to High Sierra resolves whatever other problems you're having with your Mac, and gives you a long run of peaceful, reliable service. :)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    QM2007 is compatible with High Sierra except for one key exception... any file management related features such as the built-in manual or automatic File Backup, Save a Copy, etc is NOT compatible with the APFS drive format.

    If you have an SSD as your boot drive, upgrading to High Sierra will automatically update your drive format to APFS (there is a technical way to prevent this if you must). If it is a mechanical HDD or Fusion drive, then it will stay in HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) format unless you specify to upgrade.

    If you want to still use QM2007's automatic backup you will need to make sure that BOTH the main file and the backup folder are located on an HFS+ volume. You can easily create one if needed using Appel Disk Utility, even on a drive formatted as APFS. The alternative is to use alternative forms of backups and making sure to turn off the built-in auto-backup.

    You can read through some of the discussions here:

    For future reference also see:
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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    Many thanks for your prompt reply, smayer97.

    I have a "journaled HFS+" file system.
    Where on System Report can I find out whether the boot drive is SSD? I hope it's an HDD or fusion drive, but I don't know how to ascertain that.

    What would be alternate forms of backup? Right now the auto backups go into my Documents folder on my hard drive.
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    PS (because I can't edit my post):
    Quicken is also backed up into Time Machine.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I used Quicken 2007 on High Sierra for several years with no problems.

    After the upgrade to High Sierra, you can check your hard drive to see if it remains Journaled HFS+. It probably will, since you likely have an older Mac with a spinning hard drive rather than an all memory-chip SSD hard drive. (You can find this by going to About This Mac, clicking on System Report, and looking for your hard drive information (I think it is labeled SATA/SATA Express, but it might have been labeled differently under El Capitan). I believe Disk Utility in El Capitan also gives you information about the drive. 

    Moving forward, everything switches to the newer Apple file system (APFS). (There is even a way around that, if you put Quicken and its data file on an external drive formatted as HFS+. But eventually, you'll need a newer Mac, it will have an SSD hard drive, and it will run an operating system which can no longer run Quicken 2007, and you'll want to upgrade to the current modern Quicken Mac. But that's a subject for another day. ;) )

    In Quicken 2007 Preferences, you currently have it set to make automatic backups; you'll want to turn that off because it will not work but will create failed attempts at backups. The alternative is simple: just select File > Backup to Disk to generate  a backup manually. Or, after you quit Quicken, find your data file in the Finder and File > Duplicate it. Create a folder for your backups, name them meaningfully (e.g. "My Quicken 2020-12-04") should you need to access them in the future, and all should be well.

    Time Machine backups will continue to work on High Sierra just as they do now. As long as you quit Quicken when you're done using it, Time Machine will be capturing backups of your live data file as well as the backups you manually created -- an excellent redundant backup system. (The only higher level of backup I recommend for people is storing any critical data -- Quicken, documents, photos, music, etc. -- somewhere outside your home, in the event of a catastrophic file, flood, burglary or other disaster wipes out your access to both your computer and Time Machine hard drive. You can do this with an inline backup service such as iDrive, or by copying your critical data every few months to an external hard drive you store at work, at a friend/family member's house, in a safe deposit box, etc.)

    Returning to the matter at hand, the biggest concern is determining which of those many Quicken files is your current, active data file. All those digits in front of the file name indicate that multiple times over the years, you have unknowingly switched to using a backup file. Quicken 2007 names its backups buy putting a digit in front of the file name: 1Date file, 2Data File, 3Data File, etc. Normally, it deletes the oldest and renames the others. But if you start up from one of the backups, say 4Data File, then the subsequent backups will be named 14Data File, 24Data File, 34Date File, 44Data File, etc. So the filenames you list above have 7 digit prefixes, which indicates this has happened 7 times somewhere in your history of using Quicken. Don't beat yourself up over this; it doesn't really matter, if your current data is accurate and complete. I've had this happen to me, and I can't for the life of me figure out how. ;)

    But it can be a little tricky insuring that you know which one is the actual current one, because Quicken 2007 doesn't display the name of the file you have open in the menu bar, as do newer applications. I can't remember if the file date stamp updates correctly as you use the file in El Capitan; I think it does; on my current Mac running Mojave, one of the little twists is that the date stamp on the Quicken 2007 file no longer changes when I use it, making it hard to know which one is the most current one. (All the others are okay to hold onto as backups, but you might want to rename your live data file back to Data File or Data File 2020, to distinguish it from all those other backups.) 

