Permanently deleting old year transactions and starting new from 2022

Heidi O.
Heidi O. Member ✭✭✭

Hello - I know this is not recommended by Quicken but given how many people continue to ask for it, I'm hoping you have come up with a successful way to do this now for users. I would like to clean my transactions, anything before 2021. Can you please provide instructions to do this?

Thank you!

Answers

  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    There's no automatic way to do it. You have to manually do it for each account: make a note of the balance as of 12/31/2020, delete all transactions prior to 1/1/21, then add an Adjustment transaction dated 12/31/2020 restoring the balance on that day.

    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.

  • Heidi O.
    Heidi O. Member ✭✭✭

    Hi, thanks Jon. I'll make a back up copy just in case. Disappointing they haven't built a function for this yet, just given how many people have commented on it.

  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never understood WHY anyone wants to do this ?

    It doesn't make Quicken run faster - and the QDF file size is not that big a deal -
    and you lose the ability to look back, report, find ALL your previous financial transactions.
    With investments - you really need to keep the Buy/Sell transactions to create any Cap Gain reports.

    QWin - R54.16 - Win10

  • Heidi O.
    Heidi O. Member ✭✭✭

    Hi, because the file size does get large and the product start to run slower. There should be a way to do this, but that's just me.

    Back to Jon - your workaround is fine, except for shared transactions between accounts, so if I purge from my main checking account, it obviously messes up any of my other accounts where there may be a linked transaction, i.e. a transfer, CC payment, etc. Any ideas?

  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Shouldn't be a problem if you're doing this to all accounts, just go through & record all the year end 2020 balances before deleting anything. If you have a transaction that somehow crosses the boundary - maybe you make a credit card payment right before year end that's not credited to your CC until after the 1st - you can move the new starting date for the bank account back a couple of days to include that payment.

    Quicken Mac subscription. Quicken user since 1990.

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited February 19

    Back to Jon - your workaround is fine, except for shared transactions between accounts, so if I purge from my main checking account, it obviously messes up any of my other accounts where there may be a linked transaction, i.e. a transfer, CC payment, etc. Any ideas?

    I'll suggest a way to deal with this, but be sure to make a backup before you work on this just in case something goes badly

    If you delete old transactions, you're correct that linked transfers will disappear. You get this warning:

    But if you delete an entire account, Quicken does not delete all the linked transfers; it replaces the transfers on the "other side" accounts with generic transfers (Category="Transfer") rather than deleting each transfer entirely. So let's say you have a credit card account and a checking account, and there are monthly transactions transferring a payment from the checking account to the credit card account. If you delete the checking account, all those payment transfers will be deleted — but in the credit card account, the transfers will remain as generic Transfers, so the balance won't change.

    So how is this practical for what you want to do? Let's say you have a checking account you want to purge through 12/31/21. Write down today's balance. Create a temporary new checking account (a manual account, not connected for downloading). In the old checking account select all the transactions from the beginning of time through 12/31/21, and drag them to the new account in the sidebar. Then delete that checking account with the old transactions. You'll be left with only transactions from 1/1/22 forward in your checking account, and any transfers to other accounts which were in the deleted account will still be intact in the other accounts. Finally, insert a new adjustment transaction dated 12/31/21 in the account to force the balance back to what it was before the purge.

    You'll need to repeat this process for each account you want to purge, but it allows you to do it selectively.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jacobs good tip… I'd suggest one adjustment… instead of moving the transactions you want to keep to the new acct, I'd move the transactions you do NOT want to keep the new acct, then delete the new acct. Why? Because if you have reports, scheduled transactions, etc, that are created that are dependent on the original account, those will break and you will have to recreate or modify those entries.

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    I'd suggest one adjustment… instead of moving the transactions you want to keep to the new acct, I'd move the transactions you do NOT want to keep the new acct, then delete the new acct. Why? Because if you have reports, scheduled transactions, etc, that are created that are dependent on the original account, those will break and you will have to recreate or modify those entries.

    @smayer97 I thought that's what I was describing: create a new temporary account, drag all the old transactions into that account, and then delete that account; the existing account remains, with the transactions left in the account. Unless I'm misunderstanding something, we're both describing the same thing.

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    Back to Jon - your workaround is fine, except for shared transactions between accounts, so if I purge from my main checking account, it obviously messes up any of my other accounts where there may be a linked transaction, i.e. a transfer, CC payment, etc. Any ideas?

    And this in a nutshell shows that most people don't really understand that there isn't a "nice way" to separate out any given account on any given day.

    In the scheme of things transfers are easy. And frankly, if I was going to do this, I would approach it differently than trying to "preserve the links". The only transfers that are going to matter if all the accounts are starting at 2022 are the ones that are in 2021 in one account, and 2022 in another. For this situation I would just let it delete the transaction and update the Opening Balance for the account that had a transfer into 2022. Note hopefully you recorded all the balances as of 1/1/2022 so that you can adjustment them as needed.

    The place where it actually gets really difficult is with investment accounts. This is the reason in Quicken Windows the "year end copy" (Which no SuperUser uses/suggests) never deletes any investment transactions. The reason it is so difficult is because of security lots. You need the whole history of the security lot as long as it has even 1 share left in it.

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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, I do not know what edits you made after my post. I seem to recall reading it the other way around, though I guess I read it and understood it backwards…since upon re-reading your current version… we are saying the same thing. :-\

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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @smayer97 It’s no problem that you misread my original post, but please don’t undermine my credibility by suggesting that I edited it to say the opposite of what I had originally written.

    (I did edit the post when replying to yours, to fix two typos. As you’re likely aware being a longtime participant here, I’m prone to typing and autocorrect errors in my posts, and when I notice such mistake in my posts, I often edit to clean up my typos. If I ever want to substantively change one of my posts, I will always label it “EDIT” for clarity in the thread.)

    No need to reply to prolong this; we’ve agreed on the way the OP should proceed if wanting to purge old transaction data.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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