How to Shrink Quicken 2013 Files

By Stephen L. Nelson

You can enter a large number of transactions in a Quicken file; in fact, you can record tens of thousands of transactions in a single account or file. Working with files of a manageable size, however, means that you can more easily and more quickly back them up. Also, fewer transactions mean that Quicken runs faster because more memory is available for Windows.

To shrink a Quicken file, follow these steps:


1Choose File→File Operations→Year-End Copy on the menu bar.

Quicken displays the Create a Year End Copy dialog box.

2Describe what you want in the current data file.

Your next step in creating a year-end copy is to describe what information you want in the current data file, which is the Quicken file that you’ll continue to work with. Like the Create A Year End Copy dialog box suggests, you have two choices:

The Do Nothing choice leaves the Quicken data file alone. The Do Something (please!) choice creates a copy of the Quicken data file using only balances and transactions after a specified date. To shrink the current Quicken file, you predictably use the Do Something (please!) option by selecting the appropriate option button and then specifying the cutoff date.

3Confirm the name in the Give the Archive File a Name and Location text box.

You can actually ignore the filename and folder location information that Quicken enters into the Give the Archive File a Name and Location text box. However, if you really must have it your way, you do have the option of replacing what Quicken suggests with another name. You can also click the Browse button and choose another folder location by using the dialog box that Quicken displays.

4Specify a starting date.

Using the Specify Starting Date text box, type a cutoff date. Nowadays, the folks at Quicken are calling this the This Archive Data File Will Contain Transactions Up to and Including text box, but you guessed that, didn’t you?

Quicken deletes all cleared transactions with dates that fall before this cutoff date from the current Quicken file. (Remember: This file is the one you work with and want to shrink.) (Note: Quicken doesn’t delete uncleared transactions, and it doesn’t delete investment transactions.)


5Click OK.

Quicken creates an old-transactions “Old File” with the filename discussed in Step 3. If you told it to, Quicken also deletes all the old transactions from the current file so that your current file contains only the transactions that are dated after the cutoff date.

Quicken then displays the dialog box shown, which tells you the file was successfully copied. Select the Current File option button if you want to use the current file you’ve just shrunk. Select the Archive File option button if you want to use the old-transactions file. Click OK after you make your choice.

If you want to see the old-transactions, or archive, file again, you can select it in the Open dialog box (accessed by choosing File→Open). You should not enter any new transactions in the old-transactions file, however, because these new transactions will change the old file’s ending account balance without changing the current file’s beginning account balance.