Unable to restore backup on iMac

beckysmith
beckysmith Member
My old iMac died and is replaced by new. Q file was backed up to hard drive and external drive. All of mac data was backed up to cloud and new mac restored just like the old--except Q file. When I try to open the file there's nothing. When I try to restore from the backup there's nothing. Q opens as if brand new, no data. How do I restore the backup? I did not backup to the cloud because I was using it on a PC previously, so this one was backup up to mac hard drive.

Answers

  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    By default Quicken stores its file in the Library folder which I don't think gets backed up to iCloud. But you should be able to restore from your backup on the external drive.

    How did you back up to the external hard drive. Did you tell Quicken to save a backup? Or did you copy your Quicken file to the external hard drive? Or did you just back up your entire Mac hard disk?
    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    Time Machine is my backup method to an external hard drive. When I close out Quicken it automatically saves a backup file too. The data file I used for Quicken was on my desktop (old mac) and password protected. In setting up the new mac the file appears to be there and it's 24mg but when I open it it's empty (and does not ask for password). I've tried to restore a backup from within Quicken, not opening the old data file. It's also empty. I KNOW it's there, but how to make it open or restore it is the issue.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    24MB seems a bit small for a Q data file. But if you haven't been using it very long, that's possible. What is the file extension on the 24MB file? It should be ".quicken". When you say you open it and it's empty, how are you going about opening it? What exactly happens in Quicken after you open it? Is it actually opening a file but there are just no accounts present?

    By default, your Quicken data files and backups are stored at Hard Drive > Users > (your username) > Library > Application Support > Quicken. To access your user Library folder, hold down the option key and click the Go menu in the Finder. Take a look there for the file or backup.

    That said, accessing a Time Machine backup from a machine on which it was not created can be tricky. Hopefully macOS asked you if you want the new machine to assume the TM backup and you said yes. Time Machine does back up the user Library folder. If you have trouble accessing this on the Time Machine backup, that's something you may want to work with Apple Support on.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    Thank you so much for trying to help me out on this. I've only used Quicken on iMac for about 6 months so that's why the smaller file. The extension of the file is .QDF.

    When I double click on the data file it does not ask for my password (and did before), then it asks if I want to import Quicken for windows data. I do not, and did not before, because I was using it on a PC prior. Then it opens the file but it's empty of all accounts, transactions or data. I've tried importing the backup file but it does the same.

    TIme Machine has the backups separated by computer and the old backups are there. I can find it within the Library folder but it does the same--opens with no accounts or transactions.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    A .QDF file is in fact a Quicken Windows file format which can be imported to QMac. The .QDF file you are seeing must be either a file transferred from Windows or an export from QMac. It sounds like by rejecting the import of the QDF, you have opened an empty QMac file. What you want to find and open is your earlier file that will have extension .quicken. Or you can find a QMac backup file, which will have extension .quickenbackup:
    1. In the Finder, start a search with Command+F
    2. Click "This Mac" next to Search:
    3. Change Kind is Any to Kind is Other
    4. Enter ".quicken" in the box next to Other
    5. This will reveal all files on your Mac, but will not search the user Library folder.
    6. To search the Library folder, you will need to navigate there and start a new search.
    Let's try this: proceed as you have to get the empty QMac file open. Then while holding down the command (apple) key on the keyboard, click the filename at the top center of the main window. This will reveal the path to the file. Alternatively, click menu File > Show "filename" in Finder. Let's see if there are any other .quicken or .quickenbackup files at that location, or one level up. If so, you may have found your data. You can also try doing a search in the finder for files with extension .quicken or .quickenbackup

    If you can't find a .quicken or .quickenbackup file, all is not lost. You can go ahead and let it import the QDF file. This should restore your data although only back to the point when the QDF file was created. It will not import some things, such as saved reports. You would need to reconnect accounts for download.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    Ok thank you. I found the .quicken file and tried to open, still nothing. Used both the data and .quickenbackup and both open with no accounts/transactions. I decided I didn't have anything to lose and let it import the QDF file. I had installed Quicken for Mac on 5/21/21 (was using on a PC before) and it imported everything up to 5/21/21. Bummer...everything I'm needing is from 5/21 to now.
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    How do I ensure this doesn't happen again? I had Q set to auto backup to my hard drive upon closing file, along with daily Time Machine backups. I have multiple backups and none of it works...recommendations for foolproof way to backup in case of hard drive dying appreciated! Backup to external thumbdrive also?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @beckysmith Something still doesn't add up that you have a data file and multiple backups and none of them contain any data. Even a new data file will have a default checking account.

    And it doesn't make sense that your data file shows 24 MB in size yet has no accounts or transactions. (Or is that the .QDF file from Windows?)  A new, empty Quicken Mac data file is only 3 MB in size. How big are the .quicken and .quickenbackup files? Are all the backup files the same size? 

