How to Transfer Security Balances to New File

My Quicken Premier for Windows file (version R31.12) is becoming too large. I would like to create a new file and transfer investment/cash/security balances to this new file, maintaining all old transactions in the old file. Is there an easy way to transfer? Thanks.


  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021
    What or why - makes you think your Quicken QDF file is "too large" ?
    Size does not impact performance....
    and the whole idea of the file is to maintain all of your financial history. 
    Our QDF file is 186MB... going back several decades.
    The real size of your Q data can be determined by doing
    --> HELP and
    --> holding down the CTRL key
    --> click ... About Quicken.

    QWin - R54.16 - Win10

  • Archive your old transactions using the archive feature in Quicken.  Go to File/File Operations/Year-End Copy.  Be sure to select I only want transactions in my current data file starting with this date.  

    Archive based on calendar year end.  So you will see that from the screenshot above that in my new file I only want transactions after 1/1/2021.  However, arching will maintain investment transaction detail history for all open positions, but archives old bank, credit card transactions prior to the archive date; reducing the size of your quicken file.  I have a large Quicken file with a lot of bank and investment accounts so I run the archive feature every year.  This keeps the Quicken file size at a manageable size. 

    1. Quicken will make a backup copy of a file with your old transactions that you can always reference if needed.  
    2. I always make a separate backup file (just in case) before I run the Archive functions in case something goes wrong. 
    3. If you have a large file this can take a few minutes and it will seem like your machine has crashed, but don't touch it and it will eventually complete the task.
    4. I also turn off everything else (internet, outlook, etc) before I start the process to give my computer as much computing capacity as possible.     

  • billr
    billr Member ✭✭✭
    I tried to insert the size of my data. Not sure if it is readable.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for providing the File Information.

    If you're an active trader and your current investment account has many transactions pertaining to sold securities you may want to consider this:

    Archive Investment Transactions

    For about a year now, a new function has been available in Quicken, Archive Transactions. It will split your investment account register into two parts, leaving only those securities' transactions where you currently hold >0 shares in the active register. The rest is moved to a new Archive register within the current data file.

    Having less transactions in your active register might improve performance.

    Please read and carefully follow instructions here:
    Eventually, after a couple of years, you might consider splitting your data file in two, using Year End Copy, with all the archived investment transactions in the old file and none remaining in the active file.

  • billr
    billr Member ✭✭✭
    I archived one investment account, as you suggested, UKR. The result left me with a negative account balance in the archived account (cash balance was zero, but account balance negative), thus reducing my net worth. Also, file size/information not really affected--if anything, it's larger. So with the negative balance created, it doesn't seem worthwhile to me. What am I missing? Thanks.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't know why your archived account's balance is off. That's something you should discuss with Quicken Support. After all, it's a new function and may have tripped over something specific to your file.
    Because all the records are still in your data file, the file size will not shrink. But your investment account should now have a lot less transactions and a lot fewer securities to track, so it should perform faster when working with it.
  • The idea UKR suggested was for archiving one account at a time; however, that won't address your initial concern related to file size because all the transactions are still stored in Quicken.  The archive feature I suggested earlier will reduce your entire file size if that is still a concern.  

    Just like you when I have used the feature to archive single accounts I've almost always had to create a manual entry to resolve a positive or negative cash or other balance in the archived account.  If never works quite right 100% of the time.  You can look at the investment portfolio, find the new archived account and see if it archived an open position and/or check the cash balance.  The archived account in the portfolio account should show zero holdings and cash, if not that is when you need to make a manual entry.   
  • billr
    billr Member ✭✭✭
    Just Me and Not Someone Else--Isn't the Year End Copy/Archive you suggested just for non-investment accounts? If so, it may not help me that much. Thanks. Also, yes, I could make manual entries to five investments to bring their negative amounts to zero. But that messes up the transaction ledger, doesn't it? I see the transaction which made it negative, but that was in 2008 and I have no idea what my logic was then. Thanks again.
  • billr - Yes the archive feature reduces the size of your overall file by archiving financial transactions in noninvestment accounts and some financial transactions hitting your investment accounts.  If you have years worth of noninvestment data it may help solve your initial concern about the size of your file and depending on how new/powerful your computer is you may see an improvement in performance.  

    Yes, the manual transaction could mess up your investment registers, but it is the only way to true up your accounts.   Every January I perform a two step/deep archive because I'm an active trade with numerous brokerage and 401(k) accounts.  I run the archive function for all my individual accounts removing all transactions for closed positions and then I run the file archive function for my whole quicken file.  Then after I archive my data I delete all the individual archive accounts in the new (current year) file.  I don't keep the transactional history for closed positions from previous years in my current year file because I can always go back to a previous year file (back to 1994) if I needed the info.  After this I frequently have to make manual transactions to true up cash and on occasion a holding that gets archived incorrectly.  

    This probably seems like overkill, but I started the extra steps several years ago when my quicken file because corrupted in October or November and I had to rebuild everything for 10 months.  It took me three 12+ hour days and a ton of manual entries.   Since then I've kept my file as clean as I possible and knock on wood the problem has not repeated itself.