It appears CREATE A YEAR-END ARCHIVE does not work. is there a fix?

K. Suwal
K. Suwal Member
I wanted to create a year-end archive and also remove old transactions from the data file. While it successfully creates an archive file, it doesn't remove old transactions. Please help!


  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The year end archive only removes reconciled transactions prior to the selected date from banking accounts and does not affect investing accounts. Does that help explain what you are seeing?

    For more information, search Quicken Help for Year end archive
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  • bobsroka
    bobsroka Member ✭✭
    I'm having the same experience. I just tried to make a YEC with the last transaction in the archive dated 12-31-21. The Archive file worked like a charm. The current file, though, retained ALL transactions from prior years, which are definitely reconciled.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This doesn't answer your question, but can you explain why you feel the need to eliminate the old transactions? My Quicken file has over 20 years of data and I often refer to data from previous years, or use it for comparison to the current data.
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  • bobsroka
    bobsroka Member ✭✭
    To answer your question, Jim, my file has gotten rather large (~200mB) and slows down the performance of Quicken. I've found it really easy to refer back to older versions of the data file if I need information. Admittedly, I don't use Q for comparison purposes, so that won't present an obstacle.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2022
    OK, I tried this and I am also confused. I am running QWin R45.21. The file I started with was a test file that was last reconciled on 8/18/21. All the transactions in that account prior to that date are reconciled and marked R.

    I selected File > Copy or Backup file then chose the 3rd option - Create a year-end archive.

    This displays the Year end copy dialog and I chose the 2nd option - I only want transactions in my current data file starting with 1/1/2022.

    This churned for quite a while and produced two files. One appends BKP to the original file name and is the same size as the original file.  It appears to have all the transactions that are in my original file, including 8,564 transactions in my primary checking account. I would have expected this file to contain only the reconciled transactions from my original file prior to 1/1/22.

    The second file is significantly smaller than the original and in the primary checking account it says at the bottom of the register that it has 978 transactions.

    I would have expected this account to have all the transactions since 1/1/22 plus unreconciled transactions from before that date, but when I examine the register it appears to have all the transactions from the original, going back to 1999.


    I looked more carefully at the register and it appears to have reconciled Paycheck transactions and transfers to and from investing accounts, but no other reconciled transactions. The paycheck transactions include splits going to investing accounts. When I validate the trimmed file, it reports "Removed 2046 QEL records for payments not in register." Perhaps the transfers make sense, because investment account transactions are not supposed to be affected by the archive. But the QEL records reference is scary.

    What is going on here?

    BTW you may want to also refer to this FAQ
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  • K. Suwal
    K. Suwal Member
    Thank you everyone for help; I have concluded that the archiving and removing of old transactions feature does not work. Quicken seems to be buggy lately. If they don't fix this feature, I will consider looking for a different tool to manage my finances.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think at least part of the problem/difficulty/confusion with the archiving process for spending accounts is that Quicken can't simply eliminate the old transactions without creating huge imbalances in the accounts. Another thing I noticed in the trimmed file was that the opening balance of the main checking account is now $-2,627,477.58! 

    Quicken had to create this fake opening balance to compensate for all the transactions it removed.

    That is all the more reason to not use this feature.
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  • Bostrav59
    Bostrav59 Member ✭✭
    @K.Suwal, please let us know what you end up doing. I haven't found any good substitutes for Quicken but there are many issues with it lately. I'm trying to do the same thing you are, and am asking around for advice on what to do. My current thinking is to build a new file from scratch and use my old file for when I need historical information. Of course I have to figure this out by end of year so I'm hoping for some tips and tricks from people who have done the same thing.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I personally never use year end copy, but I do test it from time to time because people always come in and complain about it not working.  In general, that usually breaks down into two different groups, one where it fails and it says so, or when it actually works, but people don't understand its restrictions (or maybe even don't select the correct options on the dialog).  Note the default options are not change the current data file and only remove the transactions past the given date in the archive file.

    And I will point out that year end copy will not improve performance to any degree,
    The number of transactions in a given non-investment account doesn't affect the performance, and investment transactions are never removed.  And that basically goes for all the other information in your data file, it isn't touched.

    After year end copy.  Credit card account:

    Checking account:

    This is the exact behavior I would expect.  My wife's 401K is managed by Merril Lynch (QFX file download only) and is a pain because the "round things" and don't buy exactly in lock step with the contributions, not to mention sending down reinvest dividends as "buys".  So, I haven't reconciled the transactions in the 401K for a bit now and that is why these transactions weren't removed in the year end copy.
    This is my website:
  • jimburns
    jimburns Member ✭✭
    There is no excuse for this! The restriction that transfer transactions are not handled simply makes this process unhelpful and asinine! It's a trivial software problem that seems to be way above the heads of the dev team, maybe a remedial class in simple data structures is appropriate! I need this too. Yes, NEED, whether you can comprehend this or not isn't the issue. Quicken is just sad! Mostly because this stuff just shouldn't be happening! There is just no excuse!
  • ditto Jimburns as a users since the 1990s it worked properly initially but now i think i will go back to using a spreadsheet it is just a useful as quicken has become. i don't want quicken to tell me how to manage my data i want them to provide me a platform to manage my data as i feel appropriate. It used to put in a value at the start of the register called opening balance then recalculated from there not sure why they cannot do that as least for cash accounts keeping track of stock purchase prices do represent a different issue so for those investment accounts there may have to be a different process none the less tell me why it does not work please
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