Cleaning up my old and ragged quicken data file

Bostrav59 Member ✭✭
New Years Resolution clean up data file more than archive

I am reposting this thread which was closed before because it captures my desire as well. I also made a new years resolution to address my old quicken data file.

Basically what I'd like to do at this point is start fresh - get rid of all my transactions in the past - hold them in my old file - and create a new clean file that I can use going forward. How best to do that???? It is not clear to me, but if someone could either point me to a place where I can find the answer or respond here, that would be most appreciated!

I have been using Quicken for decades, so I understand the archive, etc. that can be done. My question is broader. I would like to use 80% of what I have, but I have things to clean up. For instance, I'd like to review and maybe revise categories. Also, I have some transactions that this past year got messed up when the program was updated. So all my splits on those transactions [which are memorized] are "double double entry". I.E. income twice, fed income tax twice, social security twice, etc. I've been going in each time a cleaning up.

You get the picture. A good discussion of this would be super helpful to me, and maybe others out there.

We need a coffee shop as well as the water cooler. Hope this forum works.


  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    It appears you have two tasks in mind. 
    Messed up transactions -- I suggest you tackle those one transaction at a time.  You may be able to use Memorized Transactions as you do so.  You don't give any feel for how far back they got messed up which may be a logistics consideration on your repairs.
    Revised Categories -- What sort of revisions do you have in mind?  There are some pretty good tools available for filtering to or reporting on selected transactions and then recategorizing.  Perhaps you want to leave old transactions as is and use new categories going forward. 

    A couple of my 'policies' -- 
    • I use tags where possible.  Example: rather than have Categories:Subcategories of Clothing:His, Clothing:Hers, and Clothing:Kids and also Recreation:His, Recreation :Hers, Recreation:Kids, I prefer the two Categories Clothing and Recreation, and use the Tags His, Hers, and Kids to differentiate individual expenses.  That is two categories rather than six.  Prescriptions and Medical are another area where tags can be better than subcategories.
    • When subcategories do apply, I try to put all expenses in the subcategory rather than the parent category.  Example: Insurance:Home, Insurance:Car, Insurance:Boat, Insurance:Health.  Nothing goes to the parent Insurance Category.  That may occasionally require a Misc subcategory, but that has been rare.
    • Don't be too granular.  Don't need Meat, Vegetable, Snacks, Dairy under the Groceries category.
  • Bostrav59
    Bostrav59 Member ✭✭
    thanks q_lurker. My problems are more fundamental - Fidelity is not sending me data for a reason that no one knows, but that appears to be solved with a new file. I have 30+ years of investment data, and there are lots of old ticker symbols which I'd like to get rid of so I don't have to scroll through all sorts of obsolete ticker symbols. I think I should start again - and do it before 1 Jan. But should I copy a file and then just delete my accounts and download them again? Or will this just perpetuate my issues?

    For me this is a "measure twice, cut once" kind of thing. I have a quicken file that is unreliable but also has a lot of good info, and I'm trying to find out how best to get a fresh start in 2023 - before I do it.

    Any additional help would be appreciated!
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is difficult. The good news is that you can try various approaches in copies of your data file and discard those that don't work for you.
    The only way to delete securities is to delete all transactions in which they occur. This is a multi-step process which takes some time. You can decide whether it's worth the experiment.
    1. Archive your investment accounts.
    2. Delete the newly-created -archive accounts.
    3. Delete the now unused securities, one by one.
    4. Perform a File Copy to delete items marked deleted in previous steps.
    I have done this to reduce the number of securities in my file in preparation for exporting the file elsewhere. The first time I exported, I had hundreds of old securities (and their price histories) I no longer cared about which completely bloated the QIF export file.
    This process will obviously lose a lot of historical data. If you care about your past net worth or account balances, don't do this. I personally don't need to see my past wealth (sob).

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have 30+ years of investment data, and there are lots of old ticker symbols which I'd like to get rid of so I don't have to scroll through all sorts of obsolete ticker symbols. I think I should start again - and do it before 1 Jan. 
    I have 30+ years and over 1000 securities in my file, but I never find myself “scrolling through” the obsolete ones. We must have different work patterns. But I can still understand your interest in starting fresh. 

    Beyond that, you seem interested in restructuring categories. That would have me thinking two directions - 1) 100% new file and fresh account setups. You’d likely want to fill in proper cost basis info for investments since that never seems to get downloaded. 2)  QIF export of investment accounts as @Rocket J Squirrel suggested that get imported into a new file. Other accounts start fresh. 

    A copy of your current file with your current categories, payees, etc. may or may not “perpetuate your issues”.  Not for me to say. 

This discussion has been closed.