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How to Solve Tricky Setup Problems in Quicken 2010

These handful of annoying setup problems often occur when new Quicken 2010 users try to set it up on their computers. Transferring data from a Mac to a PC, or from an older program to Quicken 2010, can be a real pain. And sometimes Quicken data files seem to disappear altogether.

Did somebody say Macintosh?

If you’ve been using Quicken for Macintosh, you have to export your data from the Macintosh before you can read it in the Windows version. And I can think of about a million things more fun to do than exporting Quicken data from a Mac to Windows.

But if you absolutely must transfer your data from a Mac, look for a QIF conversion tool online. Export the data from your version of Quicken for Macintosh into a file that matches the Quicken Interchange Format, or QIF, specification. (A QIF file just neatly organizes financial information in a well-documented structure so that other programs — and even people — can read and understand the data.) Then import this file into an empty Quicken file. Keep in mind, however, that this process isn’t for the timid or fainthearted.

The mysterious case of the missing Quicken data files

If Quicken doesn’t find the old files, you need to open the specific files. But if you have this problem, you should be able to solve it yourself. What has happened, if you find yourself in this boat, is that you’ve moved or messed around with the Quicken files with some other program, such as Windows. If you did that, presumably you had a reason. And more to the point, you should know where you put the files.

Migrating from Microsoft Money to Quicken

Suppose that you’re moving from Microsoft Money to Quicken. If you’ve got an older version of Microsoft Money from which you want to convert data, you can download a program called Data Converter from the Quicken support Web site (just search for Data Converter). Data Converter converts Microsoft Money data files from Microsoft Money 2003 and later versions to the Quicken 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 file format. Quicken 2010 should easily then convert one of these old-format Quicken files to the Quicken 2010 file format. So, theoretically, you can move old Microsoft Money data files to Quicken.

Practically, however, moving financial information from Quicken to Money or vice versa doesn’t seem to work all that well. Transactions seem to get lost. Account balances get messed up. People ruin their lives. Well, maybe that last comment is a slight exaggeration. But, no kidding: Migrating is problematic. If you do want to move from one program to another, make sure that you have a really good reason for doing so and that you allow yourself enough time to track down and correct any errors.

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