Can I use Quicken on both my computers

I recently bought Quicken and installed it on my home computer. I have a second computer that my wife uses and I wondered if I can install it on that one also.

Best Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you are licensed to install Quicken on different home computers. But, you will not be able to share the same data file between the two computers. The program is not designed for file networking of the data file, and problems can set in when you try.

    If your wife wishes to have a separate file or you don't mind moving a copy of the data file back and fourth between computers, you will be fine.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Some basic do's and don'ts about moving a Quicken Mac data file around...

    Do not store your Quicken data file on any cloud service, such as Dropbox or iCloud. It will likely lead to problems. Storing backup files on cloud storage is fine, but your live data file needs to be resident on your local computer. 

    Do move only a compressed copy of a data file. A compressed file is either (a) one you create by selecting the file in the Finder and doing File > Compress, creating a .zip file, or (b) a backup file created by Quicken, which ends in .quickenbackup. Why? A Quicken data file is actually not a single file; it's a Mac "package" file, which is a wrapper around a collection of files and folders to make it appear to users like a single file. (Control-click on your data file and select "Show Package Contents" if you want to peek inside the wrapper.) Every Mac user account has a unique User ID number, and when you move files and folders around, permissions can be changed -- the result of which can be getting locked out of your data. Moving a compressed file and opening it on a different Mac won't result in permission problems. (Moving a compressed file can be either via a cloud service, a local network, or a flash drive.) 

    This may sound like a pain, but it needn't be. After each time to use Quicken, move your backup or compressed file to a location -- on cloud storage or a physical flash drive --  you'll start from the next time you use Quicken on either computer. Use the data file, quit Quicken, and again save the compressed file back to the same location. As long as you always start from the same location and replace a file to the same location -- which takes just a few extra seconds -- you will always be assured of working on the most current file and not having permission problems. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you'd basically got it. I would say you don't need to move the file to the Documents folder on you're wife's computer unless you want to; you could drop it on the Desktop, use it from there, and then once you've zipped it and copied it back to the flash drive, delete it from that computer. And you'll have to make sure you don't end up with different versions of the data file with modified filenames which could confuse you.

    The potential tricky thing is making sure you know which is the latest file, and being sure you're starting with that no matter which computer you use. I'd suggest that once you move the file to the flash drive, that you delete it from the computer you've just used. (There will still be an automatic backup on that computer, if you have automatic backups enabled.)

    Depending on how you and your wife will use Quicken may drive some of the fine points of the file sharing. If you are both equally likely to use it, I'd suggest not keeping a live data file on either computer and keeping the live file only on the flash drive. In other words, no matter which computer uses Quicken, after quitting, compressing the file, and copying it to the flash drive, delete the file on the computer. This would insure that neither computer will have a copy of the live data file between sessions, forcing you to always grab the latest file from the flash drive. But if you use Quicken 90% of the time on your computer, and your wife uses it only occasionally, you might want to leave the live file on your computer and only copy it when your wife wants to use it. You just need a system that insures you and your wife don't end up doing work in two copies of the data file on the two computers, such that one of you will wipe out the other's work when your file is copied.

    One way you might improve on this process is to network the two computers -- assuming you're using them on the same home network -- so you can eliminate the flash drive. If you turn on file sharing on your computer, you can use your "Public Folder" (which exists by default in macOS) to store the .zip copy of your Quicken data file between sessions instead of the flash drive. Then either computer could access the shared Public Folder on your computer to copy the .zip file to the Desktop (or Documents folder), delete the copy on the Public folder (to keep there from being multiple versions around which could cause confusion), and use the file; then quit Quicken, compress the file, copy it to the Public Folder, and delete the copy on your Desktop (or Documents folder). It sounds like a lot of things to do, but once you see the flow back and forth, you'll hopefully find it pretty easy to keep track of. Compressing a copy and copying it after using will take only a few seconds, as will copying the compressed file to the Desktop to use it the next time. 

    I'd suggest you always start by double-clicking on the data file, not by clicking on the Quicken application in your Dock, to insure you're only opening the current file you want to be working on.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    One quick addendum: in all the examples I used above, I was saying you'd have the Quicken data file (.quicken) and make a compressed (.zip) version of it to move between computers. And equally good alternative is to move a backup file created by Quicken (.quickenbackup) between computers. And if you use the shared folder I described above, using a backup file could save you a step: you can set Quicken's default backup location to be this shared folder. If you do that, when you quit Quicken and it auto-creates a backup, you have nothing more to do -- it will be in the shared folder where either you or your wife can retrieve it for the next session. But you'll need to be sure you always select the most recent backup, since there will be more than one in the folder. And you'll need to be sure you never launch Quicken from your Dock, because that will open the live copy on your Mac rather than the most recent backup.

    There's no single right answer; all options are variations of the same basic approach.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you are licensed to install Quicken on different home computers. But, you will not be able to share the same data file between the two computers. The program is not designed for file networking of the data file, and problems can set in when you try.

