Data file grows by about 100k everytime It's used (Q Mac)

magoodm
magoodm Member ✭✭
For the last six months or so I've been watching my data file grow by an unreasonable amount every time I close it. This happens even if I only enter a single transaction in a checking account and nothing is downloaded to any other account. Pretty quickly the file grows by a megabyte. My data file is not on the cloud and mobile sync is off. Does anyone else watch their file size and notice this?
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  • Quicken Jared
    Quicken Jared Moderator mod
    magoodm said:
    For the last six months or so I've been watching my data file grow by an unreasonable amount every time I close it. This happens even if I only enter a single transaction in a checking account and nothing is downloaded to any other account. Pretty quickly the file grows by a megabyte. My data file is not on the cloud and mobile sync is off. Does anyone else watch their file size and notice this?
    Hello @magoodm

    I am sorry to hear about this problem with increasing data file sizes. Thank you for inquiring about this here on the Quicken Community.

    First, control+click on the Quicken Data File and select Show Package Contents. Look to the file named 'data' near what should be 10 or so other folders. Does the plain 'data' file appear to be well above 70 MB? How long have you been making use of this data file? 

    I look forward to hearing your answers, and hope to work with you further on this issue, if necessary. 

    Thank you,

    Quicken Jared 
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    Jared, my data file is 254.1mb. The file goes back to 1989 when I started using the DOS version of Quicken. I then ran it in Windows until 2015 when I switched to the Mac version. the file has nearly 70,000 transactions.
  • Quicken Jared
    Quicken Jared Moderator mod
    magoodm said:
    Jared, my data file is 254.1mb. The file goes back to 1989 when I started using the DOS version of Quicken. I then ran it in Windows until 2015 when I switched to the Mac version. the file has nearly 70,000 transactions.
    Hello @magoodm,  

    Thanks for getting back to me with more information, and the answers to my earlier questions. That does sound rather large, given the age of the data file.

    Where is your current active data file located? You can check this by navigating to File > Show "(Data File name will be displayed here)" in Finder... in the upper menu at the top of the screen. Make sure that the data file is being stored locally, on your computer, and not on an external drive or cloud-based storage service, as these locations can cause strange behavior, including - occasionally - the symptoms you are now describing.

    I look forward to your response. 

    Thank you,

    Quicken Jared 
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    edited August 29
    Jared, Data file path: Macintosh HD/Users/My Name/Quicken Data (folder)/Quicken Data.quicken. Data file is never put on the cloud - only backups.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @magoodm Just to give you another data point for comparison, my Quicken data file dates back to the early 1990s and has about 67,000 transactions — and the Quicken data file is 78 MB in size. (My backups are about 29 MB in size, and looking at my last 50 backups going back to April, they vary in size by only about 1 MB.)

    I have no explanation to suggest why your data file grows by 100k every time you enter a single transaction.

    As Jared asked, could you take a look inside your Quicken data file? The Quicken data file is actually not a single file; it's a Mac "package" file, which is like a wrapper to make it look like a single file although it's actually a folder of sub-folders and files. Control-clicking on the data file and selecting Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu should reveal a folder with a file called "data" (the actual database) and 10-12 folders. Unless you keep attachments in your data file, the other folders should total very little space; most of the space should be the file called "data". Is that the case with your data file?
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    If your Quicken file is password protected, when Quicken is closed the package will only have a couple files in it (and one folder) and the largest file will be "catalog", not "data". When Quicken is open, the package contents will be as @jacobs described.
    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    @jacobs. The file size of 254.1 mb that I told Jared is for the "data" file only within package contents. I have never used attachments. My backups are now at 88.2 mb. At the end of April they were at 82.4 mb.
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    @jon. I think you meant encrypted because my file is password protected and the package contents have a bunch of files in it. When encrypted there are only three files and catalog is 87.6 mb.
  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    You're right - password protected files aren't necessarily encrypted.
    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @magoodm I'm still at a loss to explain the file sizes you're describing. One thing you could try as an experiment is exporting your Quicken data and using it to create a new (test) data file.

    File > Export > Quicken Transfer File (QXF). 
    File > New > Start from scratch
    Don't create any accounts in the new file.
    File > Import > Quicken Windows File (QDF, QXF)

    You should now have a new Quicken Mac data file with all your transactions. How does the size compare to your real data file? If you quit, relaunch, add a few dummy transactions to this file, and quit again, does the file size increase?

    If this technique results in a much smaller data file, then you'll have to decide if it's worth the (possibly considerable) effort to rebuild everything else to make it into your new live data file. You'll have to re-connect all your online accounts, re-create any custom reports, recreate a budget if you use one, re-configure the columns and columns widths in your registers, and tweak your Preference settings. Perhaps that's not an onerous amount of work if it results in a much smaller data file, or perhaps you're thinking "there's no way I want to do all that!" But at least it would help confirm that your data file occupies more like an expected 60-90 MB rather than your current 250 MB.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    @jacob. Well I exported my data file as a QXF per your suggestion and created a new file and the new file is 310.9 mb and a backup is 132.8 mb. It was worth trying though and now I don't have to do all the work to recreate all of my reports, download links and preferences. I don't think it's possible, but it would be really useful to find out the file size for each account in my file. I'm thinking that maybe one is the bloat culprit.
  • lhossus
    lhossus SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    magoodm said:
    ,,,. I don't think it's possible, but it would be really useful to find out the file size for each account in my file. I'm thinking that maybe one is the bloat culprit.
    Two ideas come to mind:

    1) Export individual account registers to CSV. Then examine the ratio of the size of the export file versus number of records (i. e. average size per record). Look for the biggies as the bloat culprit.

    Also, you could just examine the exported records in a spreadsheet - you might see something that offers a clue. Like perhaps an excess of transaction split entries, or long memo field entries, or ...

    Hmm... I think I might start by trying to export All Transactions, sorted by Account name, and then reviewing this result in a spreadsheet. Just for a quick look at what is there. Then break it up into accounts. Or something. ... This is going to be an iterative process, just trying things to see what happens.

    Oh, and you are going to have to turn on All columns in whatever register you are exporting. Else, not everything will export.

    Disclaimer: it may be that whatever is causing the bloat will not be exported to CSV. I've already noticed that the Attachment column is not present in the export. And hidden "garbage" might get discarded during the export process.

    2) Consider wiping out your QuickFill Rules (and perhaps Renaming Rules). They could cause the addition of extra "invisible" characters. Unlikely, but grasping at straws here.

    Probably goes without saying: Make a Backup(s) before Proceeding.
    Quicken Mac Subscription
    macOS Monterey 12.4 on MacBook Pro 13" M1
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    @lhossus Thanks for the suggestions. The export of all transactions results in a CSV file of only 8mb. So I don't think the bloat is in the transaction data. There is something else going on and I plan to ask Quicken support to see if if they are willing to look at my log file or even my data file to try to figure it out.
  • lhossus
    lhossus SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @magoodm I would be curious to know:
    - What kind of storage device your Quicken data file is stored on: is it SSD drive, rotating hard drive, server?
    - What is the storage capacity of the volume the data file is stored on: Is it 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB, 8 TB, ...?
    - What version of macOS are you running?

    These MAY have a bearing on the issue at hand.
    Quicken Mac Subscription
    macOS Monterey 12.4 on MacBook Pro 13" M1
  • magoodm
    magoodm Member ✭✭
    @lhossus I'm actually on hold now for Quicken support to see if they can help. My data file grew 400k over the weekend with maybe a dozen transactions. Data file is on an SSD of 512gb with 200gb available. Running Monterey 12.4 on an iMac with an M1 processor.