Too Many Automatic Backups

I'm using Quicken Windows 2020, currently at R30.14.

I have automatic backups set to the default: backup after running Quicken 5 times and keep a maximum of 5 copies. (I also backup manually to a separate location).

The Help category about this says that the files should be named MYDATA1, MYDATA2, etc. and that when the maximum number is reached, a new MYDATA1 will overwrite the oldest file, and so forth.

Actually, the files in My Documents\Quicken\Backup are named in the form
Qdata-2020-08-10.PM03.04.QDF-backup
and I currently have 20 "normal" backups plus 15 backups that were created when a new version of Quicken was installed (these have the version name -- R-xx.xx -- inserted just before the file extension). The earliest backup I currently have is from last May.

Why isn't the maximum copy limit being obeyed? And will these backups continue to pile up until I manually delete them?
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Best Answers

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020 Accepted Answer
    The built-in documentation on this topic hasn't been updated in decades.

    When Quicken upgrades itself, Quicken saves an automatic backup of the current release (-R-XX.XX).  I suspect this resets the number of backups saved counter.

    I suggest occasionally checking the automatic backup folder and deleting the backups you no longer wish to save.


  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    LemP40 said:
    Sherlock, you may well be correct. I have no more than 4 "normal" backups after a version backup.

    As it turns out, I have space on this drive so it hasn't yet become a problem, but it was only by chance that I happened to look at the automatic backup folder.

    I've been using Quicken about the same length of time as you have, and my backup files are reasonably large (about 180 MB), so after a while the Quicken automatic backup folder could have added up to a large chunk of my hard drive.

    On a somewhat related topic, do you happen to know if it's possible to access QDF files from very old versions of Quicken. When I started looking at this issue, I discovered that in my "inactive" backup locations I have QDF files from as long ago as 2010.
    If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-and-when-use-intermediate-version-convert-older-versions-quicken
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020 Accepted Answer
    LemP40 said:
    Why isn't the maximum copy limit being obeyed? And will these backups continue to pile up until I manually delete them?
    There was a long discussion about automatic backups a couple months back.  At the time I had 20 auto-backup files even though my maximum was set to 5.  It was pointed out that if you manually reduce the number of files in the Backup folder to below the maximum value, then the setting would work when new backups occur.  The exception may be with the pre-upgrade backup files that Quicken adds.  Those may be causing the gradual creep in number of backup files retained.  I changed my maximum to 15 and now have 17 in the folder, including 2 from recent upgrades.  Those special backups do get deleted when they become the oldest in the folder but I don't believe the total number of files goes back to the maximum number unless the extra files are again manually deleted.
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021

Answers

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020 Accepted Answer
    The built-in documentation on this topic hasn't been updated in decades.

    When Quicken upgrades itself, Quicken saves an automatic backup of the current release (-R-XX.XX).  I suspect this resets the number of backups saved counter.

    I suggest occasionally checking the automatic backup folder and deleting the backups you no longer wish to save.


  • LemP40
    LemP40 Member
    Sherlock, you may well be correct. I have no more than 4 "normal" backups after a version backup.

    As it turns out, I have space on this drive so it hasn't yet become a problem, but it was only by chance that I happened to look at the automatic backup folder.

    I've been using Quicken about the same length of time as you have, and my backup files are reasonably large (about 180 MB), so after a while the Quicken automatic backup folder could have added up to a large chunk of my hard drive.

    On a somewhat related topic, do you happen to know if it's possible to access QDF files from very old versions of Quicken. When I started looking at this issue, I discovered that in my "inactive" backup locations I have QDF files from as long ago as 2010.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    LemP40 said:
    Sherlock, you may well be correct. I have no more than 4 "normal" backups after a version backup.

    As it turns out, I have space on this drive so it hasn't yet become a problem, but it was only by chance that I happened to look at the automatic backup folder.

    I've been using Quicken about the same length of time as you have, and my backup files are reasonably large (about 180 MB), so after a while the Quicken automatic backup folder could have added up to a large chunk of my hard drive.