    If your wife wishes to have a separate file or you don't mind moving a copy of the data file back and fourth between computers, you will be fine.
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Thanks John so I just need to download Quicken on my wife's computer. I'm a bit rusty on this but the data file I take it is the Quicken Backup Folder. I just copy my Quicken Backup Folder to a flash drive and transfer it to my wife's machine. She would, I guess then save any transactions made on her version of Quicken to that backup folder. Thanks John I appreciate the help.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    If you plan to share one file between the two computers, post back here so we can give you some advice to avoid potential problems.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    I was planning to do that
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Some basic do's and don'ts about moving a Quicken Mac data file around...

    Do not store your Quicken data file on any cloud service, such as Dropbox or iCloud. It will likely lead to problems. Storing backup files on cloud storage is fine, but your live data file needs to be resident on your local computer. 

    Do move only a compressed copy of a data file. A compressed file is either (a) one you create by selecting the file in the Finder and doing File > Compress, creating a .zip file, or (b) a backup file created by Quicken, which ends in .quickenbackup. Why? A Quicken data file is actually not a single file; it's a Mac "package" file, which is a wrapper around a collection of files and folders to make it appear to users like a single file. (Control-click on your data file and select "Show Package Contents" if you want to peek inside the wrapper.) Every Mac user account has a unique User ID number, and when you move files and folders around, permissions can be changed -- the result of which can be getting locked out of your data. Moving a compressed file and opening it on a different Mac won't result in permission problems. (Moving a compressed file can be either via a cloud service, a local network, or a flash drive.) 

    This may sound like a pain, but it needn't be. After each time to use Quicken, move your backup or compressed file to a location -- on cloud storage or a physical flash drive --  you'll start from the next time you use Quicken on either computer. Use the data file, quit Quicken, and again save the compressed file back to the same location. As long as you always start from the same location and replace a file to the same location -- which takes just a few extra seconds -- you will always be assured of working on the most current file and not having permission problems. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Thanks Jacobs looks a bit daunting but I'll give it a go.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    If you use Dropbox, one relatively easy workflow is to set your Quicken backup location to Dropbox. So every time you quit Quicken, it creates a backup in a location both computers can access on Dropbox. The only manual step is that to start your next Quicken session, from either computer, you need to drag the backup file from Dropbox to your Mac desktop and double-click it to launch it. When you quit Quicken, a new backup is created in the same place. (You also have to delete the working copy from your desktop, and make sure you always grab the most recent backup file on Dropbox.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    I haven't been able to work on this until today and I've already hit a hurdle. I downloaded Quicken onto my wife's computer and I got the Let's get started page giving me 6 choices and I'm not sure which would be the best for me. I whittled it down to 3 which were, Start from scratch- Start from a Quicken for Mac 2007 file - and Start from a .QIF file exported from another application. I've only added two transactions to my new Quicken app. so far. I'm not sure about the last choice with the .QIF file so I thought the file from my old Quicken 2007 would probably be the best choice.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    I'm confused. Did you convert your Quicken 2007 file to run on your computer? And you want to pass this file back and forth between that computer and your wife's computer, right? If so, then as discussed above, you want to create a .zip or .backup file on your computer and transfer that to your wife's computer. Double-click on that file and Quicken will launch and open the file. You should never see the Let's Get Started page. You'll need a system that works for you and your wife to insure that whichever of you wants to use Quicken, you will always grab the latest version of your data file wherever you decide to store it -- cloud service, flash drive, shared folder on one of the Macs, etc. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    I started off with Quicken 2003, then upgraded to 2006 then 2007 and now to the latest Quicken. I've never converted any file that I can recall. I'm using a MacPro (Mid 2010), running Mojave 10.14.6.
    This is the first time Quicken has been installed on my wife's computer.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Okay, so you installed the current Quicken on your computer, and you created a new file from scratch when you did so? Do you intend to import your Quicken 2007 data, or is your intention to leave all that data behind and start from scratch?

    If you intend to import the Quicken 2007 data, then do that first, on the computer which has the Quicken 2007 data file. Take your time to review account balances and investment holdings side-by-side with Quicken 2007, main any adjustments or fixes if needed. then, when you have your modern Quicken data file ready to use for work going forward, you can begin the process described above in this thread for carefully and safely moving the data file between the two computers.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    OK got it, thanks Jacobs I'll press on with the transfer, if I hit any brick walls I'll be back.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    daleslad said:
    I'll press on with the transfer, if I hit any brick walls I'll be back.
    Plenty of help is here standing by if you do! ;) 

    Best wishes.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Thanks that's nice to know.
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Hi jacobs, I'm back.
    I’m not quite getting my head around this moving the file back and forth between computers.
    So let me run through it and see if I’m getting the concept.
    On Old computer, I compress the data file and move it to my flash drive. This will still leave the original data file on the old computer.

