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Is it possible to open Quicken data file without restoring the file?

I want to review the file prior to restoring. The file is saved on an external hard drive. When I try to open the file, from any location, I am asked "where I want to restore the file." I do not want to restore; I want to review prior to restoring.
    No.  You have to restore it to see it, but that doesn't mean that you have to overwrite your existing file to do it.  There is a question in the process asking whether to "overwrite" or "create a copy".
      Change the name of that Quicken backed up file on the external hard disk to the same as your working file.  Then you will be able to open it without the "Restore" question.

      That is why I use Windows Backup and Genie Backup in addition to Quicken Backup.  Sometimes I want to open an old file for inspection.
      • If you do as Baldy49 suggests, you stand a chance of overwriting your existing file.  I would not do it.
      • In this discussion I don't see the version of Quicken, if old the answer could be different.

        From Quicken 2010 to date the *.QDF and *.QDF-backup files are actually identical, but the different types are used to give Quicken a hint to the intent.  As in *.QDF open in place, *.QDF-backup ask the user where to copy/restore to.

        Please note that if you are opening an data file (either QDF or QDF-backup) that was created from a prior version of Quicken, it will have to copy and convert to the new version to open/restore it.
      • I should state one more thing.  If you open a Quicken data file, Quicken will change it.
        Usually it is some minor change like say some internal date stamp, but there is nothing to stop you from deleting everything and basically making your backup useless so in fact you should only open a copy of any of your backups.

        I don't actually use Quicken's backup.  I have my own backup that just backs up all my important files.  And so if I need to open "backup", I copy it to my main drive and open there.
      • Splasher,

        I do this all the time and never had a problem.  The open file MUST be in a different directory of course.  That prevents any commingling of iles.

        Frankly, I rely more on my Windows and Genie backups for reviews than my Quicken backups.  I have never opened a Quicken backup.

        As in everything else regarding software, care MUST be taken.
      • "Opening" backup files is a bad idea. Opening Quicken files, can change their contents.

        If you want to see the contents of a backup file you should restore it; or make a Windows copy and open the copy.
      • If you open a Genie Backup File of Quicken, it is opened on the External Disk in the Genie directory.  There is no way it can influence the Active Data File on the Main Disk.  I keep Windows and Genie backup files on an External Disk for THREE MONTHS and the backups are made daily.  The Windows Backup File would have to be restored to a Scratch directory for opening and review.

        The only reason I may open them is if I detect an error in the Active Data File and want to trace where it happened.  If I have to make a correction, I do it in the Active Data File on the Main Disk.

        If I want to experiment with the Active Data File, I make two Windows Explorer copies: one to a Scratch directory on the Main disk and one to a Work directory on the External Disk. Then I work on the Active Data file but can simply copy back one of the other files if the experiment failed.

        Using the Qujicken RESTORE process is far more dangerous than the procedures I have outlined since that action will overlay the Active Data file.
      • @Baldy49  " I have never opened a Quicken backup."  If you never open (restore) a backup, how do you know they are even being done correctly.  If you don't periodically test the backup/restore process, there is no use in doing it.  
        "since that action will overlay the Active Data file"  Only if you tell it to, that is a question that you have to answer when doing a restore.
        That is like having smoke/fire detectors all over your home and never testing them, how do you know that they will work when needed?
      • "action will overlay the Active Data file"

        IF the user OKs it, and doesn't select to make a copy instead.
        People tend to punch through dialogs without reading them though, and then wonder why they get burnt.
      • "There is no way it can influence the Active Data File on the Main Disk".
         
        Nothing to do with my point.

        I did not say opening a backup could change the file from which the backup was created; I said opening a backup could change the backup. Any file Quicken opens can be changed when by Quicken when it is opened.
      • @NoWay,

        If you open a Windows backup of a Quicken file from a prior date, it can NOT change unless the user changes it in some way.

        @splasher,

        I rely on Windows Backup and Genie Backup files for Quicken since they are EXACT duplicates of the Active Data file with the date and time stamped on them.  The Quicken Backup files have a different name for one thing and may have different flags set inside as well.  Frankly, for backups I only trust dedicated backup software.

        @QNP,

        Its easy to restore a backup made by Quicken onto the Quicken Active File.  Its a risk we all take and its better to stay away from it.  I still have Quicken made Backup files but would only use them if my External Disk died. That is also possible.
      • You're wrong. Quicken changes files without the user doing anything but opening them. For example: do you know what auto-enter Reminders do? Do you know what the preference to delete memorized payees not used in nn months does?
      • Actually I think that we are all kicking a dead horse, one that maybe the OP never even intended.
        We all understand the risks of opening a Quicken file (the QDF will change {Quicken changes any QDF file it opens whether you change anything or not, the QDF-backup will not, because it copies the data first to another data file and then opens that file) and it seems we all have our own ways of dealing with these things.  I don't really see any disagreement per say, just different methods to achieve the same result.

        But I will point out one plus (and negative) of using Quicken backups, it is in fact that they are not exact copies of the QDF.  Quicken reads the data records from the QDF and writes them to the backup.  It doesn't do this like a Windows copy which will be exactly the same.  The reason is because it follows the data structures of the data file and it will skip over "deleted" data records and by definition it will have to have read every data record the same way Quicken would when it was going to use that data record.  So this is in fact a kind of validation of the data as it is written.

        This on the other hand has a negative side, just as validate can create a "consistent" data file will missing data because it had some kind of structural problem, so can a Quicken backup.
      • Maybe the op didn't want to know; but some people don't understand that opening backups is a bad thing ... as indicated here.
      • NoWay,

        I always open a COPY of the Windows / Genie Backup.  The original Backup has to be restored first in a different directory to open it.  The OP asked how to do it without a Restore and I answered it.

        The copy opened is then deleted by me.  It is only used for review of posssible past errors which is rare in any event.

        If one is going to open a backup, opening a COPY of the backup instead of the Active Data file is always preferable if it is a research project.  For example, I may have changed a transaction in the Active Data file which led to problems down the road.  The only way to refresh one's memory of what happened, is to open a copy of the backup.  Each backup is date and time stampped by the dedicated backup program.

        As noted above, the Quicken Backup CHANGES the file.  I want the exact file as backed up on a prior date without any changes.
      • "I always open a COPY of the Windows / Genie Backup."

        But not everyone does. And your comments didn't make it clear that you always do.

        My remarks were intended as a general note for those who didn't realize that opening backups is a bad idea. Your replies only seemed to indicate you did not see any problem opening backups.

        [I don't agree that Quicken backup "changes" the file; Quicken "Copy" does "change" the output it creates. But even if backup did "change" the file, it doesn't change anything to which you have access ... no data you have access to is removed/changed by either backup or copy.]