    I have my "live" data file in a folder inside my Documents folder, and my backups in a folder inside of that, so it should be easy to know that the one not in the backup folder is the correct live one. But as I noted above, you could be opening one of those other files and not even knowing it. Here's what I'd do to make sure. Open Quicken an make a dummy transaction in one account. Quit Quicken. Make a copy in the Finder of the file you believe is your current data file. Then drag your data file onto the Quicken 2007 icon in your Dock or Application folder -- forcing Quicken to open that file. If the dummy transaction you entered is there, then you know you've opened the most recent data file; if it's not, you have some more detective work to do.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    Thanks very much for all that information, jacobs. I really appreciate it.

    My SATA says my drive is rotational, so that means it's a spinning drive and should not be converted to APFS if I go to High Sierra, right?

    You say eventually I'll need a new Mac. I'm 77 and because of Covid have been forced to retire, so having a new computer is not on the horizon. I love my old iMac and hope it'll work for a very long time. The new Quicken for Mac, from what I've read, is awful (Quicken Lite) and doesn't have the features I love in QM2007.

    My backups are both in my Documents file and in Time Machine. I should, as you suggest, save a copy to a different external hard drive, though I'd have to keep it in the car, not at work (I've worked at home for decades, anyway) or in the safe deposit box, since I've been self-isolating since mid-March.

    I think my Quicken starts up from a qdfm file with a prefex 111514.
    In the Documents folder, it shows the latest date and time, which corresponds to the last time I closed Quicken. The other files in the Backup folder in Documents are not qdfm files.

    I don't know why I'm kinda scared to do the data file test you suggest in the last paragraph. Right now I'm rather frazzled because of other computer issues I'm having (which is why I'm considering going to High Sierra), so I don't want to do anything that might create a problem.

    Again, jacobs, many thanks for your time in creating your comment for me.
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Curious, what model iMac do you have?

    BTW, all QM2007 files are QDFM regardless of whether they show the extension name or not.
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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    Quicken 2007 doesn't display the name of the file you have open in the menu bar,

    actually it can/does.... just open the Account list... at the top is the name of the data file opened.

    But eventually, you'll need a newer Mac, it will have an SSD hard drive, and it will run an operating system which can no longer run Quicken 2007, and you'll want to upgrade to the current modern Quicken Mac.

    Though it is a little technical, as I pointed out, the way around this is using a VM, which would theoretically allow running QM2007 indefinitely, at least on Intel based Macs (the direction of VMs on the new M1 Macs is still being worked out).



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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    21.5-inch, Mid 2011
    Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    As I noted above, if you open the Account list, you can see the name of your current data file. Then search the Finder for that data file.
    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:COMPLETE list of Product Ideas - Quicken for Mac to VOTE on

    Object to Quicken's business model, using up 25% of your screen
    ? Add your vote here:
    Quicken should eliminate the LARGE Ad space when a subscription expires


    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    Well, I'll be darned. I never noticed, or simply overlooked, the data file name displayed atop the Accounts List. Thanks.
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    "Though it is a little technical, as I pointed out, the way around this is using a VM, which would theoretically allow running QM2007 indefinitely, at least on Intel based Macs (the direction of VMs on the new M1 Macs is still being worked out)."

    VM is totally beyond my technical capabilities, alas. I'm hoping to keep my current iMac going forever, but there indeed may come a time when I would have to ask/pay someone to help me set up VM to run QM2007 indefinitely.
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020
    VM's are actually NOT that complicated, at least conceptually...

    Granted, dealing with VMs may seem daunting at first but think of a VM simply as another app. That app acts like another computer. Then you simply treat it as another computer...so you then simply install macOS on it, like any other Mac.

    Sure, there may be some settings that need adjusting but typically the defaults should work for many situations.

    But I appreciate it is not for everyone.
    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:COMPLETE list of Product Ideas - Quicken for Mac to VOTE on

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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    smayer97, you make it sound easy. It still sounds a bit daunting to me. If I decide to use it in the future, whom do you recommend I contact to literally walk me through it?
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yeah, I'd disagree that VMs are quite that simple. Just installing an older macOS inside the VM can be a little tricky -- and then you're running an OS that is unpatched for vulnerabilities. When a user says they have trepidation about updating from El Capitan to High Sierra, I probably wouldn't suggest the added complexity of installing a VM. Anyway, this is a side issue to the matters at hand.

