Timed automatic backups and/or saves

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Robert Keesecker
Robert Keesecker Member ✭✭✭

Sometimes when focused on making changes in Classic, i.e. renaming, merging categories, etc., it is easy to get lost in it and forget to occasionally back up manually. I was buried in making changes for 30 minutes or so when I must have hit a wrong button, or something, and a bunch of transactions in the account were instantly deleted. This has happened to me a couple times. Only the Mighty Favog knows what happened. It blew away a bunch of current and past transactions. I downloaded a Quicken extension file for that account (moments ago and I already can't remember how I did that) and it downloaded 50 "new" transactions for the account. Fine and dandy. However, all those transactions were raw. None had my changed categorizations, tags, or notes - some of which were important. Very important.

A calamity. A PIA.

Solution: timed automatic backups and or saves. Please.

It may not have saved everything, but I would have had it set for less than 30 seconds and it would have save the majority of the work I did.

Thank you.

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  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 27
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    (EDIT: Removed the suggestion to post this as a Product Idea since the original post was already converted to an Idea.)

    @Robert Keesecker - I actually think this is a very good idea. I would have benefited from it many times in the past, myself. I probably wouldn't do auto backup in such a short interval as you suggest but to auto backup every few minutes would be very helpful sometimes.

    Make sure you vote for this idea. (There currently is an issue with this Idea because voting does not yet work. I have asked for a Moderator to move this to the New Idea category so it can be voted on.)

    Quicken Classic Premier (US) Subscription: R57.16 on Windows 11

  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    I too think this is good idea, and was going to vote on it, but at the moment it gives an error if you do so. I have flagged this to the moderators and hopefully it will get fixed soon.

    But I will also say I'm skeptical that it will actually be implemented. Have you watched what happens when you select Ctrl+B to start a backup? You will notice that they basically shutdown Quicken except for the "fake main window", do the backup and then restart Quicken. My belief of why it is done this way is because it is the only way they have to be sure everything is synced up and nothing is going to be doing anything while they do the backup. I'm pretty sure people won't want a backup that does that every 30 seconds.

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  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @smayer97 - Thanks for posting this. It seems like #4 in the Mac Idea you linked might be the closest to what the Op is looking for but I think they are wanting to automatically back up in much shorter time periods than after "hours".

    #1 and #2 in that Mac Idea already exist for QWin.

    #3 would be something to consider for QWin, too.

    Quicken Classic Premier (US) Subscription: R57.16 on Windows 11

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I doubt this can be implemented in a user-friendly way. As @Chris_QPW noted, Quicken closes the data file, performs the backup, and reopens the file. This would be a significant interruption if it occurs while the user is actively using Quicken. I doubt a "background" backup is possible or even desirable because it might back up an inconsistent state.

    A backup can be performed at any time in 2 keystrokes: Ctrl-B, Enter. That's what I suggest people do when they want frequent backups.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    What does CTRL-B do exactly, as in what does the user see happening?

    And if there is a keystroke that can initiate a back-up, what prevents Quicken from implemented a schedule to trigger the same?

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    After hitting Ctrl+B, and before hitting Enter:

    Just after you hit Enter:

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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    So does this close all windows to perform the backup? If so, do they re-open again right after?

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 27
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    So does this close all windows to perform the backup? If so, do they re-open again right after?

    I don't think it matters really, would you like to be going alone entering data or whatever and then you screen goes blank and for a few seconds, and then comes back?

    But to answer your question, yes, the windows come back after the backup, but if you are entering data here is what's going to happen (and I think if they bypassed this dialog you would lose your editing of that transaction, or it will be "inconsistent" if they save it automatically because it will now be a saved transaction that hasn't been fully entered).

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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    A backup can be performed at any time in 2 keystrokes: Ctrl-B, Enter. That's what I suggest people do when they want frequent backups.

    There is likely a third keystroke to accept the overwrite of the previous backup of the same name. I certainly would not want a newly named backup every 30 seconds. Similarly, automatically accepting that overwrite (by programming or by user reaction) might well defeat the purpose of the auto-backup that is being sought. You had a good backup and suddenly overwrote it with a 'faulty' one without realizing the fault..

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 27
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    @q_lurker

    There is likely a third keystroke to accept the overwrite of the previous backup of the same name.

    There is not. EDIT: there optionally is.

    For most of my decades of Quickening, I overwrote the backup file all the time. Only thanks to QWin's current high level of bugginess have I started appending the date to the backup file name so I have daily backups accumulating, bleah.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Rocket J Squirrel -

    A backup can be performed at any time in 2 keystrokes: Ctrl-B, Enter. That's what I suggest people do when they want frequent backups.

    True but that assumes that everyone is always thinking of making frequent backups. The whole purpose of this proposed Idea is to make the backup process more fool-proof so that fools like me don't screw up by forgetting to backup. The current Automatic Backups allow me to backup after every session (which I do) but there have been times where a lot of effort went into updating the file when all of a sudden I go, "Oops! I shouldn't have done that!" but I can't remember what exactly was done so I can't undo it. Currently I am left with no recourse in that kind of situation but to go to my last backup file and start the whole process of updating it all over, again…..a process that can sometimes take hours to complete.

    Having automatic backups done on a more frequent basis while the session is still open would be a godsend to me and to the Op and everyone else who is not disciplined enough to remember to manually backup the file every few minutes.

