8 Quicken 2015 Troubleshooting Tips - dummies

8 Quicken 2015 Troubleshooting Tips

By Stephen L. Nelson

When using Quicken 2015, you probably want not only specific, step-by-step information about how to use the program, but also troubleshooting advice. Following are some techniques and tactics that you can use to solve the inevitable problems you encounter while using Quicken in real-life settings.

Tactic #1: Use the Quicken Help file

You have some problem that you can’t solve by using Help, and it’s either a bug or some glaring error in the Quicken documentation. Upon further reflection, you may be thinking that you’ve encountered some problem that you can’t possibly solve by consulting the Quicken Help file.

Maybe you’re right.

But about half the time, the problem is that people don’t know enough about Quicken to know what to do. People simply experience a mechanical problem, and they can’t make the program work because they haven’t used Quicken enough to figure out how it works.

Therefore, the right way to solve this sort of problem is to find out more about Quicken and try again. For example, if you’re having problems printing a report, just finding out more about printing and reports often solves your problem.

Usually, you should be able to find the information (perhaps in a slightly less friendly form) in the Quicken Help file. To find information in the Quicken Help file, choose Help→Quicken Help to display the Help window, click the Search Quicken Help tab, and then enter the word or phrase that you want to look up.

Tactic #2: Visit the Quicken product support website

Another really good resource for troubleshooting is the Intuit product support website for Quicken. This website supplies a rich database of troubleshooting information.

To use the website, you select the version of Quicken you’re using. After you click your version, you see a web page that lists common categories of problems or questions. You select a category, and you’re on your way. The product support website then displays a list of troubleshooting articles that may help you solve your problem.

Tactics #3 and #4: Check the Microsoft or the hardware vendor product support website

Keep in mind the possibility that your problem may not be a problem with Quicken at all, but a problem with your computer and its hardware or with Microsoft Windows. If your problem stems from the hardware or the operating system, you can consult the hardware or software maker’s product support website for troubleshooting information.

The Microsoft product support website is phenomenally rich in information. You can usually find the hardware maker product support website easily by using a good Internet search engine. For example, to locate Dell Computer’s product support website, type something like Dell Computer product support in a search engine such as Google.

You can find troubleshooting information about Intuit products at the Microsoft product support website. If the solutions that the site offers aren’t very reassuring, at least you can find out whether others have experienced the same problem. Microsoft may suggest that you contact the vendor (which is Intuit) or that you upgrade to a newer version of the Quicken software.

But knowing that the problem you’ve encountered is a real problem that Microsoft has logged in its product support knowledge base (that’s what Microsoft calls it) and described in some technical detail is often useful.

Tactic #5: Contact Intuit directly

In addition to the option of using the Intuit product support website, you can contact Intuit directly by visiting the Quicken support page and clicking the Contact Us button.

If you’re willing to wait for your help, you should also know that free support is available by e-mail (consult the Intuit support website for current details). Finally, the Intuit site also offers a free chat service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tactic #6: Try the Quicken Live Community

If your problem with Quicken isn’t really a program bug or can’t be easily solved by getting more information, you can sometimes find an answer by consulting other Quicken users. One of the easiest ways to do this is to browse the Quicken Live Community forums.

Community groups really amount to free-form — and sometimes meandering — discussions among users. You can’t necessarily expect to have your question answered. And good community forum etiquette suggests that if you’re going to ask questions, you should also try to answer questions.

Tactic #7: Install and use antivirus software

Okay, this shouldn’t really be Tactic #8. This tactic deserves a higher ranking than that. But that’s beside the point. The point is this: If you can’t solve a problem, and you have Internet access, and you’ve been downloading files or accepting e-mail messages with attachments from strangers, your computer may have a virus.

And it may be that your Quicken problems (particularly Quicken problems that you can’t solve in other ways) stem from the virus.

Buy, install, and use antivirus software such as Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan. Consider one of these software programs just another part of the price of Internet connectivity. To locate online stores where you can download antivirus software, search for Norton AntiVirus or McAfee VirusScan. You can also try Microsoft’s free antivirus software, Microsoft Security Essentials.

Tactic #8: When all else fails . . .

If you use a CPA or enrolled agent to prepare your federal and state income taxes, you can probably get a quick (and perhaps free) answer from him or her. CPAs and enrolled agents, as you may guess, have spent years learning about and working with accounting systems.

Commonly, the problems people have with Quicken aren’t technical software problems but accounting or bookkeeping conundrums. So what you think is a Quicken bug may, er, really be an operator error.

Let me also mention that even if you don’t have a CPA or enrolled agent prepare your tax return, you may want to find one whom you can ask for help and then pay him or her. Even if you’re using Quicken for a small business or for real estate investing — something a wee bit complicated — an hour or so of personalized training is often all you need to get all your questions answered.