For the 2nd time, data file needs password that I did not put in, reset does not work

I know that has been an issue for others, I was locked up again and tech support can not do anything about it, yet they did a few months ago when it happened. Has anyone had luck with this short of using an old backup? I made a lot of advance in this new data file that locked up, don't want to have to start all over.


  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    How frequently do you back up your Quicken data file?
    If you do it every day, after you're done working with Quicken, as you close Quicken, the maximum "loss" you should experience is today's data entry.
    If you're doing major data entry work and making changes to many transactions, you should backup your data file several times as you keep working: Press CTRL-B to start a backup process.

    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 to prove it!

  • BWC57
    BWC57 Member
    its not a matter of backing up, i backed up after I downloaded a year of accounting and it got locked up with a password that I did not put in. It's an ongoing issue with quicken, im changing programs.
  • Quicken Alyssa

    Thank you for coming to the Community with your questions and concerns, though I apologize that this issue has resurfaced for you. 

    Quicken asking for a data file password that you did not assign to the file is usually a sign that the file is experiencing damage or corruption in some way. 

    The first thing I would have you do is restore the most recent backup that will open without asking for a data file password. Then check to see where your data file is located by going to File>Show this file on my computer

    Also, check to make sure that there are no cloud services or third-party apps accessing or backing up this main file that you are actively using. This is only a concern for the active data file, not the backup files. 

    Thank you.

    Quicken Alyssa

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