    Now, I'm not a computer tech person so I don't fully understand how the backup process works with Quicken. And I really do appreciate all the comments made by others regarding how this all works in Quicken. But all this talk about it taking a lot of time to perform the backup is confusing me a bit because when I switch from one data file to another data file (keep in mind that for me Quicken automatically backs up after every session) the entire process takes just a couple of seconds. So, what am I missing…or is my 4-yr old consumer laptop really a super computer? 😁

    Quicken Classic Premier (US) Subscription: R57.16 on Windows 11

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    On my QW2013 When I do Ctrl+B (or click the backup icon I put on my menu bar) it always asks if I want to overwrite it. I think there might be another checkbox to never ask me that again. Although now I have a large external drive so I backup with the date then it doesn't ask to overwrite.

    I'm staying on Quicken 2013 Premier for Windows.

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @volvogirl

    When I do Ctrl+B (or click the backup icon I put on my menu bar) it always asks if I want to overwrite it. I think there might be another checkbox to never ask me that again.

    That is it. I just reset the warnings and it now appears. So I must have squelched it many years ago and forgotten there was ever a warning.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    If you append date AND TIME to the backup, you'll avoid the overwrite prompt.

    If you only append date, each subsequent time your Ctrl-B on the same day, you'll get the overwrite prompt. (This is what prompted my comment.)

    If you don't append date, each Ctrl-B should generate the overwrite prompt.

    The concept being promoted was to more frequently back up which I take to be more frequent than once a day.

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    What I had forgotten was this prompt has a "don't show again" option which I had chosen years ago.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    What I had forgotten was this prompt has a "don't show again" option which I had chosen years ago.

    And which I was unaware of — or habitually ignore without seeing it.

  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    edited May 29
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    Hello @Robert Keesecker,

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community and post your Idea request.

    Ideas are reviewed by our Development and Product teams to see what features people would like to have available in the future. This way other users who have the same or a similar request can vote on your idea by clicking the up arrow.

    Please, be sure to add your own vote as well.

    Thank you!

    -Quicken Anja
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  • retird
    retird Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 28
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    If this is implemented PLEASE give us the ability to turn it off or on with off as the default. I don't want an auto-backup to occur when I'm in the middle of doing things in the Quicken file.

    I already added the ability to make a copy or do a backup to the Custiom Toolbar and can click on it anytime and make a quick backup.

    Windows 11 (2 separate computers)..... Quicken Premier.. HAVE USED QUICKEN CONTINUOUSLY SINCE 1985.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    We can now vote for this Idea. I just voted. Others who want this implemented should vote for it now as shown in this example:

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  • UserDavidC
    UserDavidC Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 29
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    I would hope Quicken would only perform the backup if there was a change made to the data file.

    As I am doing work, I may have Quicken open for an hour or so with no changes. I would hate to have a number of backups created during this time period.

    Quicken user since 1995.
    Current subscription user.
  • Robert Keesecker
    Robert Keesecker Member ✭✭✭
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    @Chris_QPW I agree about folks not wanting to do a backup frequently. Good point. I have so many transactions that a backup takes about a minute. Perhaps a "save" might be better, less time maybe? But I suppose that would be basically the same thing.

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    @Robert Keesecker Quicken already saves as you go. What it doesn't do is save multiple copies, and that is where "backup" comes in. At its core Quicken is a database, and that database is updated after every save of a transaction. This has actually been a problem for some people that want "undo" which Quicken doesn't have. It is also a very old database that doesn't have the features needed to have an undo.

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    Actually, that is sort of the cornerstone of the problem. A "backup" at any given period of time is going to "fail" someone unless it is "continuous". And a "You have to hit Save" before Quicken does a write will save some people and hurt others (and because of the way Quicken is structured, it can't do this anyways). The only way this would actually help "everyone" is a continuous undo feature. But like I said Quicken doesn't have the needed low-level system features to allow for this.

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    For what it is worth, this isn't a feature I need, it just one that if they can implement, and implement it in a way that doesn't disrupt the user's normal operations, I can certainly see how it might benefit some people.

    Back in the day before the shift to programs that save continuously (and have undo), there was a question and answer that went like this: "How often should I save?", the answer was something like "How much are you willing to redo?".

    Clearly the people that come on here and say, "I worked hours entering transactions, and then XXX happened, and now I have lost everything!" Never had to live with programs that didn't auto save/have undo.

    Unfortunately Quicken Windows fundamental core systems keeps it in that old era category.

    The main reason I don't need a system like this is because I'm fully aware of Quicken's limitations and I have a system that provides me with a backup of the data file as it was before I started a given session, and I go in often, do what amounts to just one day or so of downloading, and get out. Small, frequent, instead of delayed, long sessions. And I don't keep Quicken running all the time.

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  • Robert Keesecker
    Robert Keesecker Member ✭✭✭
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    "Saves as you go" I did not know that. OK, as I think about it, I'm trying to figure out how that helps. I can't see that helping. When you close out Quicken, the core file is automatically saved, which means that file only has the messed-up version of Quicken. My original thought of either automatic backup or save should only be "backup." Automatic "saves" won't address my issue.

    So. It seems the only way to get around all this is to remember to manually backup Quicken with date/time configuration often during your Quicken working session. Which takes us back to square one. If I am mistaken, I hope the next newsletter will address this issue.

  • Boatnmaniac
    Boatnmaniac SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    I think something really needs to be clarified here about this Idea:

    1. NO….this is not an idea about making frequent auto-backups mandatory.
    2. YES…this is an idea about making frequent auto-backups while running Quicken OPTIONAL…and per the frequency that each user to determine.

    Those who don't want to take advantage of in-session auto-backups and don't want to use it should never be concerned about implementation of this idea because it will not affect them….unless they choose for it to do so.

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    @Boatnmaniac Yes, these are certainly my assumptions, it is one of the main reasons I can vote for such an idea even though I personally might not use it.

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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Exactly…. optional.

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