Two homes, two computers and I would like to use Quicken at both homes

I've read a lot of threads and listened best I could. I still am not sure the best way to move forward. Issue is I have two homes I go between REGULARILY and I use Quicken (Mac) daily. I would like to be able to use Quicken at both homes on DIFFERENT computers. (Not at the same time). I hear Quicken tell me to use the 'Online App' while at the second home but that has many limitations on the power of the desktop software at home #1.

I would love to store the data in the cloud and access it from either computer that way but I read all kinds of problems with that.

I think I am hearing the community and Quicken say I could use a thumb-drive to save data on and move thumb-drive between computers?

What does Quicken recommend, this is a mobile world and I would really like to be able to move Quicken with me as I move.



  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    Hello @jwb330,

    Thank you for reaching out to the Community with your question.

    While it is possible to share a data file on 2 Macs by storing the data file in a location that is synced to a cloud-based drive, please be aware that we do strongly advise against doing so and advise restoring backups to move data between the two Macs instead.

    The reason is that when data files are stored on external drives such as cloud-based drives, it puts your file at risk of data damage and/or data file corruption. If/when this happens, you will no longer be able to access your data or it can cause you to lose data over time.

    Please, refer to this support article for more information. Although the article does reference DropBox specifically, the content of the article does apply to all cloud-based services. 

    I hope this helps!

    -Quicken Anja
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @jwb330  It's definitely possible, but it requires a little work on your part. Quicken is built to have your data file on your local computer; while it can sync some information for use with the mobile app or web interface, it was not designed to fully sync your entire data file between multiple computers. To do that, you need to move your Quicken data file back and forth the between the two computers. You can use a cloud storage service or a thumb drive to make this pretty easy -- as long as you do it correctly.

    Some basic do's and don'ts about moving a Quicken Mac data file around...

    Do not store your Quicken data file on any cloud service, such as Dropbox or iCloud. It will likely lead to problems. Storing backup files on cloud storage is fine, but your live data file needs to be resident on your local computer. 

    Do move only a compressed copy of a data file. A compressed file is either (a) one you create by selecting the file in the Finder and doing File > Compress, creating a .zip file, or (b) a backup file created by Quicken, which ends in .quickenbackup. Why? A Quicken data file is actually not a single file; it's a Mac "package" file, which is a wrapper around a collection of files and folders to make it appear to users like a single file. (Control-click on your data file and select "Show Package Contents" if you want to peek inside the wrapper.) Every Mac user account has a unique User ID number, and when you move files and folders around, permissions can be changed -- the result of which can be getting locked out of your data. Moving a compressed file and opening it on a different Mac won't result in permission problems. (Moving a compressed file can be either via a cloud service, a local network, Airdrop, or a flash drive.) 

    This may sound like a pain, but it needn't be. After each time you use Quicken, move your backup or compressed file to a location -- on cloud storage or a physical flash drive --  you'll start from the next time you use Quicken on either computer. Use the data file, quit Quicken, and again save the compressed file back to the same location. As long as you always start from the same location and replace a file to the same location -- which takes just a few extra seconds -- you will always be assured of working on the most current file and not having permission problems. 

    If you use Dropbox, one relatively easy workflow is to set your Quicken backup location to Dropbox. So every time you quit Quicken, it creates a backup in a location both computers can access on Dropbox. The only manual step is that to start your next Quicken session, from either computer, you need to drag the backup file from Dropbox to your Mac desktop and double-click it to launch it. When you quit Quicken, a new backup is created in the same place. (You also have to delete the working copy from your desktop, and make sure you always grab the most recent backup file on Dropbox.)

    If you don't use Dropbox, you could use a thumb drive as your storage medium — as long as you always carry it with you between your tow homes! Or you could simply email the .zip or .quickenbackup file to yourself, and then you're assured of having it wherever you are. It sounds like a lot of things to do, but once you see the flow back and forth, you'll hopefully find it pretty easy to keep track of. Compressing a copy and copying it after using will take only a few seconds, as will copying the compressed file to the Desktop to use it the next time. 

    That's a long-winded answer to a simple question, and the need to move your data file back and forth may seem a bit daunting. Once you set-up a system that works for you, and get the workflow worked out, I think you'll find you can make this work spending only a few extra seconds each time you use Quicken.

    There's one other option which might work for you. If no one else is using the computers in your homes, you could have Quicken installed in home A, and use a screen-sharing utility from home B to connect to the home A computer. This is only viable if you can leave the computer in home A running all the time, and no one else in home A would be using the computer when you want to access it from home B. If this is viable for you, it's easier/faster to create a screen share on demand than to move the file back and forth all the time. 
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • jwb330
    jwb330 Member ✭✭
    So to review what I think I heard you say. I save a backup EVERYTIME I close Quicken to my iCloud account. If I want to use on two different computers at two different locations, I SHOULD RESTORE FROM BACKUP the FIRST time I use QUICKEN on that computer on that visit to that home. Day two at second home I can just open QUICKEN and work. When I go back to second home, I need to RESTORE FROM BACKUP from file on iCloud.

    Does that work?
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