What do you do if you haven’t backed up your files in a while and you lose all the data in your Quicken 2012 files? Okay. Stay calm. All may not be lost.

First, you can try restoring the files from the secret Quicken backup directory. To do so, choose the Restore From Backup command and then look at the list of automatic (secret) backup files that Quicken has squirreled away on your computer.

Select the newest automatic backup file and then click OK. Quicken uses that file to restore the current file. Grabbing one of these secret backup copies of the Quicken data file may just work. And if it does, you should feel very lucky. Very lucky indeed.

Okay. So suppose that you’ve tried the approach described in the preceding paragraph, and it didn’t work. What next?

You have to re-enter all the transactions for the entire year. Yeah. It’s a bummer. This method isn’t quick, and it isn’t pretty, but it works.

If you have copies of the registers, of course, you can use these as your information source to re-enter the information in your files. If you don’t have copies of the registers, you need to use your bank statements and any other paper financial records you have.

If, for some unfortunate reason, the only copy you have of your Quicken data seems to have become corrupted, you can have Quicken try to rebuild the file. To do so, choose File→File Operations→Validate and Repair and enter the name of the file you want rebuilt in the File Name text box. You typically do this, however, only when instructed by Quicken or Intuit technical support people.