Why does nbr of automatic backups exceeds number specified in preferences

Michael 49
Michael 49 Member ✭✭✭
I have two Quicken accounts with maximum automatic back-up set to 5 in preferences. One account that I access a few times a week maintains 5 automatic backups. However, the account I access at least twice a day currently has 10 backups What needs to be done to to get the automatic backups to maintain only 5?


  • GeoffG
    GeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    When the auto backup module was coded (way back), updates occurred about once per year. Now they average about one per month. The problem now is that the counter resets with each update, so the result appears that the counts are ignored.
    There's not much as a user you can do. If this is an issue, you will need to manually delete the excess backups until the developers decide to address this.
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 11 Pro version 22H2
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The automatic backup counter only applies to backups with the exact same name.  It will append a (1), (2), (3), etc to the file name when created.
    Since you're using, wisely in my opinion, the option to append the date and time stamp to the file name, the names aren't identical ... and the "counter" limitation doesn't come into play.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Both @GeoffG and @NotACPA are not entirely correct. Also, the backup help from Quicken is very outdated so don't trust it. There are several prior post that discuss the backup help file and number of backups.
    First, automatic backups cannot have the same name, they always include the date/time and the maximum limit is specificly intented to apply to auto backups.  However, quicken now generates an additional automatic backup every time there is a program update (this backup name also includes the Revision number of the version being replaced).  This type of backup does affect the number of files retained (it seems to increases by 1 each time one occurs but doesn't acutally "reset the counter").  So what happens over time is the total number of auto backups retained creeps up.  If you delete the extra file(s), then the maximum will tract correctly until the next program update occurs.  Check the older posts if you want more details.

    Note: I believe there was also a period of time when the counter wasn't actually working and during that time, the number of backups retained grew more quickly.  
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021
    Well, I just took another look at your backup folder image.  It appears that the two separate data files you run are stored in the same folder.  I don't have experience with that and I'm not sure how that would affect backup file retention.  So both data files have the same preference settings?  It might be wise to specify separate backup file folder locations for each data file (the ability to change the automatic backup location was added in a recent upgrade).   I also notice that you don't have any pre-update backups in the folder.  What program and version are you currently running?  I know Canadian users do not have the same frequency of updates as we see in the US. It doesn't appear that you have the ability to change the auto backup location yet.
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
  • Michael 49
    Michael 49 Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks GeoffG and jrich75. I think the key reason for the account I access most often having more auto backups would be due to counter reset when there is a program update. However, there's no indication of the version in the backup name just a time stamp (instead of AM or PM, maybe 24 hr format would be better, i.e. 13.45 instead of PM01.45). Is it wishful thinking to have the Quicken HELP documentation updated and in sync with what actually happens in reality?
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I just accepted the most recent Qwin US update today,  FYI, this is how it's named:
    QDwinsub-2021-03-01.AM08.05-R-31.12.QDF-backup.  R31.12 was my version before the update, it's now R31.20.  
    After closing Quicken, I had one extra file in my backup folder (up to 16 from 15 which is my preference).  If I don't manually delete one of the files, it will remain at 16 until another update occurs and then it will be 17.  I tracked this behavior for months last year.
    As far as the help update goes, some older posts indicate that it was brought to Quicken's attention.  They made several help updates recently in the US but did not address the backup file naming convention discussion which is many years outdated. So, it's anyones guess when they will get around to it.   
    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2021
  • gs_
    gs_ Member ✭✭✭
    I am running the Canadian version. I have automatic backups set to 5. Every time I close Quicken a backup is generated to my folder of choice. I discovered a few weeks ago that the code appears to be changed to now keep a months worth of backups, ignoring the "5" setting. I currently have 49 files in that folder, the oldest being a January 31st version.

    I also have Quicken do a backup on every nightly close. That backup goes to numbered folders (1 through 31) depending on the numeric day of the month and I recently started having Quicken add the date to the filename.

    I had Quicken close unexpectantly recently, corrupting my data file. I did not notice the corruption for a few days and was able to recover using the backups I had.

    I have a gigantic file (around 1 gig in size), having run Quicken since 1990 and having never done a purge. I save all my data to an external USB drive and that is all backed up daily to a second external USB drive and then to a remote backup service.

    I chose to allow Quicken to do it's thing as I have the space and bandwidth to accomplish what I feel I need.
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