    You said your old data file was on your desktop. Is it possible that the old Mac was storing its desktop and Documents folders on iCloud? (This is a setting in System Preferences.) This can cause a number of Quicken abnormalities, but it would also mean your data still exists on iCloud.

    When you open one of the backups, how are you doing so? Do you have Quicken running and select File > Restore from Backup, and then select one of the .quickenbackup files? When that file opens, there is no message, but you get a file with no data? Could you post a screenshot of the main Quicken screen immediately after you open the backup file? 

    Sorry for all the questions, but we're just trying to poke at what could be going on. It doesn't;'t make sense that your data is gone. From your description, you had been doing everything right with automatic Quicken backups and Time Machine backups of the Mac. I haven't ever heard of Quicken data files losing all their data, and backups doing the same. 


    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    I concur--it doesn't add up that I can find multiple backup files, including my original data file and none of it will open.

    My original data file was stored on the desktop, so you might be onto something there. (image inserted) Everything backed up to icloud and Time Machine. When I turned on the new iMac for setup absolutely everything was restored...except this file. Even though it shows 24 mg it asks to import windows data, which I finally did but it imports only up to 5/21 when I switched from the PC.

    When I've tried opening a backup I open Quicken, Restore from backup, select the .quickenbackup file. It then asks if I want to import the Quicken for Windows data. If I say no it opens to a 'clean slate' window with no accounts listed. If I say yes it imports the data up to 5/21.

    At this point I've spent so much time trying to get the file opened I might as well rebuild it. I have months worth of business income/expenses I was hoping to recover in time for taxes.

    So if I need to rebuild this, Quicken still thinks the new file I imported is a windows file. Which it was, but now it's on the mac. How do I ensure it knows it's a mac file, keep it safe and backed up. Not trusting backups right now.

    Thanks so much for all your help and ideas on this.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    You're continuing to point to the .QDF file; that's white Windows file, not your recently-used Mac data file. (You can see the modification date on the file is May 2021.) That's what you recently re-imported, but its not what we're looking for to save where your recent Mac data is. Can you show the directory of .quickenbackup files, and a Get Info screen for a recent one?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    Yes, sorry, that was just to show it's location and file size. I know .QDF file is a no go. The May modification date is the date it was created on my old mac. Unfortunately, now when I go into Quicken and "Show Backups in Finder" my original .quickenbackup file that WAS there is gone. I didn't know it would only keep 5 so now all the files I've tried to open (which are not working) are the ones listed as backups.

    I'm digging into the Time Machine backups to see if I can find. I recovered one earlier today but the date is incorrect. (see attached) I need one from 10 days earlier.

    Very much appreciate your help. I will probably have to abandon this project and pull what I can from my previous PC file. I will make sure new data file in not on the desktop and is backed up on hard drive, TMachine, and another external drive.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Time Machine backups generally run hourly; it keeps the last 24 hourly backups, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for times before that. The backup you showed is from 1/24; if you need one two weeks earlier, it should be in Time Machine. 

    As for Quicken maintaining its automatic backups, yes, you've discovered the sad fact that by default it only retains the most recent 5 backups. I wish the developers would set the default value higher. For my Quicken, I have it set to retain the past 50 backups, which ensures I have more than a month of backups. Disk space is plentiful, so why not? If I ever found myself in a situation like you're facing, I'd have lots of backup files to choose from. And then I'd have older weekly versions on my Time Machine backup. (I also use iDrive, a Cloud-based backup service, for an additional layer of security. And every few months, I back up my entire hard drive to an external drive with SuperDuper.) 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    I have now done exactly what you did--set the default to 50 backups. It's such a bummer to lose this data, especially since I thought I had it backed up on a couple layers of backup. Clearly not enough. Thanks for passing along your extra backup practices. Will do the same!
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    It's taken a couple days but I've now rebuilt a new 2022 Quicken file on mac. Given the previous issue and allowing the file to import the previous windows data it imported a lot of random transaction from 2021. I would like this new file to start from Jan 1, 2022 only. How do I do that? In older versions I remember being able to do a save-as and start a new file with the new year start date. Thanks for any help.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @beckysmith Sorry, there is no functionality in modern Quicken Mac to clear out transactions prior to a previous date.

    You can go account by account: set the date range ending 12/31/2021, Select All, and Delete all the highlighted transactions. Then clear the date filter, and you'll be left with just the 2022 transactions. Of course, you'll need to add an adjustment transaction dated 12/31/21 to force the current balance to be accurate. Repeat for each account. If you do with with investment accounts, you'll also have to create the correct number of shares of each security. It's not pretty, but you can get there if you really want to. But if you're starting from 1/1/22, might it be easier to just start from scratch with a blank data file and import or enter your 2022 transactions?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • beckysmith
    beckysmith Member
    Thanks for the tips, will do.
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