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Using Quicken with Dropbox

I wanted my wife and myself to be able to access and update our Quicken data from 2 different computers (sharing one data file) and couldn't find a way to do it.  Quicken's online help says it cannot be done.  I explored switching from Quicken to an online alternative like Mint but couldn't find one where I liked the features.  A few months ago I found Dropbox and decided to try that.  It has done exactly what I was hoping for.  So far I have had only one instance of a file conflict (where my wife added a transaction to Quicken from her computer and the data file on my computer did not get updated before I added a transaction).  When this happened, Dropbox immediately notified me that there had been a conflict and it saved both files (one that had her transaction but not mine and one that had mine but not hers).  It was a simple process to open the other file, see the transaction she added and add it to the main file.  We normally don't add many transactions and I didn't expect to ever have a conflict like this but was pleasantly surprised with how it was handled.  I'm only posting this in case someone is looking for a multi-user (non simultaneous) way to use Quicken to let them know it works for me.
  • Understand that the consequences of your need to access the same file can result in a data file corruption, which you may not learn for some time.  Is it that important?  You can always do a backup/restore.  The choice is of course yours.
  • GeoffG -- I guess there may be some risk of  a data file corruption -- but I'm not sure it is much higher than normal.  The file that the Quicken application updates is on the same hard drive as the application just as it would be if I were not using Dropbox so to that point there would be no more chance of corruption.  One file & application is on my computer, one application & an identical file is on my wife's computer.  Once Quicken has updated the data file on the same computer as the application in use, Dropbox copies the file to their server and from there to the other computer -- and I agree there is a chance of something being corrupted during the copying process.  The convenience of each of us being able to keep our finances up to date even from different geographic locations makes it useful for us -- and there don't seem to be other viable alternatives.  I would prefer an online version of Quicken but Mint seems to have a completely different focus.
There are other solutions.  If the Quicken program and data file reside on PC A, which is at home, and is always connnected to the internet, the higher-end versions of Windows installed on PC A support Remote Desktop which would allow laptop B to connect remotely to PC A and run Quicken remotely on PC A.  The advantage is that your data file is always in one place, on PC A.  Other solutions include programs like gotomyPC.  But if drop-box works for you, no reason to change.
  • FWIW, I've successfully used Windows Live Sync for the past few years to keep my DT and LT in sync. for Quicken and other application data files.
    Live Sync appears to be similar to Dropbox in most respects in that it transmits new/modified data files from PC_A to PC_B and vice-versa. Thus, with a slight time delay, both systems 'see' the same, current data file.

    The important point is that this is not the same as attempting to 'run' an application [e.g., Quicken] over the network; e.g., read/write data from Quicken on PC_A to a data file residing on PC_B.
    Quicken does not recommend or support this mode of operation and cites potential for data corruption.

    While I am far-far from an expert in this area, it seems to me that transmitting files via a network is similar to transmitting via a flash drive [or other] and much less likely to cause problems than read/write operations to a data file via a network - particularly where the application apparently does not have the built-in data checking capability.

    Am I missing something here?
  • Can you tell me how you went about doing this on Dropbox?

    (but onl if you have a Mac)

    If someone else can do this on a Mac can you post it?

    PS Spam protection: How many nickels are in a quarter?
    ---I had to google it! How do I know - I'm Scottish!
  • It wouldn't be significantly different on a Mac.  Just go to the Dropbox site and follow their instructions for what you need to do to get Dropbox running on each computer.  Once you've done that you just move your Quicken data files (on a PC there are 4 files with the same name but different extensions) from their current location to the Dropbox folder on the computer where they currently reside (I created a "Quicken data" folder within the "My Dropbox" folder.  The next time you run Quicken after doing the above, it won't automatically find and open the data files so you'll have to do that using the Quicken File menu the first time on each computer.
  • Please note that for Quicken 2010 and above there is now only one file the QDF (type) file.
    Please also note in Quicken 2009 and below if you want to save your attachments you need to also get what is in your Attach folder.

    Lets say you called your Quicken data file MyData then the files/folders you want are as follows:
    MyData.* (* meaning all the files called MyData and any type)
    Attach\MyData  (and all the folders/files below it)