    @smayer97  Thanks for the reminder about the Quicken 2007 file name appearing atop the Accounts list. I keep that window open all the time when I have Quicken 2007 open, and I completely overlook that! It would have saved me some grief one of the times I ended up working in a backup file when I thought I was using my regular file.

    @Mim E. "I'm hoping to keep my current iMac going forever." You can hope all you want, but the likelihood of that plan working is not so great. You have an 8 or 9 year-old Mac. It might run fine for another 5 years, but it's at the age where things like spinning hard drives and power supplies can, and eventually will, go south on you. You'll also run into issues where older web browsers that work on your version of macOS won't work with some websites that require newer and more secure browsers, and possibly other software will become problematic. So while this is something to think about for the future, it isn't something you need to deal with now. :)

    The only other thing that scares me a bit about about remaining on Quicken 2007 indefinitely is that it's a bit, well, flakey. For most people it runs flawlessly almost all the time, but the database can suffer corruption from time to time, and you can simply run out of space in some of its fixed data tables if you've been using it over a long period of years. (The latter is what finally got me to cut my cord with Quicken 2007.) In the 13 years I used Quicken 2007 from 2007 to 2020, I had several instances where a crash -- or something I never even noticed -- caused some data to be lost, and in one case, a block of transactions inexplicably shifted to dates several years off. I fairly regularly had to rebuild the transactions files indexes. My migration to modern Quicken Mac also showed that I had hundreds of linked transfers where the Quicken 2007 has lost the linkage between the two sides of the transfer. I want to be clear that I survived these glitches and continued using and trusting Quicken 2007 until very recently, so I'm not denigrating this wonderful old software -- just noting that it (like probably all software) is imperfect and has potential problems which can bite you. 

    Updating your Mac form El Capitan to High Sierra really shouldn't impact your use of Quicken at all. You have multiple levels of backups, which is great. (For peace of mind, right before you update, in the Finder make a copy of your current Quicken data file and name it something like "Quicken Data Before Update" so you know which one is your most recent backup. But you really shouldn't miss a beat with Quicken after installing the upgrade. The one thing you'll want to make sure of the first time you launch Quicken after the update is that it has automatically opened the correct data file (which we now know you can easily see in the Accounts window).

    I hope the move to High Sierra resolves whatever other problems you're having with your Mac, and gives you a long run of peaceful, reliable service. :)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    jacobs, thanks for your long comment. I appreciate your taking the time to write it and help me out. Having confirmed here that QM2007 will work in High Sierra, and since I continue to having ongoing problems with the Apple Mail app, it looks like upgrading will be my next step.

    You suggest that I make sure the right data file opens on High Sierra. If it does not, how do I get the Quicken Backup Before Update file I'll be creating to get put into Quicken? Via Restore from Disk? Sorry for the dumb question.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Just double-click on the data file you want to open. Or go to File > Open to select a file you want to open.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    Thanks, jacobs.
  • smayer97smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    As I have stated, using a VM is not for everyone. And likely not for you @Mim E. given your apparent level of proficiency, though having someone set it up for you is not more daunting than buying a new computer and having that all set up for you too.

    That said, the argument that "...and then you're running an OS that is unpatched for vulnerabilities." is a red herring in this context. If someone sets up a VM to run QM2007, they are highly unlikely to be using it for internet access and therefore the risk is virtually non-existent.

    Granted that QM2007 has its limitations and quirks but many are not insurmountable... limitations in database tables (if @Mim E. even ever runs into that) can easily be overcome using the Save a Copy feature to either create a full copy, which in the process frees up unused areas of those tables, or create a new file with data only going back so far, again freeing up space on those tables. And in a worse case, you can create a new data file. Not saying any of this is ideal but it is good to know there are options.

    There are pros and cons to it all...they simply need to be weighed but that requires being aware of all the options.


    Have Questions? Check out these FAQs:COMPLETE list of Product Ideas - Quicken for Mac to VOTE on

    Object to Quicken's business model, using up 25% of your screen
    ? Add your vote here:
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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)


  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    @smayer97, I am medically fragile and cannot have anyone come into my home to set up VM (nor can I shop for a new computer). Maybe things will be different in a year or more, but right now, nope.

