Is there a way to have more than one Quicken for Mac files open at the same time?

Historically to keep file sizes down I have different files covering different periods of time. It appears to me that Quicken (Mac) will not allow you to have more than one file open at the same time.
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Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    It's fine to have separate files for things like the finances of parents or kids. You can switch back and forth between files, but won't be able to open them both at the same time on the same computer. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    No. Only one file open at a time is possible in QMac. 

    Your concern is why you keep your data in a single file: You don't break it up into different date periods. 

    Data file size was a concern in 1986 with floppy disks, but not in recent decades.

    Moving forward, you will want to keep all your data in a single spot (aka, a single file)
  • Daffy Duck
    Daffy Duck Member ✭✭
    I understand your point - but there is a second reason to split files - as a file gets too large it may slow down the file. I certainly had that problem when I was using Quicken 2007. During the period when Quicken was not really supporting the Mac I went to Banktivity and file size was certainly a problem there.

    I appreciate that today's Quicken if very fast - and appears to manage large files very effectively. But it does not provide a practical means to recombine files that have already been split.

    But there are additional reasons why someone may want to have multiple files open. For example, when my Dad was living I maintained a file with his finances when I had to help manage his assets late in his life.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    It's fine to have separate files for things like the finances of parents or kids. You can switch back and forth between files, but won't be able to open them both at the same time on the same computer. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Daffy Duck
    Daffy Duck Member ✭✭
    Thanks for you input. I can't imagine a valid reason not to allow multiple files to be open at one time. From what I remember of Quicken 2007 and earlier, I don't think Quicken ever did allow multiple files to be open. I know that Banktivity does and it does not cause problems.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I don't know if there are practical reasons in the way the code is built which would prevent more than one file from being open at a time. (How a different program is built has no bearing on how Quicken works.) I do know that multiple separate applications of Quicken Mac can be run simultaneously (such as Quicken 2020 and Quicken 2017), but it's possible (and likely) that the program's architecture is not devised to have two open files at once. Quicken Mac holds a lot of data in RAM, and may not be structured for multiple files.

    (As a practical matter, unless you have an extremely large monitor, there are some practicality issues with having two Quicken main windows open at the same time in a usable way. But that's unlikely to be the reason it can't be done. ;) )
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I was curious about this because I know exactly why you can't do this on Quicken Windows and was wondering if it was a similar problem on Quicken Mac and I think it is.

    Besides the actual "data file" settings there are "user settings", and even sometimes "global settings".  How any given uses these varies, but basically if from the start a program isn't designed to run multiple copies it is very possible that if the user isn't blocked from running the same program more than once one instance of the program can trash/conflict with the other instance trying to read/change these settings.

    Reading this article it seems that just like Windows, the Mac's have the same kind of sometimes visible and sometimes pretty hidden places for storing such information.
    https://stackoverflow.com/questions/410013/where-do-osx-applications-typically-store-user-configuration-data

    In the Windows world this translates to either Registry settings or configuration files, but no matter which they are always separated at the machine and user levels.  To get it separated at an "program instance level" the programmer has to devise some structure under these levels for the settings that would conflict.  Quicken Windows doesn't use much of the registry so it is very visible why there would be conflicts.
    For instance these two files that are written to by the running Quicken quite often:


    Could the programmers taken the time to devise a way so there wasn't such a conflict?

    Certainly, but it does add to the complexity of the program and development time.

    BTW I really doubt that it is a memory problem.  Not only is RAM space pretty generous these days, the Mac's are built on a kernel that came from the Unix world and like the Linux world have inherited a very good virtual memory system, along with very fast drives these days.

    Screen space on the other hand is a different story.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I agree with John; going forward, you should just keep all the records for a single taxable entity in one file. I also agree that it's not worth trying to recombine the previous time periods.

    If you really, really want to have two files open at once, there is a way. But it is probably less convenient (and more expensive) that just switching between files. That way is to install a 2nd copy of macOS in a virtual machine (eg. Parallels Desktop). Since the 2nd copy of macOS is running inside the virtual machine, it can run another copy of Quicken with a different data file independently. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Daffy Duck
    Daffy Duck Member ✭✭
    I appreciate all the discussion. It really makes things clearer.
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