Automatic recategorizing

Quicken has a new feature with a lot of promise, but it's driving me utterly insane. The feature seems to allow for an automatic reassignment of all similar downloaded transactions (or maybe identical payee names, not sure) to a new category. The thing is, I can't mange to control it! When I want it to happen, I can't make it happen, and when I don't want it to happen, it happens anyway. I just recategorized a single Amazon transaction to a "Business Expenses" from my usual (my usual is simply, "Amazon" as a category), and it recategorized hundreds of them to the same thing! This is a major screwup for me, because I had carefully noted months ago which ones actually ARE business expense, and now I have no way of teasing them back out of the gigantic mess. Any thoughts?—not about teasing the transactions out of the mess, but about controlling the auto-recategorizing feature. Thanks in advance for the help.

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Howdy, Arthur:

    You touch on a few things here: For starters, I would restore from a backup (or TimeMachine backup if you use that) to restore your categories to what they were prior. This might not be an option for you, but might be when you start making backups for the future.

    Here is what I suspect you did to rename all the older transactions. When a new downloaded transaction appears and you attempt to rename, there is a checkbox with options:



    I suspect you had that option checked, and the popup set to existing & future trans-hence the complete rename. That's a powerful tool, but can create disastrous results if used incorrectly At a minimum, I would set it to only apply to future transactions.

    I also suggest you go into Window:Payee & Rules and familiarize yourself with those rules that are getting created. If you don't understand an option-ask. Don't just try it as it might have underlying consequences as well.

    These tools are nice once you understand them. Feel free to ask anything further.
  • Arthur G.
    Arthur G. Member
    Thanks so much for taking the trouble to write such a thoughtful and helpful reply. I really appreciate it.
  • Arthur G.
    Arthur G. Member
    BTW, just now went and tried the solution you suggest. The trouble is that the new category was applied to other transactions when I changed ONLY the category in an existing transaction, not the payee name. I never changed anything about the payee name, and it remained the same in the transactions that were recategorized. So unfortunately the puzzle remains....
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Hi again, Arthur. Sorry for the delay.

    As far as the damage done from the last rename: I suspect only a restore from an older backup will resolve that. 

    Those new renaming rules are powerful, but take a bit of time to learn the nuances of how they work, and how they will work best for you. I know some users were a bit frustrated while becoming accustomed to them, but now appreciate them.

    The important part is to keep frequent backups so if you do do something undesirable, you can always go back. Also note that commad+z will undo things you have done. So, if you quickly realize you don't like the results, you can always go back a step or two without having to resort to a backup.

    Good luck-I think you will figure out the logic of these.
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