I've deleted 30+ attachments. Why hasn't the file size shrunk even a little?

Due to hundreds of attachments in my Quicken file, my file size is nearly 300k. Bi-weekly backups just kills my hard drive space in a matter of a few months.

I've been deleting the attachments one-by-one. Even after deleting 30+ (which I saved in a separate folder and are approximately 1400kb each), my Quicken file is still the same size. I had hoped it would be down close to 250k by now.

I have another Quicken file with a few attachments, which is only 80k+ I'm hoping to get this file down to that range.

Currently running Quicken Premier R42.21 on Win10

Any advice? Why is my file size not slowly shrinking?

Answers

  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You would have to do a File menu File copy to reduce the size of your data file and then that would cause you to need to re-establish your accounts for online banking if need be since the copy process undoes it on purpose.
    As is, deleting things in Quicken does not reduce file size, it just makes space available for Quicken to use in the future without needing to make the file larger at that time.  The File Copy process recreates the file and collapses the structure eliminating all of the "dead" space.
    -splasher  using Q continuously since 1996 -  Subscription Quicken  -  Win11
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  • LeaningTower
    LeaningTower Member ✭✭
    Correction: My file size is 300,000kb or 300Mb or 0.3GB. but I'm sure everyone knew what I meant.

    thanks for the info Splasher. Do you know if backing up and restoring the backup will accomplish my goal? That way I don't think I'll need to re-establish on-line links
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Correction: My file size is 300,000kb or 300Mb or 0.3GB. but I'm sure everyone knew what I meant.

    thanks for the info Splasher. Do you know if backing up and restoring the backup will accomplish my goal? That way I don't think I'll need to re-establish on-line links
    Yes, using backup and restore will do what you want.

    This is actually sort of interesting of what is going on.

    The QDF is actually a compressed file that has a file for the database (the internal QDF file) some other files like the QPH which store the security prices, and then an Attach folder with the attachments in it.

    I checked and when the attachments are deleted they are removed from the Attach folder in the compressed QDF file, but that file isn't "recompressed" and as such stays the same.

    Doing a backup and restore does force it to recompress the compressed QDF file.

    Note there is another aspect to the space consumed in Quicken, the internal QDF file which is a database.  It contains most of the other information in Quicken including transactions, reports, preferences, ...

    If you remove things that it contains like transactions, they are just marked deleted in the database/internal QDF file, no space is actually freed.  It does this because allocating new space is a time-consuming process whereas reusing and record that is marked deleted is much faster.

    The only way to force the database to be compressed would be to use the copy function, which unfortunately currently also deactivates all online services.
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  • LeaningTower
    LeaningTower Member ✭✭
    Thanks to Splasher and Chris. For the benefit of anyone who may have the same problem and search this in the future, let me add that it isn't necessary for me to either copy or back up and restore the file to achieve my goal.

    Some people whose Quicken file grow to excessive sizes, find it slows down the application on their computer and therefore, find it necessary to reduce the file size to make Quicken run smoothly again. That was not my issue. My problem was simply that every backup was 0.3GB in size and every few months I had to delete old backups. Not a major problem, but one I wanted to eliminate.

    My original file is still 0.3GB, but Quicken recompresses the file during each backup. Accordingly, the backup file is now only half that size and still shrinking as I delete more attachments. If I can get the backups down below 100MB, the 1-2x/per week backups will be limited to a manageable size, and a single (unreasonably and unnecessarily) large file is not a problem.

    I'll also add that I find it necessary to keep months worth of backups after a Quicken bug in a release several months ago corrupted all my historical salary data. If I had only retained recent backups, that historical data would have been lost for good. With several months of backups, I was able to restore an uncorrupted file, prior to the problematic release, and re-download 3-4 months of transactions subsequent to the problematic release.
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