    On a somewhat related topic, do you happen to know if it's possible to access QDF files from very old versions of Quicken. When I started looking at this issue, I discovered that in my "inactive" backup locations I have QDF files from as long ago as 2010.
    If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-and-when-use-intermediate-version-convert-older-versions-quicken
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020 Accepted Answer
    LemP40 said:
    Why isn't the maximum copy limit being obeyed? And will these backups continue to pile up until I manually delete them?
    There was a long discussion about automatic backups a couple months back.  At the time I had 20 auto-backup files even though my maximum was set to 5.  It was pointed out that if you manually reduce the number of files in the Backup folder to below the maximum value, then the setting would work when new backups occur.  The exception may be with the pre-upgrade backup files that Quicken adds.  Those may be causing the gradual creep in number of backup files retained.  I changed my maximum to 15 and now have 17 in the folder, including 2 from recent upgrades.  Those special backups do get deleted when they become the oldest in the folder but I don't believe the total number of files goes back to the maximum number unless the extra files are again manually deleted.
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
  • LemP40
    LemP40 Member
    Thanks.
  • For some reason whereas I have my setting to save a maximum of 5 backup copies, since October it is simply adding a backup to the folder and now I have over 60 backups. I currently have plenty of space on my drive, but as some point there will be an issue. How do I solve this problem. Each backup is 622,980kb. Until this is fixed on my program is there an issue simply deleting the older backup files, but more importantly how can I fix this so it only keeps 5 backups?
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    For some reason whereas I have my setting to save a maximum of 5 backup copies, since October it is simply adding a backup to the folder and now I have over 60 backups. I currently have plenty of space on my drive, but as some point there will be an issue. How do I solve this problem. Each backup is 622,980kb. Until this is fixed on my program is there an issue simply deleting the older backup files, but more importantly how can I fix this so it only keeps 5 backups?
    We may delete any backup files we do not want to keep.  I find once I've removed the release backup and older backup files, Quicken obeys the max setting until the next update that saves a release backup.
  • artg
    artg Member ✭✭✭
    Good morning Q Community.  I'd like to join this discussion seeking guidance and/or a recommendation.  I open my Q every morning and close it in the evening (sort of close of business.)  I automatically save the latest 15 copies so basically I have a running 15 days of backups.  I really don't know how I came up with the number "15" but it's sure way more than I need.  In fact, I can't ever remember going back and opening anything more than yesterday's backup (during an Q update catastrophe.)  I've got plenty of hard drive space as well as space on my external HD and MS OneDrive.  My file size is about 97.5MB. So, what's a good common sense number of backups?  
  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The best number is at your discretion. The "rule of thumb" number is to have one more than you need after a catastrophe. In actuality, you can never have too many. Unless you are seriously low on HD space, it's a non issue.
    One word of caution... I would advise against leaving Quicken open all day unless you are actively working the file. If you were to lose power, the sudden power loss can cause data corruption that may go on for sometime before being detected. Hence the long-term backup strategy.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 21H1
  • artg
    artg Member ✭✭✭
    @GeoffG
    Thank you Geoff.  Great "rule of thumb." Additionally, thanks for the caution flag about power outage and data corruption.  And yes, it's already happened to me.  My remedy was purchasing a quality backup battery system with software that automatically shuts down any open applications.  And that has worked! 
  • Toni
    Toni Member ✭✭
    I have several years of Quicken back up files. Can I delete them without worry and just keep back up files for the last month?
  • cdennett
    cdennett Member ✭✭
    > @jrich75 said:
    > There was a long discussion about automatic backups a couple months back.  At the time I had 20 auto-backup files even though my maximum was set to 5.  It was pointed out that if you manually reduce the number of files in the Backup folder to below the maximum value, then the setting would work when new backups occur.  The exception may be with the pre-upgrade backup files that Quicken adds.  Those may be causing the gradual creep in number of backup files retained.  I changed my maximum to 15 and now have 17 in the folder, including 2 from recent upgrades.  Those special backups do get deleted when they become the oldest in the folder but I don't believe the total number of files goes back to the maximum number unless the extra files are again manually deleted.

    I was part of that discussion. From what I can tell by observation, Quicken only deletes one oldest backup each time it creates a new backup. When you install an update, you get two extra backups, or at least I do, and it will delete only one oldest backup. Therefore, you end up with one more backup than you had before. Repeat this each time you install an update and you gradually get more backups than you want. If Quicken would adjust their backup code to delete multiple older backups to bring the total number down to the max you specified instead on only deleting one oldest backup, the problem would be fixed.
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    cdennett said:
    If Quicken would adjust their backup code to delete multiple older backups to bring the total number down to the max you specified instead on only deleting one oldest backup, the problem would be fixed.
    I agree.  However, having a reason to access the backup folder occasionally; to verify it's updating and remove a few extra files is not a bad thing.  Kind of  a feature  ;)
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
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