Q2017->Q2021 subscription: am I screwed after upgrade?

rwr01 Member ✭✭
right now, I run Q2017 with the latest release. I'm annoyed by the dataset expired popup that appears every time I open Q2017, but I don't want to buy a subscription. Called tech support and they offered me a discounted upgrade to Q2021. I smell a hook and sinker somewhere. NOTE: I don't use all the online integrations so don't really want the subscription services, but need the program - obviously. So some questions:

1. if I upgrade my Q2017 datafile to Q2021, can I go back to Q2017 after 1 year if I don't want Q2021? In other words, is there some sort of export datafile to old version feature in Q2021, or some other convertor app?
2. if I buy just one year of Q2021 subscription, run it, and then let it expire, can I continue to fully use Q after the one year (without the subscription-related services like download transactions, etc.)?
3. Will the Q2021 program actually download updates and patch itself if I'm no longer subscribed to the quicken rental model?
3. Is there a place to download the full offline installer files and updates for Q2021, without having to use some sort of installer app, which only downloads for activated users?

many thx in advance!


  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm running QW2017 and don't get any pop up dataset expired reminder. I think having the laptop in airplane mode when I start Quicken prevents the phone home to check for license expiration. 

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Per one of the Quicken community moderators, "Yes, an affected User, even if they are using a non-supported version of Quicken should be able to contact Support for assistance with resolving the dataset exceeded error."
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Let's see if I can cover all the relevant points.

    As @Greg_the_Geek pointed out the message is "exceed the max number of datasets" not "dataset expired".  Datasets don't expire, and Quicken 2017 doesn't have a subscription to expire either.

    First off in my testing if you use @mshiggins' advice and run with the network disabled you shouldn't get this error.  Makes sense, Quicken can't connect to the Quicken server to check/interact with the Quicken cloud dataset.

    Quicken has had a "Cloud dataset" since 2013 if one was using sync to Mobile, since 2014 no matter if you were using sync to Mobile or not.  The Quicken Id and a unique Id in the data file are what connects it to the dataset.

    There are certain operations that can either mess up the connection to the dataset and/or make it create a new dataset.  In the subscription version doing a restore will create a new dataset.  I don't think that is true in Quicken 2017/2016, but can't be 100% sure.  I do know that I never use restore, but I do testing all the time using older versions like Quicken 2017 and do many uninstalls and installs, and I have run into the dataset exceeded error after some of those installs.  Note that you can install Quicken 2017 and install patches the network disabled, but when you run Quicken the first thing it is going to want to do is log in with the Quicken Id, which you do have to be connected to the Internet for.   And once you do that you will be creating a cloud dataset, so in reality you might as well do the install with the network enabled.  Note for an ethernet connection you want to disable it so it fails immediately, not just disconnect the cable which will cause a long timeout before it comes back.

    I just tested with a new installed, new data file, and a Quicken Id that is brand new got this immediately when it logged in.

    So here is my guess at this.  For Quicken Subscription the usual cause of this error is exactly like it sounds, because of operations like restore creating a new dataset each time (most likely because they fear trying to sync old data with a more recent dataset) you can exceed the max number of datasets.  And as such the fix it to call Quicken Support and have them delete a dataset (only they can do that).

    But in the case of Quicken 2017 and below I believe the actual error is some kind of connection problem with the dataset in the first place.  So, Quicken Support can't actually fix this by deleting the dataset.  After all the above example has a brand new Quicken Id, not to mention a brand-new data file, so there isn't any possible way that there is more than one dataset, but it is still failing.

    So, Quicken Inc's promise of you having access to your data is on shaky ground.
    You can punch through these error messages and eventually get to use your data.
    Or you can disable your network.

    One the switching back to Quicken 2017.  Quicken Subscription's data file format is backwards compatible to Quicken 2016 so Quicken 2016/2017 can read a Quicken Subscription data file.

    You can use Quicken Subscription after the license expires, but you would probably just be better of going back to Quicken 2017.  It can be a nightmare/impossible to reinstall a subscription version if you don't save the install of Quicken before the date that you let the subscription lapse.  In other words, Quicken will only provide the latest install for Quicken Subscription and they claim that you can apply an older patch to go back to the older version (it will block you if you try to run a newer version).  But in my testing I have found that "reverse patching" like this is not successful if you have to go back a long way.  Forward patching older version patch to newer with patch install will work.  I worked with a person that needed to reinstall and he didn't have the old install for Quicken and the reverse patching didn't work for him.  He ended up having to renew the license.

    Moral of that, make sure you save the Quicken install that you first used to install Quicken, and be sure to save the patch install for the version before you license expires.  They do provide this for this patch installs:
    Reinstalling and patching your Quicken Subscription version after your membership has expired | Quicken
    You can also get patches from my website, but I don't have them by date.

    This is what it looks like when the license is expired.

    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • rwr01
    rwr01 Member ✭✭
    hi chris, and others, thx for your replies. i have been busy and am picking up this quicken task again this weekend. chris, i really appreciate the effort you went through in your answer! thx again. based on all this, it seems like going backwards is tough once you upgrade. and i think im just going to be locked into a never-ending subscription fee. thats happened with my phone, email, comcast service, my office account, etc. And more im not listing. I know folks need to earn money to keep on patching software, but im going to stay old-school for a while and ride out with Q2017. the concern i have is that once you get hooked, the fees go up pretty drastically after the first year or so; and then decoupling is difficult. i even pay for some services such as wikipedia through a donation ever year, but i can decide what amount to give. Comcast jumped from like $30 to $65/month or some crazy amount - just for internet. anyway, life goes on with Q2017 - hopefully for a few years.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    One thing that I don't think was ever stated is that there most of all the improvements in Quicken Subscription are in the online services, and as such if one isn't interested in them, there really isn't much reason to update to it.
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • garysmith87
    garysmith87 Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:
    One thing that I don't think was ever stated is that there most of all the improvements in Quicken Subscription are in the online services, and as such if one isn't interested in them, there really isn't much reason to update to it.
    Online services plus the annually changing Tax Planner...which I use quite a bit to estimate my quarterly estimated taxes.  

    May I just add one thing...while it's true that Quicken as a subscription can increase pricing from year to year (which they already have done every single year Quicken has moved to the subscription model), I've found that there are specific times of the year where you can still find outside retailers with Quicken on sale.  For example, I saw staples.com with Quicken Deluxe (not the new user version) for $31.99 for a one year subscription around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Currently its $41.99.  

    Other times of the year to watch for special pricing from outside vendors is after Jan 1 and nearing April 15.  You can purchase a subscription and extend it by adding it to your existing subscription any time within six months of the subscription expiration date.  

    And I really find that spending less than $3 a month for software that I use every single day is a very small price to pay.  

    And finally, if you compare Quicken's price to every other personal finance software subscription pricing, you'll find that Quicken's is less or equivalent to the others. 
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

     plus the annually changing Tax Planner...which I use quite a bit to estimate my quarterly estimated taxes.  
    I use my tax program for such purposes.  After being burnt by the Tax Planner years ago, I will never use it for anything other than a "ballpark figure".

    If you use the Tax Planner you have to be very aware of its limitations.
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
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