how to clean up categories & only include current accts [Edited]

sam28
sam28 Member ✭✭
Been using quicken for long time, I would like to revamp my catagories to current needs. Also only keep certain active accounts with balances to roll fwd from 5 years back, so that the current 2021 ending balance do not get messed up by only including 5yr back activity on accounts that would be in the NEW data file.
Basically i would like to update my Quicken data file with a clean slate of everything, except keep the current active Accounts balances to roll forward to the new data file.

Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Can you explain why you want to toss out the old data? Are you seeing slow performance or something? Tossing old data will not solve problems like incorrect account balances, incorrect cost basis in investing accounts, etc.

    That said, you can easily hide Categories and accounts you are no longer using. You can also archive data in investing accounts that are running slowly due to thousands of transactions. If you provide more details on what your problems and goals are, we can provide more info.
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  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    You can also delete most Categories that you have never used nor plan on using.
    I also agree that hiding Categories and Accounts that are no longer used (and perhaps closing accounts that you no longer hold) is usually a better idea than deleting old accounts data.  It's been my experience that deleting old data/accounts can end up having some undesirable results.
    (QW Premier Subscription: R37.66 on Windows 10)
  • Doug Henning
    Doug Henning Member ✭✭
    I have over 20 years of activity going back into the 1990's... I also would like to Archive and Remove some of the old data from .. This includes all those years of downloaded stock and fund prices....
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Again, why do you feel this is necessary?

    I am reluctant to advise you how to do something that may be irreversible and might cause harm.
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  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Well whatever you do be sure to make a backup before so you can go back if you don't line the results.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    To clean up your Categories, go to Tools > Category List. You can check the Hide box for any Categories you are not currently using.

    If you want, you can safely delete any Categories that you don't plan to use and have a 0 in the Usage column, but for me hiding them is just as effective.

    There is also a way to combine categories if you have used them inconsistently over the years.
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  • sam28
    sam28 Member ✭✭
    Thank you everyone for your comments, everything is working fine. The reason i like to reset....back when i set up catogories and related settings was based on what worked then and i made it complex and changed the standard quicken chart of accounts (catagories).
    I don't next complex any longer would like to follow more of the quicken simple catagory format.
    That is why, no problems using quicken, just like to reset my complex catagories with simple Quicken provided catagories.
    As mentioned, the issue with account balances not carrying fwd if i chop then off at 5 yrs prior means i just need to spend hrs redoing all my catagories to set up what i want to keep going forward.
    Thank you
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ok, that is not difficult. It is a good idea to plan this out first, with the final list you want written down. Make a backup first just in case.

    Then go to Tools > Category List.

    There you can select categories one at a time or select multiple ones by Shift- or Ctrl- clicking them. Then you can right-click on one and:

    -- If there are categories that you want to keep but you don't use anymore, you can Hide them and they will no longer appear in selection lists unless you check the Show Hidden box. 

    -- If there are one or more you want to merge into another category, you can select Merge then pick the destination category.  After this, the original categories will still be there but they will not have any transactions. This cannot be undone unless you restore the backup.

    -- If there are one or more that you have never used and don't plan to use, you can delete them. This can not be undone unless you restore the backup.

    Also you can re-name individual categories by picking Edit and giving it a new name

    Are there other changes you would like to make? Post back and we may have ideas...
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    sam28 said:
     just like to reset my complex catagories with simple Quicken provided catagories.
    I wouldn't recommend this. Quicken's default categories are not well thought out.
    Example: "Bills & Utilities" is a top-level category with "Utilities" as a subcategory. Pretty dumb because (a) most everything is a "bill" and (b) "utilities" is better at top level and broken into electricity, gas, water, etc. if you care about that detail, which I do.
    You can certainly simplify by rolling subcats up into cats if it makes things easier on your eyes, but Quicken's defaults aren't great.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree with @Rocket J Squirrel on Quicken's default categories, and I think it is best to come up with a list that makes sense for you. 

    One potential side effect of scrapping the built in categories, however, is that it breaks Quicken's somewhat limited ability to automatically assign categories based on the Payee name if it sees a Payee that is not covered by a Memorized Payee or Renaming Rule. For example if you want to use "Gas" as a category instead of "Auto and Transport:Gas and Fuel", it is better to rename the built in categories and reorganize them if you want than to replace them.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    sam28 said:
     just like to reset my complex catagories with simple Quicken provided catagories.
    I wouldn't recommend this. Quicken's default categories are not well thought out.
    Example: "Bills & Utilities" is a top-level category with "Utilities" as a subcategory. Pretty dumb because (a) most everything is a "bill" and (b) "utilities" is better at top level and broken into electricity, gas, water, etc. if you care about that detail, which I do.
    You can certainly simplify by rolling subcats up into cats if it makes things easier on your eyes, but Quicken's defaults aren't great.
    It is ironic that the old default categories were quite well thought out.  For instance, like you mention Utilities was the parent category.  It was when Intuit bought Mint that they decided that they would push its default categories to Quicken, with their "very long" names.

    Given that my categories are from the old defaults, they are much better organized then the "new defaults".

    One potential side effect of scrapping the built in categories, however, is that it breaks Quicken's somewhat limited ability to automatically assign categories based on the Payee name if it sees a Payee that is not covered by a Memorized Payee or Renaming Rule. For example if you want to use "Gas" as a category instead of "Auto and Transport:Gas and Fuel", it is better to rename the built in categories and reorganize them if you want than to replace them.
    Personally, I feel that automatic assigning of categories is only good for someone starting out.  After a short period of time, they should have built up memorized payees almost every payee they have.  And then turn that option off and when a new payee comes in, put in the category and do Ctrl+M to memorize it.

    And note that memorized payee categories are "links" just like they are in the register.  So, if I rename/move a category around the memorized payee will still work for that payee.
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  • sam28
    sam28 Member ✭✭
    Everyone... It seems just reworking catogories is best way to go. Really no good way to do a fresh restart after using quicken for many years.
    Thank you all for your comments.
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