Hidden categories being used by default

QuickVictim Member
This drives me nuts. I have a bunch of hidden categories. They aren't in any memorized transactions. They haven't been used in SEVEN YEARS. But Quicken often assumes, when dealing with downloaded transactions, that it should use THESE categories instead of other categories used for the same transactions.

And because Quicken doesn't look at the dollar amounts, I can't just set the category by name - I have sometimes four categories for a payer (Zelle transfer) depending on the amount.

Also annoying, I cannot highlight a bunch of downloaded entries and set the category or accept them.

And it's all insanely slow. On an i7 with 32GB of RAM on an M2 SSD. Which I suspect is partly due to register size, but there doesn't seem to be an easy way to shard it.

Which would matter less if it would get the categories right.

Is there a way to tell it, never use these hidden categories?


  • Mark1104
    Mark1104 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2022
    first step: go to edit>preferences>data entry and quickfill

    suggest setting the "removal" entry that to no more than 13 months - will eliminate a number of payees that you haven't used in a long time - that may be leading to a larger than necessary file size (which slows down the computer) and MAY resolve the category issue.

    be sure to close and re-lauch Q after adjusting the setting

    then do CNTL- T (memorized payee list), sort by category and DELETE any line item (right click) that is attached to a hidden category. 
  • QuickVictim
    Thanks. I already had "removed memorized" to 5 months, and none of the memorized payees have either of those hidden categories in them. So there's something else - perhaps Quicken is doing really bad matches against really old records?
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2022

    It sounds as if you have run afoul of Quicken's automatic categorization, item 3 below. If the Categories you use are different from the ones Quicken automatically assigns, you may want to disable the automatic assignment, or what I ended up doing was:

    -- back up my data in case something goes wrong
    -- recategorize my existing transactions to use Quicken's name
    -- delete my preferred name
    -- edit Quicken's name to be my preferred name

    For example, if I have been using a Category of Food for supermarket purchases and Quicken is auto categorizing supermarket purchases to Groceries, I recategorized the existing Food transactions to Groceries, deleted Food, and renamed Groceries to Food.

    This does not solve your desire for multiple categories for Zelle or my desire for Amazon, but it may help. 


    Here are the factors and settings that control how a downloaded transaction is automatically renamed,  categorized, and tagged:

    The first step is to standardize the Payee name, so that for example Starbucks is always Starbucks, not STARBUCKS #12345 or whatever. Renaming of Payees is controlled by your Renaming rules and if none applies, automatic renaming as enabled by the settings in Edit > Transactions > Downloaded transactions. The automatic renaming has changed recently, mostly an improvement I think, but it still  sometimes makes mistakes.

    After any renaming, Quicken tries to match the Payee and assign a Category and/or Tag, in this order:

    1. If a matching but uncleared transaction is already in your register, Quicken retains the Category and Tag information. This  could be a manually entered transaction or a Reminder you have accepted. Matching requires identical amounts and close dates.

    2. If the Payee after any renaming is found in your Memorized Payee List, the memorized Category and Tag information is applied.

    3. If “Automatically categorize transactions” is enabled in Edit > Preferences > Downloaded transactions and Quicken recognizes the Payee in its built-in list, it will assign a Category unless you have deleted that built-in Category. If you have renamed the built-in Category, it will use the name you have assigned. This does not assign Tags. 

    I review each downloaded transaction and make any needed corrections before accepting it. Thus the only transactions that appear in the register are ones I have already reviewed and thus there is no need to tag the ones that have been reviewed.

    If you auto-accept transactions, it puts a blue dot next to the ones you have not reviewed. I do not use this.

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