Trying to merge categories. (Q Mac)

slillie Member

I have the latest version of Quicken Mac. I am trying to merge some categories. All of my categories are visible when I create a new transaction and assign it to a category. BUT, when I go to: "Window⇒Categories" from the drop down menu, most of my categories are missing. When I print a category report they are all there, but when I try to display the categories to merge or rename, most of them are gone. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @slillie Unfortunately, you've run into a bug which has been discussed and reported multiple times over several years, but the developers for some reason have never fixed it.

    I encountered this problem once in a test file, and I found a cure. It has worked for a few other people, but I can't guarantee it solves all instances of the category list problem. (There are actually two category list problems — grade out categories and missing categories — and I'm not sure this solves both issues.) But it's easy to try this solution and see if it works for you. Quite surprisingly, the cure is a preferences file.

    For safety, I'd advise you make a backup of your Quicken data file as well as the preferences file described below before proceeding. 

    • Quit Quicken if it is running.
    • Open the User > Library > Preferences folder. (To access the User > Library folder, which Apple hides by default, in the Finder hold down the Option key while pulling down the Go menu; with the Option key held down, Library will be one of the choices.)
    • Scroll down to find "com.quicken.Quicken.plist".
    • Drag this file to your Desktop.
    • Relaunch Quicken.
    • You will likely have to point Quicken to your existing data file when it launches — don't let it create a new one

    Now open your Categories window to see if everything is back to normal. (In one of my tests, it also ran some database update process because the preference setting to note the database had been updated, which was in the old preferences file, was not in the new one it created.)

    Some settings and preferences you've configured are lost by replacing the prefs file, so you may find you need to reset some things. For instance, my Register Text & Row Settings was reset to the default row height instead of the Compact setting I normally use, and some of my Sidebar preferences were reverted to default settings. I also had to answer a security question for one of my accounts; I'm not sure if that's related, but since this never happens otherwise, I assume it was.

    If you don't get too messed up losing your preferences, and your categories are now okay, then carry on. But if you find something is seriously amiss, quit Quicken, and drag the original preferences file from your desktop back to the Preferences folder; relaunching Quicken should now put you back to where you were previously.

    Hope this helps! 

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • slillie
    slillie Member

    Thanks Jacobs,

    I gave it a shot, but still didn’t work.


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    I'm sorry that didn't work; I was cautiously optimistic that it would. All I can think to suggest now is that you call Quicken Support and allow them to screen share with you so they can see the missing categories. Go through whatever troubleshooting steps they want, but press for them to escalate this issue if they can't find a way around it; get a ticket number and ask for a callback from a Tier 2 or Senior Support representative.

    Well, I do have another alternative, but it's not a perfect one. You can export your data to a file, create a new Quicken file, and import your data. Since this would be a new database, I'd bet that your categories problem would be solved. But you would lose some things, such as your connectivity to your financial institutions (you'd need to re-create your logins), your saved reports, and renaming and QuickFill Rules, attachments (if you have any), and you register customizations. If you don't have a lot of saved reports, this might not be too steep a hill to climb; I can't answer that for you. If you want to try this…

    • In Quicken, pull down the File menu and select Export > Quicken Transfer File (QXF).
    • Do File > New to create a new file.
    • Select that you want to Start from scratch
    • Select File > Import > Quicken Windows File (QDF, QXF) and select the QXF file you exported.

    Note that you can try this as an experiment, as it won't prevent you from continuing to use your existing Quicken file if you wish to. Use File > Open Recent to switch back and forth between your old file and the new one.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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