Quicken®: File Maintenance

Before You Begin

While we are happy to provide these basic file maintenance steps as a starting point, we are unable to provide comprehensive technical support because Wells Fargo Advisors does not manufacture Quicken. To help ensure a seamless experience using your Quicken software to access Wells Fargo Advisors online, please refer to the For Additional Help section on this page to find help resources and contact information for Quicken technical support.

Step 1. Create/Change Vault Password

It's good security practice to change your Password Vault password from time to time. See the section on online features and security.

  1. Choose Online menu > Password Vault > Edit.
  2. Enter your current Password Vault password.
  3. Click OK
  4. Click Change Vault Password.
  5. Enter a new password that is easy for you to remember.
  6. Enter the new password again to confirm it.
  7. Click Change.


  • For security purposes, the password you choose must be at least six characters in length. We suggest you choose a password that contains at least one digit (0-9) and at least one letter (a-z).
  • The Password Vault is designed for high security, but factors such as a well-chosen password, physical security for your computer, and proper safeguards when you use a network or the Internet are all important. Since most of these factors are beyond Intuit's control, Intuit is not liable for safeguarding your password data.

Step 2. Archive Quicken Information At Year-End

In addition to making regular backups, many people are accustomed to organizing and storing their data files at the end of the year for safekeeping. With the Year-End Copy command, you can archive your Quicken data in one of two ways:

  • Archiving copies all your transactions that are dated earlier than this year and places them in a separate data file. Your current file is untouched, and you can continue to use it. The advantage of this method is that you can create reports and graphs that include several years' worth of information.
  • Creating a new year file saves a copy of your current data file and then removes transactions that are dated earlier than this year. The transactions in your current data file then go back to no earlier than January 1 of this year (except for uncleared transactions and all investment transactions, which remain in your current data file). If you're archiving an invoice/receivables account, Quicken retains all transactions that haven't been completely paid off (such as unpaid invoices as well as invoices that were created prior to the date you specified but are linked to payments that fall within the new date range). We recommend this method only if your data files have become so large that making regular backups is inconvenient, or Quicken takes too long to load your data file because of the following disadvantages with this method:
    • You won't be able to use last year's transactions in reports and graphs.
    • If you don't reconcile your accounts regularly, creating a new year file won't work well because your old transactions won't be cleared.
    • If you use online banking to update your credit accounts, creating a new year file removes all the transactions for previous years (including payee information).

To start using this method during midyear (if, for example, your fiscal year doesn't go from January through December), archive your data file first. Then create a new year file, using your current data file in both instances.

  1. Choose File menu > File Operations > Year-End Copy.
  2. Click the link that corresponds to the operation you want to perform.

Archive a file

  1. In the Current Data File area, click Do nothing.
  2. In the Archive File area, in the Give this archive file a name and location field, change the Quicken-generated file name and location for the archive file (optional).
    Where does Quicken store the archive file?
    Quicken stores your archive file in the folder containing the current data file (the Quicken folder by default). Click Browse if you want to store it in another location.
  3. In the This archive file will contain transactions up to and including field, change the date shown if you want to archive transactions from only part of last year (optional).
  4. Click OK.
    What happens next?
    Quicken creates the archive file and copies the historic transactions to it. Quicken then displays the File Copied Successfully dialog.
  5. In the File to Use area, click Current File.
    How can I protect my archive?
    You should never need to make changes to an archive file. To ensure that nobody makes changes inadvertently, add a password. To require a password to change the file but not to view the file, set a transaction password. To require a password to both view and change the file, set a file password.
  6. Click OK.

Create a new year file

  1. In the Current Data File area, click the "I only want transactions in my current data file up to and including this date" field.
  2. In the date field, change the date from January 1 of this year to have the new file begin on another date (optional).
    Tell me more
    The current data file will include only transactions that occur after the date you specify as well as all investment and unreconciled transactions.
    The new year file you create retains all investment transactions and any prior uncleared transactions. If your file contains invoice/receivable transactions (only in Quicken Home & Business), Quicken retains all unpaid transactions, such as unpaid invoices, as well as invoices created prior to the date you specified but that are linked to payments that fall within the new date range.
  3. In the Archive File area, in the "Give this archive file a name and location" field, change the Quicken-generated file name and location for the copy of the current data file (optional).
    Tell me more
    When naming the Quicken file, don't use any of these characters: * ? < > | " : \ / (asterisk, question mark, left and right angle bracket, pipe, straight quotation marks, colon, BACKSLASH, FORWARD SLASH). Also, you don't need to add the .qdf extension; Quicken does that for you.
    Quicken stores the data file in the folder containing the current data file (the Quicken folder by default). Click Browse if you want to store it in another location.
  4. In the Click OK..
    What happens next?
    Quicken creates the new data file with only the specified transactions. Quicken then displays the File Copied Successfully dialog.
  5. In the File to Use area, click File for New Year.
  6. Click OK..
  7. Check your registers to see that the old transactions were removed.
    What if the old transactions are still there?
    If creating a new year file didn't work as you expected, it could be because you haven't reconciled your previous year's transactions. Because Quicken made a complete copy of your data file, open that file, reconcile your accounts, and then create another new year file.