    Your point is well taken that using QM2007 on a VM would not expose me to vulnerabilities.

    I confess that your penultimate paragraph involves tasks that I dare not do. Plus the whole point of my wanting to keep QM2007 is to retain all my data going back years and years.

    I do thank you sincerely for presenting options to consider.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Well, for the sake of completeness in considering all options for the future… ;)

    …you could consider trying the modern Quicken Mac. It runs on High Sierra, it imports all your historical data, and gives you a path that is potentially more viable in the long run.

    While some Quicken 2007 users have stayed with the old program because the current program is lacking a feature or features they find critical to their use of Quicken, the vast majority of Quicken 2007 users have moved to the modern Quicken Mac and have found it meets their needs. In most cases, people find their data migrates pretty cleanly into the new program. There's certainly a learning curve because the user interface is different, so this is not something to tackle if you're in a rush and don't have some time to give it. But Quicken now provides one-on-one online training sessions for new users to help them get up the learning curve. The advantage of moving to the modern platform is that your data will be safer in the modern database, and should your current Mac ever die, you'd have an easy path forward to a new Mac which won't run Quicken 2007. And your current Mac can still run the current Quicken Mac; it's likely that in a year or two, Quicken will require an operating system newer than High Sierra (and your current Mac can't advance past High Sierra). So it might worth getting onto modern Quicken Mac while your computer is capable of running it; you don't need to maintain an annual subscription for ongoing updates unless/until you move to a newer Mac.

    I am not suggesting you do this right now. (In fact, you couldn't until you update your computer to High Sierra.) It's just something to consider for your future path with Quicken. In my opinion, unless your usage of Quicken requires some specific functionality which doesn't exist in the modern program, I believe most longtime Quicken 2007 users are better served putting their efforts into moving to the modern platform than spending time setting up a VM in order to continue running an old macOS and the old Quicken software.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    @jacobs, that's a lot to consider, all of which I am, as you've gathered, reluctant to do—I'm gonna hang on with QM2007 for as long as possible—but it is indeed good to know more options going forward. Thanks again for your time and helpfulness.
  • Mim E.Mim E. Member ✭✭
    edited December 2020
    PS: The one feature I use a lot, which I understand is missing in the new Quicken, is QkReport. Using Reports takes a lot more time and effort.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @Mim E. The presence/absence of QuickReports in modern Quicken Mac is actually a more nuanced issue than saying it doesn't exist. ;)  I heavily used QuickReport for looking things up in Quicken 2007, and I've found I can function pretty well in modern Quicken Mac for almost all things I used to use QuickReport for.

    So let's start from here: QuickReport exactly as we knew it in Quicken 2007 doesn't exist in the modern Quicken Mac. But… there are a number of ways to do the equivalent.

    Modern Quicken Mac was built on a principle that many people used QuickReports to search for something, not because they needed a printed report -- so the Search feature of modern Quicken Mac is much more useful than Quicken 2007's limited Find. Search -- the box in the upper right of every transaction window -- can find any text you want, whether it's a Payee, an amount, or text in a memo field. You can search within one account, one type of account, or all accounts (including hidden accounts). You can easily filter searches to any desired date range (e.g last year, this year, before 2015, etc.). After Quicken finds your search results, it totals the number of matching transactions, and their dollar total, under the Search box. If you want, you can print the Search results in the register, or export them to a spreadsheet if you need to further massage the data.

    While Search is the primary replacement for QuickReport, there are some others. If you're looking at a particular Payee in your register and want to see a report of all transactions for that Payee, you can Control-click on it and select Report on [payee name] from the pop-up menu. So if you're looking at a transaction for Home Depot and realize you need to look through other Home Depot transactions, Control-click on the transaction and select Report on Home Depot to get a "quick report" of all your Home Depot transactions. You can do the same "quick report" for a Category. So if you're looking at a transaction that has Insurance:Home as the category, and you want to see all your past home insurance transactions, Control-click on the transaction and select Report on Insurance:Home to quickly generate such a report. 

    These approaches aren't always as versatile as Quicken 2007's QuickReport, but in many cases, they get the same job done. (And in some cases, do it better or faster.) There are a still few holes dealing with splits in searches and reports which I hope the developers will address in the future, but I don't view this as an impediment to moving to the modern quicken Mac.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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