I Turned Off Automatic Backups

David Green
David Green Member ✭✭✭
I spent a little over 2 hours this past weekend tracking down a reconciliation error in one of my accounts. In June/July I moved from Quicken for Mac to Quicken for Windows and spent considerable time correcting transactions, etc. Through July I know that all the accounts I track were reconciled properly.

I have opened Quicken several times since then to update transactions, attach receipts, etc. Conceding I was a few months behind on reconciling, I went to reconcile and one of my accounts was off. I tracked it down to a missing transaction from 2017. i did not want to just do a balance adjustment because of the time I spent earlier this year getting things squared away.

How or why it went missing between July and now I have no idea. I keep the 2 most current backups. I encrypt them outside of Quicken and upload them to the cloud. I could not find a clean backup. So, I turned off automatic backup and will just back up manually.

[edited for readability]
Quicken for Windows Premiere
Always the latest version


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    How to properly set up Quicken Backup
    How to make Quicken create a backup for you automatically every time you close Quicken
    What Quicken backups are available where?

    For the sake of this discussion it is assumed that your Quicken data file is located in the Default (and recommended) place: C:\Users\username\Documents\Quicken

    Review the backup settings available in Quicken (under Edit / Preferences / Backup).

    In there you will find two types of backup: Automatic and Manual Backup.

    Automatic Backup should be enabled and by default goes to a \Backup folder that's part of the folder which contains your current Quicken data file, e.g. \Documents\Quicken\Backup. Set it to create a backup after running Quicken [1] times and to keep [9] (or more, your choice) backup copies.
    The file name for Automatic Backup files contains a date and time stamp as part of the file name, e.g. QDATA-2020-03-22.PM03.45.QDF-backup

    To create a Manual Backup copy of your Quicken data file on an external device (USB-hard drive or USB memory stick recommended), put a checkmark at "Manual Backup Reminder" to enable the function and set "Remind me after running Quicken [xx] times" to [1].

    Click OK to save the changes.

    From now on, when you close Quicken using the red X button, you will get a popup window.

    When you get this window for the first time, on some versions click the radio button for "Backup on my computer".
    Change the Backup File name's drive letter and path to point to your external device so that it looks something like this: E:\Quicken Backup\QDATA-2019-04-01.QDF-backup
    or use the Change button and work your way through the dialog.

    Do not change the filename portion! Just overtype the drive letter and choose a backup folder name. If the folder does not exist, it will be created.

    Also choose the option to "Add date to backup file name".

    Every day when you run Backup or close Quicken, an additional backup file is created. Without the Add Date option you only have 1 backup copy which is overwritten every day ... and that may prove bad in a problem recovery situation.

    Allow this backup to run to save the changes made on the screen.

    Of course, once in a while you will have to go in and delete some of the oldest backup files, at your discretion, to avoid filling up your USB device.

    One can never have enough backups of a Quicken data file. BTDTGTS!

  • David Green
    David Green Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you. I am familiar with Quicken's backup settings. I know that automatic backups are recommended. However in this case the automatic backups caused a problem. Or at least a problem was backed up automatically. I didn't have a clean backup because I had Quicken set to retain the last 4 backups. At the time I was in and out of Quicken as part of converting from Quicken from Mac to Windows so backups started getting overwritten fairly quickly. backups also got overwritten twice during an upgrade of Quicken for Windows.
    Quicken for Windows Premiere
    Always the latest version
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In that case, while you were doing heavy conversion work, it would have been better to retain more, many more, backups.
    Let's plan for the future and make sure you do have more than just 4 backups. Mr. Murphy is waiting to help you again. Let's make sure he can't.
    As to old transaction(s) disappearing ...

    Are you Syncing to Mobile/Web?
    AND do you use the Mobile app on your smartphone or the Quicken on the Web feature?

    If you answer "no" to both, turn Sync off completely. You don't need it. The Sync process should only be used in conjunction with the Quicken app for Smartphones or the Quicken on the Web browser app. It cannot be used as a replacement for backing up and restoring your Quicken data file. As yet unresolved bugs in the Sync process might be the reason why you have problems.

    If yes, try to Reset Sync so that the current cloud sync file is replaced with a fresh complete copy
    Do note that a full Sync process may take many minutes to complete.

    Log out of your mobile app, then do this on your desktop / laptop:

    How to reset Sync to Cloud

    • Go to Edit / Preferences / Mobile and Web
    • Click the "Reset your cloud data" link and follow the instructions until it is complete.

    Now log back into your mobile app

    How to turn off Sync to Cloud for the current data file

    • Go to Edit / Preferences / Mobile and Web
    • Change the Sync radio button and set it to OFF

  • David Green
    David Green Member ✭✭✭
    As far as I can tell the error occurred shortly after the conversion work and may have been something I did. I didn't really have a 'clean' file to start with, since I started with a data file that was exported by the Mac app for windows. I had many issues with duplicate transactions the first time I opened the converted file. I do know that everything was reconciled and all the numbers matched at the end of the conversion.

    Yes I am syncing and yes I use the mobile app. I use it to attach images of receipts to transactions. In any case at least for now I will stay with the manual backups.
    Quicken for Windows Premiere
    Always the latest version
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    a)  I do not view automatic backups as a replacement for manual backups.  I do recognize more common failure points in my own manual backup protocols.  
    b)  I choose to have auto-backups every 5th time I run Quicken (meaning close that file).  I think that is the default.
    c)  I choose to keep 99 auto-backup copies (the max).  I view drive space as cheap and I can delete the excess copies as need be.  Backups are like friends -- it is good to have a lot of them.  

    Over years of monitoring this community, I have seen people object to the auto-backup methodology, thus Quicken added the option to disable.  I have seen many more users generally unaware of it, yet short-changed by their own personal manual backup implementation.  That group of users were saved (or could have been saved) by the basic auto-backup settings.  So unless the user is solidly and knowledgeably running a reliable personal backup scheme, I would never suggest turning off the auto-backup options in Quicken.  
    However in this case the automatic backups caused a problem.
    I think it would be more accurate to say the automatic backups did not allow you to recover from the problem.  They did not cause the problem, as you later clarified.

    backups also got overwritten twice during an upgrade of Quicken for Windows.
    Again, FWIW:  Quicken has also recently (perhaps with R34?) implemented a policy of backing up your data file when that data file is opened with a new program version.  Each program upgrade SHOULD have made a new backup, not overwritten an existing backup.  I see those file versions named as

    To be clear, I am not trying to flame you or criticize your decision.  Everyone needs to find a workable approach for themselves and it is good that you now have a system you are comfortable with.     
  • David Green
    David Green Member ✭✭✭
    Thank you. I am comfortable with my manual backup strategy and I am good at maintaining them, including multiple backups in multiple places and offsite. I don't like computers deciding what to do for me. I fix them for a living and know how frequently they get things wrong. Also the auto backup doesn't really suit my workflow. I tend to leave Quicken up most of the time, so am used to doing regular manual backups anyway. The computer it is running on doesn't get used for much else.
    Quicken for Windows Premiere
    Always the latest version
This discussion has been closed.