Find backup files on Time Machine

Pat 's Avatar


20 Dec, 2021 11:12 PM

I've had to completely reconfigure my computer due to a number of critical threats. Therefore I have no records on the computer. I use Time Machine as backup and Carbonite. Please advise.

  1. 1 Posted by peter3 on 21 Dec, 2021 11:26 AM

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    It should be very straightforward if you have used Time Machine (TM).

    Assuming that you have TM on an external drive, all you have to do is connect it up and then enable it from the TM preferences. Next 'Enter' TM and go to its most up to date back up and open it, which should then open that dates Finder for you.
    Go to the location that you previously used for your back ups in Finder and select the latest MD back up.
    I would copy that file and paste it onto your desktop where you can use it to restore Moneydance.

  2. 2 Posted by Pat on 21 Dec, 2021 05:33 PM

    Pat 's Avatar

    Hello Peter3,

    I’ve looked through the Time Machine backups and cannot find the recent files. I found a load dating back to 2010 and 2011, but they are now irrelevant. I’ve checked the online info’ and that refers to going to “Container” in Library. However, I cannot find any containers either in Library or System Library.

    I never altered the configuration that came with Moneydance as I wouldn’t know how to. In the past the Moneydance backups were in some obscure Library or wherever place. I did a backup before I had the computer reconfigured by technicians who would know what they were doing.

    I hope you can help me find the latest files as they represent many hours of work.

    Many thanks.


  3. 3 Posted by peter3 on 22 Dec, 2021 08:26 AM

    peter3's Avatar


    I regret I'm no expert on Moneydance, just a user like you.

    The advice I gave was based on my knowledge of TM and the assumption that you knew where your back ups had been saved to. When I set up Moneydance for the first time I set my back ups to be saved to a folder in Finder but I have no idea where the Moneydance default location is.

    Maybe one of the other, more knowledgeable, members will be able to help with the default location.

    Good luck.

  4. 4 Posted by dwg on 22 Dec, 2021 09:03 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Data seems to move around depending on what version of macOS you are using.

    While I am not a Mac user I think backups are in the following location on Big Sur and Monterey:


    You may like to report back whether this is correct.

  5. 5 Posted by peter3 on 23 Dec, 2021 10:13 AM

    peter3's Avatar


    Thanks for that. I am using Monterey and have had a look and found a back up folder in the location shown on the attached image. Obviously it is empty but was probably placed there when i installed MD.

  6. 6 Posted by tonyt on 23 Dec, 2021 10:32 AM

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    Have you tried doing a spotlight search for the moneydance backup file extension

  7. 7 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 23 Dec, 2021 10:34 AM

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    Just restore the main folder that contains your xxx.moneydance file (folder/package)... or the:

    /Users/XXXX/Library/Containers/com.infinitekind.MoneydanceOSX/Data/Documents/* folder/files

  8. 8 Posted by Pat on 23 Dec, 2021 11:19 PM

    Pat 's Avatar

    HI dwg,

    Thank you for writing. Due to critical threats, I had my computer completely re-configured. The original IOS was Mountain Lion, but the technicians skipped that and the various updates and went straight to Catalina, which is the latest IOS this iMac can take. I can find files listed going back to 2010 & 2011, but they open like brand new files with zero balance. Recent years, like 2020 pr 2021 cannot be found cannot be found at all.

    I’m surprised that Moneydance has such a complicated file backup system. I’ve looked to no avail under /users/<username>/Library/Containers/Moneydance/Data/archive/backups
    Most programs have a user data folders that can easily copied over or automatically end up in Time Machine and are easy to find.

    Infinitekindi – Do something about this unnecessarily complicated backup system. Not all your customers are techies or of the technological age.


  9. 9 Posted by dwg on 24 Dec, 2021 01:46 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    The file locations are not all that strange under Windows and Linux, it seems to be a Mac thing, I can only speculate that it may have something to do with selling Moneydance in the App store, we already know that Apple demand some features are removed or changed to comply with their requirements.

  10. 10 Posted by Pat on 24 Dec, 2021 03:24 AM

    Pat 's Avatar

    From: dwg <[email blocked]>
    Date: Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 6:46 PM
    To: Patricia Hamilton <[email blocked]>
    Subject: Re: Find backup files on Time Machine [Problems #75926]

    // The craziness of Apple! Even with their so proclaimed safety again viruses etc., and despite using a reliable anti-virus program I still managed to have 8 critical threats on the system and 5 in the data. IMO, In recent years Apple has steadily go downhill, so much so I’m seriously thinking of taking my chances with a PC and Windows.

