How do I clean up autofill information?

A lot of the autofill information that Quicken uses to populate payees or descriptions are either outdated or incorrect. Many times a transaction category I used once is there forever, even when I use a different category for a particular payee just once, but usually assign transactions to a different category. For example, if I go to my grocery store, I usually want to assign "Groceries" as the transaction category. Once or twice I had prescriptions filled at the pharmacy in the grocery store, and used a category for "Prescriptions". Ever since, Quicken assigns "Prescriptions" to ALL purchases made at the grocery store. There are other examples where this happens. Sometimes downloaded information from my bank or credit card company changes both the name of the payee and the transaction category. How do I fix all of this? I've used Quicken for over 20 years, and this is a problem that has gotten worse.


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Check in Tools / Memorized Payee List.
    Delete the Prescriptions entry or change it to use a slightly different Payee Name, e.g., Safeway Prescriptions.
    Edit the Groceries entry and put a checkmark into the "Lock this entry ..." box. This will turn the entry into a Model entry which will be used without ever being changed by new transactions.
    You may want to change this account from "Automatically accept downloaded transactions" to "Manually review and accept", to give you control over new transactions to be added into the register, to make it possible for you to change the payee name, category, memo, etc. before the new transaction is saved in the register. That should help teach Quicken and remember your definitions for next time a transaction for the same payee comes around.
  • PAUL
    PAUL Member ✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Doesn't solve the problem. I don't automatically accept the the transactions and do review. Some routine downloads (like my grocery/pharmacy example) are reflected in the download and would need to be changed anyway. Sometimes Quicken changes the name of the vendor altogether, and I have to change it. For example, downloads of charges from one credit card I have are automatically changed to transfers to another account altogether. This started when Quicken changed me to an online version.
    What I really want to know is whether there is somewhere in Quicken where I can manage the autofills, similar to the automatic payee changes feature. Quicken makes things like this (and solutions in general) exceedingly hard to find. I appreciate that they say they are trying to make it more user friendly but they still have a long way to go.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Transaction download problems with matching and adding new transactions correctly

    First please ensure that all optional settings in Quicken pertaining to recall, memorization, automatic categorization and renaming of payee names are enabled. You find those settings in Edit / Preferences / Data Entry & Quickfill and Downloaded Transactions. Additional settings can be found for the detection and processing of transfer transactions in Edit / Preferences / Transfer detection.

    Are you automatically accepting downloaded transactions into your registers?

    If you are relying on Quicken to "automagically" fill your account registers from downloaded transactions, you may run into problems. Despite all efforts by the Quicken programmers, the "Autopilot" (that's my name for the part of the Quicken program which processes downloaded transactions and converts them into new register transactions) is not infallible. For that process to work 100% of the time one would need a crystal ball because the information downloaded from the banks often is just too terse and cryptic.

    You should, at least for a while, turn off the "automatically accept downloaded transactions into registers" setting to gain better control over what is downloaded and what to do with it. Click on and review each downloaded transaction, make changes if necessary (e.g., to get a payee name = "Starbucks" instead of "POS TRANS 070119 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070219 STARBU", "POS TRANS 070319 STARBU" or to assign a category) before you click to accept each transaction.

    Any changes you make to downloaded Payee Names are remembered in Renaming Rules.

    Any other changes you make (add/change Category or Memo text) are remembered in the Memorized Payee List.

    Next time the same transaction for this Payee comes along, Quicken should remember and give you a better new register transaction.


    In case you have issues with transfer transactions not being generated correctly:

    For best results manually enter transfer transactions into your register BEFORE you download transactions from the bank which contain the transfer confirmations. For recurring transfers use scheduled reminders and enter them a day or two before the due date. Be sure to use distinct Payee Names for each transfer / credit card payment to avoid confusing Quicken - memorized payee entries.
    That takes the guesswork out of the Autopilot's process. Because a correctly entered transfer transaction already exists in your account registers, the Autopilot should just match the downloaded transfer transaction to the existing one in both accounts.


    Where are the "Auto-accept downloaded transaction" settings?

    There are two places where this is controlled in Quicken for Windows:
     - Globally, for all accounts, in Edit / Preferences / Downloaded Transactions
     - For each account individually, the global setting can be overridden from the Edit Account Details screen, Online Services Tab. Look for blue text "Automatic Entry is: ON / OFF". Click the text to change the setting.

  • PAUL
    PAUL Member ✭✭
    Thank you. That's helpful. FWIW, I don't automatically accept downloaded transactions; I always check to make sure it's correct before downloading. Usually the autofill (or whatever it's called) is correct, but a significant portion of the time it isn't. And the incorrect listings sometimes just seem to happen; they aren't in the memorized payee list or elsewhere... just sometimes something got incorrectly changed and continues to be, even though I correct these each time.

    I do manually enter some transactions, but found that my error rate in doing so is pretty high, so I rely on the download. I download every day or two, so it's not a big job.

    Thanks for pointing me to the Data Entry and Quickfill. I haven't been able to find it on my own. (I call the Quickfull an Autofill or autocorrect; hence the difficulty).
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