Category Cleanup

I'd like to clean up my categories and their subs. If I remove a primary or sub. EFFECTIVE TODAY 1/1/21, will it delete/effect my past assignments for 2020 > 2009?

For example: in 2018, I added a category and subs for my daughter's wedding. And I AIN'T GONNA NEED THAT ANYMORE!!!

Best Answer

Answers

  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    If you delete a category, any transaction that uses that category will become uncategorized. That makes sense; the category no longer exists, so it could not be present in a transaction. If you're okay with all of those transactions becoming uncategorized, then I suppose that's okay.

    Are you trying to clean up the category list and the category dropdown you see when entering a new transaction? Unfortunately, we don't have a Hide Category option (yet) in QMac. But here's a suggestion. In the Categories window, create a new top level category called "z-Retired Categories". This will sort to the bottom of the list. Then drag and drop any old no-longer-used categories on top of this new one. They will become subcategories of z-Retired Categories, including all of their own subcategories. This way, all of those categories will be out of the way, yet still be attached to the original transactions in case you would ever need to pull them up.


    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Yes, any category (be in parent or sub) from that list will cause any transaction using it to now be uncategorized. So, don't do that! Change, clean up, rename, but don't simply delete.

    If you have one time use categories, then this might be a better case to use Tags (I.e., "Daughter's Wedding 2018" and apply that to every transx (regardless of category) that it applies to. Then, you can quickly pull up everything related to the wedding by searching/repoarting for that tag. Tags make categories 3-D in a sense.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I agree with John. My solution was a "quick and dirty" fix. Using tags, say you had a transaction where you paid for the venue rental. You could change the category on that transaction to an existing "Rent" category and apply the tag "Daughter's Wedding 2018". Once you recategorized all the wedding transactions, the wedding category would no longer be used and could be deleted without issue. It's bit more work involved to recategorize and tag all the transactions. One trade-off is that if you use this approach a lot, our tag list can get rather long. Do whichever you think will work best for you.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • sjh0006
    sjh0006 Member
    Thanks for your input.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @sjh0006  John and RickO have suggested tags, but you may not want these tags you'll never uses again, either. Or you may not want to have to edit all the transactions to add tags, if there are a lot of them. So as a different approach than tagging, the other thing you can do is merge categories out of existence.

    You mention having a category and a number of sub-categories for your daughter's wedding. If you don't need that detail and more, you could merge all the sub-categories into one sub-category, then elevate that sub-category to be a main category, and then merge that with the original main category for the wedding -- so you'll end up with just one category and no sub-categories for the wedding.

    Then, you can do as RickO suggested and rename it "z-Daughters wedding" to put it at the bottom of your list whenever it won't be visible and bother you. Or if you have some other category you'd be fine merging the wedding expenses into, you could do that.

    Some things to know about category merging:
    • You can only merge things at the same level. So you can merge two or more sub-categories of one category, but you can't merge a sub-category with a main category.
    • You can't merge a sub-category of one category with a sub-category of another category.
    • You can move sub-categories out from under their main category by dragging them in the list until you see a line for them above the main category.
    • You can merge two or any number of main categories or sub-categories in one operation: select all the ones you want tot merge, click the Merge button, and in the dialog box, be sure to specify which of them you want all the others merged into.
    • You can't do any merging with any of Quicken's Required categories or sub-categories.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • mjbech
    mjbech Member
    I am a new Quicken user - I just uploaded Wells Fargo QXF file 1/1/20 to 12/31/20 (about 900 entries). Is there a way to globally change a group of payees from one category that Quicken selects to one that matches my accounting categories used as certain business expenses. For example Adobe Creative Cloud and Best Buy (a retail store that sells electronics). picked Electronics and Software Adobe Creative Cloud is in fact software (a monthly subscription). Best Buy purchase could have been an electronic (Nest thermostat for example). I'd like to create two separate categories "Software" and "Home Improvement". Is there a way to sort all the Adobe Creative Cloud transactions and globally change that category to Software in one click? I have a hundreds of line item category changes to make that matches more closely to my tax prep work I do for my accountant. It would be great to search for certain payees and change the category with one click
  • mjbech
    mjbech Member
    Sorry... I was able to find the way to do this.. search Payee, select all then go to file Get Info... Thanks Mike
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Glad you found that. Just be aware that it did not change any categories that are used on split lines of split transactions. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    jacobs said:

    Some things to know about category merging:
    • You can only merge things at the same level. So you can merge two or more sub-categories of one category, but you can't merge a sub-category with a main category.
    • You can't merge a sub-category of one category with a sub-category of another category.
    • You can move sub-categories out from under their main category by dragging them in the list until you see a line for them above the main category.
    • You can merge two or any number of main categories or sub-categories in one operation: select all the ones you want tot merge, click the Merge button, and in the dialog box, be sure to specify which of them you want all the others merged into.
    • You can't do any merging with any of Quicken's Required categories or sub-categories.
    Interesting restrictions.  In Quicken Windows none of this applies except that you can't merge with any of the Quicken Required/built-in categories.
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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    RickO said:
    Glad you found that. Just be aware that it did not change any categories that are used on split lines of split transactions. 
    Meanwhile, you can add also your VOTE to Improve Batch Editing to include changing Split transactions.

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Chris_QPW said:
    Interesting restrictions.  In Quicken Windows none of this applies except that you can't merge with any of the Quicken Required/built-in categories.
    None of those restrictions are actually problematic. It's easy to make a subcategory a main category, move a subcategory from one category to another, or otherwise move things around as needed to merge whatever you want.

    The one restriction that irks me is that you can't merge a category into a Quicken required category (most of which are tied to tax schedules). I certainly understand why you can't delete any required category, or merge any required categories out of existence. But it would be helpful to allow users merge other categories into the required categories. For instance, Quicken 2007 uses a set of investment categories that were denoted with bullets: "•Div Income", "•Long Cap Gain", etc. It would be helpful to merge those into the current Quicken categories for these actions -- but we can't, so we're stuck keeping both the old and the new categories. And I can't figure out any reason for that restriction.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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