Clean my data file without losing prior information

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Trish107
Trish107 Member ✭✭✭

Late last century I started using Microsoft Money. Around 15 years ago I converted that data file to Quicken including accounts, reminders, categories, payees, etc. The whole shebang. I have never done anything except "close" accounts and open new ones. Needless to say my file is huge and I'm starting to experience some weird anomalies.

I'd like to somehow "clean out" all the old unused stuff but not lose it. As amazing as it sounds I've still occasionally needed information from 20 years ago.

How do I go about reducing and sanitizing my data file so it only includes current accounts and data as well as clearing out the hundreds (if not thousands) of categories and payees that haven't had any activity in many, many years ?

Thank you!

Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    How big is "huge"? Do you have a lot of attachments you don't need any more?

    What sort of anomalies are you seeing? It is unlikely that deleting stuff will make things better.

    Usually you will not want to delete Categories, because then any transactions that use them will become Uncategorized. If you have old Categories you don't use any more you might consider merging them with your current categories then deleting the unused ones.

    You can also standardize Payees to reduce the total number of Payees, but that is largely a manual process for existing Payees.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • Trish107
    Trish107 Member ✭✭✭
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    Hi Jim! Thank you for responding.

    I was thinking that I could copy and rename my data file to something like "Pre 2023" and then decimate everything in my main data file prior to January 1.

    How big is it? It's been building since the mid to late 1990s.

    What kind of anomalies? I can't type that much. I'd rather wipe everything out.

    Is there any way to mass delete every transaction prior to January 1st and then mass delete everything (accounts, categories, payees, etc) that doesn't have a transaction?

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    You can do a year-end copy but most of us here don't recommend it. It's better to leave all your data and history together in one file and it should not affect performance.  Sometime in the future we guarantee you will want to see something and you won't be able to merge them back together. You can run reports for any time period.  Just copy your whole file for a backup (which you should be doing regularly anyway) and continue on in your current file. Too many times people ask for help on how to re-merge their data, which can't be done.  Also any uncleared checks will then show up in both files.   So just continue on. And if you upgrade to a newer version in the future you will have to remember to convert all your old files too.

    https://www.quicken.com/support/creating-year-end-copy-end-calendar-year

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • Trish107
    Trish107 Member ✭✭✭
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    Awesome! Thanks for the link!

    In my request I mentioned that I'm not really concerned about prior year transactions because I can do the "Pre 2023" trick and then open that file once a year to keep it converted.

    I want to completely obliterate (actually said "decimate") everything that doesn't have to do with the current year.

    This looks perfect… "I only want transaction in my current data file starting with this date"

    Thanks again!

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Read all that carefully. Many prior things like investments won't be cleared out. Make sure to make a backup first if you don't like the way it works out.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • Trish107
    Trish107 Member ✭✭✭
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    I'm the king of backups since the mid 1990s!

This discussion has been closed.