    On Wife’s computer, I transfer the data file from flash drive , unzip it and move it into the Documents folder.
    This will be the first time that the Quicken data file has been used on this computer. I double click on the data file and open up the new Quicken. After making my transactions in Quicken I will quit the program and then zip the data file again and move it back to the flash drive to transfer it to the old computer.
    Assuming everything is correct so far I can now unzip and move the data file into the document folder on the old computer.
    At this point I’m assuming if I do that I will get some kind of a warning that on older data file exists at that location. It might give me a choice to replace it or keep both I don’t know, so what should I do with the older data file. Same goes for the when the data file goes back to my wife’s computer. Shall I just trash it ?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Yes, you'd basically got it. I would say you don't need to move the file to the Documents folder on you're wife's computer unless you want to; you could drop it on the Desktop, use it from there, and then once you've zipped it and copied it back to the flash drive, delete it from that computer. And you'll have to make sure you don't end up with different versions of the data file with modified filenames which could confuse you.

    The potential tricky thing is making sure you know which is the latest file, and being sure you're starting with that no matter which computer you use. I'd suggest that once you move the file to the flash drive, that you delete it from the computer you've just used. (There will still be an automatic backup on that computer, if you have automatic backups enabled.)

    Depending on how you and your wife will use Quicken may drive some of the fine points of the file sharing. If you are both equally likely to use it, I'd suggest not keeping a live data file on either computer and keeping the live file only on the flash drive. In other words, no matter which computer uses Quicken, after quitting, compressing the file, and copying it to the flash drive, delete the file on the computer. This would insure that neither computer will have a copy of the live data file between sessions, forcing you to always grab the latest file from the flash drive. But if you use Quicken 90% of the time on your computer, and your wife uses it only occasionally, you might want to leave the live file on your computer and only copy it when your wife wants to use it. You just need a system that insures you and your wife don't end up doing work in two copies of the data file on the two computers, such that one of you will wipe out the other's work when your file is copied.

    One way you might improve on this process is to network the two computers -- assuming you're using them on the same home network -- so you can eliminate the flash drive. If you turn on file sharing on your computer, you can use your "Public Folder" (which exists by default in macOS) to store the .zip copy of your Quicken data file between sessions instead of the flash drive. Then either computer could access the shared Public Folder on your computer to copy the .zip file to the Desktop (or Documents folder), delete the copy on the Public folder (to keep there from being multiple versions around which could cause confusion), and use the file; then quit Quicken, compress the file, copy it to the Public Folder, and delete the copy on your Desktop (or Documents folder). It sounds like a lot of things to do, but once you see the flow back and forth, you'll hopefully find it pretty easy to keep track of. Compressing a copy and copying it after using will take only a few seconds, as will copying the compressed file to the Desktop to use it the next time. 

    I'd suggest you always start by double-clicking on the data file, not by clicking on the Quicken application in your Dock, to insure you're only opening the current file you want to be working on.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    One quick addendum: in all the examples I used above, I was saying you'd have the Quicken data file (.quicken) and make a compressed (.zip) version of it to move between computers. And equally good alternative is to move a backup file created by Quicken (.quickenbackup) between computers. And if you use the shared folder I described above, using a backup file could save you a step: you can set Quicken's default backup location to be this shared folder. If you do that, when you quit Quicken and it auto-creates a backup, you have nothing more to do -- it will be in the shared folder where either you or your wife can retrieve it for the next session. But you'll need to be sure you always select the most recent backup, since there will be more than one in the folder. And you'll need to be sure you never launch Quicken from your Dock, because that will open the live copy on your Mac rather than the most recent backup.

    There's no single right answer; all options are variations of the same basic approach.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Thanks jacobs, you have been a big help, there are a lot of options but I think I'll stick with the easiest one for me and that's just using my flash drive and moving the data file into the Document's folder . My wife only uses it about twice a month and the rest of the time I'd be using it so it won't be a problem for me to do the transfer.
    I have another problem with my Backup folder on my computer with the old Quicken versions I was using.
    All of the old versions I've used over the years up until I updated from Quicken 2007 required me to manually save my data when I closed the application.
    When I look in my backup folder today I don't have a clue what I'm looking at. There are files which look like a page icon with the Quicken $ sign logo on them and no extension after the name, they might be data files. Also lots of Folders that have names with .qdfm extension. The folders have Contents>Messages folders inside but they are all empty.
    I am planning on trashing a lot of the older ones that I don't need anymore. Some of these folder are dated 2019 however and I would be keeping those but not sure what good they are if there is nothing inside of them. I didn't want to trash something that might upset the apple cart.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The .qdfm files are Quicken 2007 data files. Some old 2007 data files may not have a .qdfm extension.

    I would consider keeping your last Quicken 2007 data file, the one you used to convert to modern Quicken Mac. Assuming all your data imported correctly, there's probably no use for any older Quicken 2007 data files or backups. The current Quicken Mac doesn't use any of these files, doesn't know or care if they exist or not, so there's no harm in deleting them. Backups from current Quicken end with a .quickenbackup extension.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • daleslad
    daleslad Member ✭✭
    Ok, great I can begin to clean house and tidy up a bit.
    Thanks again for all of your help.
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