Home Quicken for Windows File Conversion and Backup (Windows)

Moving from Mac to PC

I would like to ditch my iMac (too many issues in general) and move to PC. I use Quicken for Mac. It's the constantly updated subscription version. Will I be able to convert my data over to Windows? I have every transaction since 1995 in my file.

Thanks in advance.

Don

Comments

  • J_MikeJ_Mike SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 4
    the conversion from QMac to QWin works for noninvestment accounts only.
    The conversion totally fails with investment accounts.

    The process involves exporting a QXF file from QMac and then importing into QWin.

    I run both QMac and QWin and periodically run the conversion as a test. My most recent test run was within the past two weeks. The process for noninvestment accounts has improved over time - I saw no glitches in the recent test. Nothing came over for investment accounts - no change from previous tests.
    QWin & QMac (Deluxe) Subscription
    Quicken user since 1991

  • NajmiNajmi Member ✭✭
    I too have the same issue as ArizonaDonN - need to manage a transition from a Mac to a PC.

    J_Mike - I understand that currently the investment accounts do not move over. I have two questions:
    Do we know why this is the case? Do the investment transactions not export out to QXF? Does the importer on the windows side ignore investment transactions? Not enough people need this so it is not supported?

    Are there any, painful but possible, workarounds - for example exporting out to CSV, perhaps modifying the file to contain a per account set of transactions, importing those into each manually created account, etc. I can live with transfers between accounts not being linked on both sides, etc. Any hack that preserves the investment history?
    Thanks.
  • J_MikeJ_Mike SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Najmi said:

    J_Mike - I understand that currently the investment accounts do not move over. I have two questions:
    Do we know why this is the case? Do the investment transactions not export out to QXF? Does the importer on the windows side ignore investment transactions? Not enough people need this so it is not supported?

    I do know that the investment activity is contained in the QXF file exported from QMac. I once did a test where I imported the QXF file back into a new QMac file. The investment accounts showed up in the new QMac file - leading to my conclusion that the problem is on the QWin side; i.e.,QWin is unable to interpret the investment data contained in the QXF file.

    Najmi said:

    Are there any, painful but possible, workarounds - for example exporting out to CSV, perhaps modifying the file to contain a per account set of transactions, importing those into each manually created account, etc. I can live with transfers between accounts not being linked on both sides, etc. Any hack that preserves the investment history?


    I do not know of any work-arounds - short of manual entry.
    I really haven't looked seriously at this aspect. My efforts in testing periodically are out of curiosity as opposed to a pressing need to make the conversion from QMac to QWin.



    QWin & QMac (Deluxe) Subscription
    Quicken user since 1991

  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Just so people know here is the history of the QXF file.

    It was created to transfer data from Quicken Windows to Quicken Essentials for Mac.
    Since Quicken Essentials didn't have investment transactions that is why it started out without them in the QXF file.  So Quicken Windows had only the export, and Quicken Essentials for Mac I believe both the import and export.

    After a bit @John_in_NC put in a suggestion that Quicken Windows should put in a QXF import, and surprising enough they did it.  But again no investment transactions because Quicken Essentials did have them.  Note it wasn't "perfect", it did a few things wrong, but it was "workable".

    As time went on the import on Quicken Windows basically got ignored.  To the point where it was getting to be totally useless, and the SuperUsers suggested not using it at all so you could go from Quicken Windows to Quicken Essentials, but not the other way.  To help @John_in_NC figured out a way to export the transactions by CSV and I wrote a program to convert them to QIF and allow importing into Quicken Windows (http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/importqem.html)

    Again this is only non investment transactions.  Investment transactions would be much more complicated, and this has never been pursued even after Quicken Essentials changed into the "New Quicken Mac" and got such transactions.  Even though for non investment transactions this process should theoretically still work.

    Now in the mean time the "New Quicken Mac" has proceed to gain features and the investment transactions.  And so did the need for converting from Quicken Windows to Quicken Mac, including the investment transactions.
    Well it didn't look like the Quicken Window team had any time for such improvements because it was well known what was done was take a current copy of Quicken Windows, hacked it down, fix up its QXF exporter and use that as a converter.
    This was put out as a separate executable for the user to use.
    And in fact your "converter" that was built into Quicken Mac was the same "animal", but run in Wine.  And since it is still done that way, but Apple dropped support for 32-bit applications (Quicken Windows is 32-bit) they have now moved it to a server, which I presume is running as a normal Windows application.

    Now that begs the question of what is the state of the QXF export in Quicken Windows?
    Well "as might be expected", at times it has lagged behind the "hacked converter" version.  And at times they have updated it.  I have no idea if it is up to date currently or not.