    Thanks for you input.

    PHease reply above this line

  11. 11 Posted by dwg on 24 Dec, 2021 03:55 AM

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    If you have a spare older machine try Linux. I run this on hardware that will no longer run any recent version of Windows and it runs quite well, often quicker than much newer hardware with Windows.

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Ethan on 26 Dec, 2021 10:09 PM

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    The last few posts about the file location on Macs were correct. We were basically forced several years ago to choose locations like that to be able to sell Moneydance on the Mac App Store due to their 'sandboxing' requirements. We even tried making a shortcut in the documents folder to the data file location, and that revision was rejected from the App Store reviewers. That's part of the reason for the Help -> Show Documents Folder option from the Moneydance menu bar, a way to quickly open a less than ideal location.

    I'm a bit unclear if this issue is resolved or not. The main thing to be searching your backups for are any files that end with the .moneydance or .moneydancearchive file extensions. They are generally in those default file locations, although as long as you weren't using the version from the Mac App Store, you would have been able to move them to a custom location at some point.

    Infinite Kind Support

  13. 13 Posted by Pat on 27 Dec, 2021 02:45 AM

    Pat 's Avatar


    I found some files with the file names that are relatively recent. They are in the cloud Carbonite which backs up one’s files for a limited time. I’ve tried to restore them through the Carbonite restore system without success. Instead, Carbonite has just restored a load of empty folder that I now cannot empty from the Trash and so it gets worse! Computers are great until they go wrong. I’m sure you understand my anger with this whole scenario. Oh I forgot, in America it’s never anger it’s frustration.

    Tomorrow I will call Carbonite and see if they can help restore the files and then get rid of nearly hundred empty folders now residing in the Trash can, which won’t empty because they are being used by some mysterious program.

    As for Apple – it has become absurd – frankly over the years it has gotten worse and now frankly it sucks – but then so does PC in some respects.


  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by Ethan on 27 Dec, 2021 04:50 PM

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    Hi Patricia,

    I completely understand your feelings about the situation, whether we call is anger or frustration. I'm not that familiar with Carbonite's backup systems, so hopefully they can offer more details. Based on our experience with other backup and syncing systems, you may have more luck restoring a .moneydancearchive file than your main .moneydance data set, although you should try to restore whatever you have. The reason for this is that the main .moneydance data file is actually comprised of thousands of smaller files, which some backup/syncing services decide not to completely copy for some reason. The .moneydancearchive files are a compressed version of your entire data file, and those systems usually do better at storing one single compressed file. You can restore a .moneydancearchive file by selecting it using the File -> Restore from Backup option from the Moneydance menu bar.

    Infinite Kind Support

  15. 15 Posted by Pat on 05 Jan, 2022 05:37 PM

    Pat 's Avatar


    I finally managed to find and download the files for Moneydance from my Cloud backup Carbonite. Now bringing my files uptodate the program has stopped after 100 entries. I bought this program some years ago and the sign in code is B1030267-CD9F3DEF. Please let me know where I sign in so I can carry on working on these files?

    Many thanks.

    Patricia Hamilton

  16. 16 Posted by Pat on 05 Jan, 2022 05:42 PM

    Pat 's Avatar


    I’ve just paid for the upgrade and the program still will not let me continue working on it!

    Patricia Hamilton

    From: Patricia Hamilton <[email blocked]>
    Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 10:37 AM
    To: [email blocked] <[email blocked]>
    Subject: Re: Find backup files on Time Machine [Problems #75926]

    I finally managed to find and download the files for Moneydance from my Cloud backup Carbonite. Now bringing my files uptodate the program has stopped after 100 entries. I bought this program some years ago and the sign in code is B1030267-CD9F3DEF. Please let me know where I sign in so I can carry on working on these files?

    Many thanks.

    Patricia Hamilton

  17. 17 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jan, 2022 07:12 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Pat

    If you just purchased a new key you should have been emailed this key from payment processing partners, Paddle.

    The new key is only valid for Moneydance 2022.

    Download 2022.3(4063) from and install. Then run Moneydance and install the new key under HELP.

    Hope this helps

  18. System closed this discussion on 06 Apr, 2022 07:20 PM.

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