  • Quicken doesn't require that you archive or close out your data file at the end of the year. In fact, not archiving your data at the end of the year lets you run comparison reports on income and expenses from previous years. However, if you want to start the new year with a new data file, use Create a new year file.
  • When you copy a Quicken data file with attachments, Quicken copies your Quicken data first, and then copies the attachments if there is room. If there isn't room for all of your attachments, none of your attachments are copied.

Step 3. Back Up My Files

It's a good idea to back up your work each time you use Quicken, even if you have plenty of space on your hard disk. If your hard disk fails, you'll need to restore your files.

You can back up your Quicken data to USB drives, CDs, DVDs, and so on.

Another way to safeguard your valuable Quicken data is to back it up every day to a remote location. That's akin to storing important family documents such as wills or deeds in a safety deposit box in a bank.

Back up my Quicken data file to an external source

  1. Insert or attach the external media you want to back up your Quicken data file to.
  2. If it isn't already open, open the data file you want to back up.
  3. Choose File menu > Backup.
  4. Select On my computer.
  5. In the Select the disk drive and path to the backup folder field, identify the drive that contains the backup media.
  6. Click OK to start the backup.
  7. Click OK when Quicken tells you that the backup is complete.
  8. Remove the backup media and store it in a safe place.
  9. To create a second backup copy, repeat steps 1 through 8.
  10. To view the data you just backed up, restore it.

Step 4: Restore A Quicken File From a Backup File

  1. Choose File menu > Restore Backup File, and then select either one of the files listed or the option to browse.
    • If you need help finding a file, Quicken can help you.
    • If the Quicken file to be restored is on a single disk, it has a .QDF extension. If the file spans several backup disks, it has a .QB1 extension.
  2. If you're restoring the current file, click OK to overwrite it. If you want to preserve the current file, you must rename the current file or the file you are restoring.
  3. Click OK when Quicken tells you that the file is restored.
  4. Choose File menu > Open to open the restored file.


  • If Quicken tells you it can't open or restore the file, see the Help article "What Should I Do If Quicken Can't Open My Data File."
  • Restoring from a backup file replaces your current data with the data stored on your backup disk. Be aware that you will lose any changes you have made to your file since the backup was made. To prevent this, rename one of the files.

For Additional Help

As a courtesy to you, Wells Fargo Advisors provides instructions for basic functions within your software. Should you have questions or need additional help, you can:

  • Use Quicken help menu:
    • Help > Quicken Help has detailed instructions about using your software to access Wells Fargo Advisors Online.
    • Help > Current Window provides instructions for using a feature or function related to the page you are on.
    • Help > Product and Customer Support provides easy access to "Help Using Quicken," Troubleshooting," "Search Frequently Asked Questions," "Contact Us," and "Make the Most of Quicken" help resources.
    • Help > Tutorials are short videos that provide a summary of key features in Quicken.
    • Help > User Manuals is an online user manual for Quicken. Refer to the "Use online account services with Quicken" section for more information about using Quicken to access Wells Fargo Advisors online services.
    • Help > About Quicken helps you ensure that your software is up-to-date, and contains information you will need when contacting Intuit for technical assistance.
  • Visit the Quicken Support Site.
  • Call Quicken Telephone Support at 1-800 811-8766, between 8:00a.m. and 8:00p.m. ET, 7 days a week.
  • Call Wells Fargo Advisors online support at 1-877-879-2495.

Please note: Products and services are offered by the merchants whose sites you visit. Wells Fargo Advisors neither endorses nor guarantees, unless expressly noted, any of the products or services offered for sale through those sites. Such sites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security or accessibility standards as ours.

Software instructions included on this site and information referenced on the merchant sites you visit are provided by Intuit.