    Now backup till a couple of years ago at most and interest in going from Quicken Mac to Quicken Windows up ticked somewhat and Quicken Inc's interest in fixing that import up ticked too. So yes they have worked it and from what I have heard (from including you @J_Mike) that it is now much improved as probably even better than it was when it first came out and then forgotten.  But they have never "seen the need" to add support for importing investment data.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • NajmiNajmi Member ✭✭
    Thank you, J_Mike, Chris_QPW. Appreciate the detailed response tracing the evolution of this capability and the many tradeoffs along the way. Good reasons why we are here today. Hopefully, the long game for Quicken Web, etc., is to evolve to a platform independent application.

    Chris_QPW, given your extensive programming experience with ImportQEM, do you think it is technically possible to batch import a set of investment transactions into an investment account in QW? Does Quicken Windows make that impossible or is it more an issue of exporting the transactions out of Quicken Mac in the right format? If Quicken Mac does export out investment transactions in CSV and there is some format that QW is happy with for batch import of investment transaction, then there could be a path? I have decent programming experience and, if at all this is possible, would be happy to give it a shot.
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Najmi I certainly wouldn't count on a platform independent Quicken in my lifetime.  That would be a total rewrite and I think everybody knows with the rewrite of Quicken Mac what that actually entails.  What's more I believe that Quicken Inc has already revealed there plans for such a thing and it isn't "Quicken compatible".  It is:
    https://get.simplifimoney.com/

    On the importing of investment transactions from a CSV file into Quicken Windows.
    Yes it is possible.  I have never seen the format that Quicken Mac uses for exporting investment transactions in CSV format, but I can't imagine it is much different than what some of the financial institutions allow on their websites.  Probably even better.

    It will be some work because even though CSV has a standard for what is a column/line it doesn't say a thing about what is in those fields.  That is completely up to the user/program that is "reading" it.

    One such program is of course ImportQEM, which has head start in that I knew what QEM CSV columns looked like and set them as the default mapping.  But as mentioned it never supported investment accounts.

    But there is another program, actually the principal program on my site, ImportQIF.
    It is a generic conversion/import program, and it does support converting/importing investment transactions in CSV.

    It doesn't support all investment action types, but it does support the most common.
    The action field is the really the key to importing an investment transaction.  But of course there isn't any standard on what a given action "name" does.  So besides telling what column map to what fields in the QIF/Quicken, at run (during the conversion) one has to tell a program what a given action does.

    And then on top of all this there are the limitations of the QIF format itself and Quicken Windows QIF import.

    In QIF there are grants and such, but no way to track the lots, as such transactions like ESPPs will not work.  Also securities are importing by the security name, and know nothing about symbols and such.

    And starting in Quicken Windows Subscription, Quicken no longer does any processing on QIF imports with one notable exception.  This means that the transactions go directly into the register without any processing like matching existing transactions or using renaming rules or memorized payee to use the payee to decide on the categories.  Which actually doesn't matter a lot in the case of importing investment transactions.

    Another area that has always been problematic in Quicken QIF imports is the transfers.  So much so that when I was rebuilding my data file using QIF I used a program to change all the account names in the transfers to regular categories.  Accounting wise that works and avoided "linked transfers" that Quicken never got right.  But of course that means it is harder to jump between the two sides of a transfer.

    And that leads me to the "notable exception".  A few years ago they put in "Transfer detection". Basically just a guess that if you have a $100 deposit in one account and a $100 withdraw in another around the same date during an import that this might be a transfer that needs to be linked up.  For whatever reason this processing is still being done while importing a QIF file.


    If there are extensive amounts of transfers in the data I would recommend either turning of transfer detection (and so not have linked transfers) or turn off the confirmation. Which BTW is the opposite of what I would recommend for normal use.  If you use Transfer detection you normally want Quicken to confirm linking two transactions into a transfer, because it is "just a guess".

    ImportQIF can be used for free for 30 days, which "if possible" should give you plenty of time to do a conversion like this.
    http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    P.S. Make sure one of your columns is the Account name, ImportQIF can work with multiple account, but note that it makes no attempt link the transfers (ImportQEM actually does).  And be sure to select the option Map Accounts.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • NajmiNajmi Member ✭✭
    Chris_QPW, I was aware of Simplifi but had not really looked at it. After you pointed it out, I spent some time and you are spot on. It is the platform independent "rewrite"! Current product capabilities are sort of targeted at Mint users but as it evolves over time it may well get the full Quicken feature set. In the FAQ they mention importing data into Simplifi is a capability that is being planned. Not too far fetched to assume that once the feature set is there, Quicken may provide a path from Quicken Windows and Quicken Mac to this. They may even gently push this transition so they have to support a single code base!

    Thanks again for your insights on the potential for moving from QM to QW. I will likely have to cross this rubicon in early fall and will try out the workflows/products you have recommended. Happy to report back on how this goes!
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