Couple of QMac Backup Questions

Sofree Member ✭✭

Quicken Classic Ver 7.5.2 (build 705.51955.100), macOS 14.3.1

I've read most of the Backup posts, but looking for a clarification or two:

1: I neglected (long ago!) to check the "Ask to backup…" box and indicate how many backups to keep. Consequently, I have a very many b/u's! Can I delete all but say the last ten, and then set "last 10"? We are backing up both Manual and Automatic files to "Dropbox". I am assuming the automatic backup each time is a full backup? Taking up a fair amount of disk space!

2: Are both the Automatic and the Manual Backups the same? I notice they are the same size.

Is the ability to make, in effect, two backups a failsafe? Is it necessary? Could one do one or the other?



  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    Yes, both backup types are the same. Only difference is how they are triggered. You can delete all but the last 10 automatic backups and set the limit to 10 and then going forward you should always have 10 in the automatic backup folder. Manual backups don't count against the limit.

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    To add to what @RickO said, I recommend keeping more than 10 automatic backups. Depending how often you launch and quit Quicken, 10 might only go back a fairly short period of time. And if you discover a significant problem, or something you inadvertently deleted, you may want the ability to go back farther in time. I'm not suggesting to keep every backup indefinitely, but I think 20 or 25 is a better number. For most people the size of a Quicken backup file is well under 100 MB — my 100 MB data file results in 35 MB backup files — so keeping 20 backups likely occupies less than 1 GB of space, which isn't terribly much nowadays.

    Like you, I also do a manual backup from time to time, generally once every month or two. And those I keep for years, before I occasionally purge some of them. Triggering a manual backup and letting it live on outside the automatic removal of the automated backups is a good way to insure you have an older backup should you discover something amiss many months or years after something was deleted or edited. I think the combination of automatic backups and occasional manual backups creates a pretty robust insurance plan.

    That said, I never skip an opportunity to promote having a layer of automatic backup for not only your Quicken data, but all your important data. The simplest and least expensive option is hooking up an external drive to your Mac and turning on Time Machine. This great utility built into macOS continually incrementally backs up your Mac (every hour), and automatically handles not storing duplicates and eventually thinning out its backup snapshots from hourly to daily to weekly. It's a true "set and forget" program where the "set" part is a single mouse click. If you don't have a hard drive lying around, you can get a 1 TB drive for $100 or less these days. I don't need to call on my Time Machine frequently, but when I have had to, it's a real life-saver. Alternately or in addition, an online backup service gives you one more layer of protection for your data, one which isn't susceptible to loss if you have a fire, flood or robbery. I use iDrive to back up my desktop and laptop Macs; it runs automatically in the background every night. I've got decades of travel and family photos, and lots of music, as well as Quicken, tax, and other data and documents it would be devastating to lose with a hard drive crash, computer failure, or a home catastrophe. End of commercial for having a robust, multi-layer backup strategy! 😀

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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