Replacement to Quicken Desktop

Treasure A Auble's Avatar

Treasure A Auble

13 Aug, 2022 05:59 PM

I have been using Quicken desktop (not cloud based) for almost 30 years. I need a replacement that is not cloud based, similar in entry , and that I can transfer over all those years of data. Yes, I still refer back to the history regularly. I am opposed of cloud based. Is this a good replacement as Quicken is now only subscription and cloud based.
Thank you.

  1. 1 Posted by Treasure A Aubl... on 13 Aug, 2022 06:07 PM

    Treasure A Auble's Avatar

    I currently have Quicken 2015 Home and Business. When I backup the file it appears to create a .QDF format. Is this old enough to successfully transfer my data to your software?

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Ethan on 13 Aug, 2022 09:09 PM

    Ethan's Avatar


    All of your data in Moneydance is stored in a data file on your computer. There are optional functions you can enable to sync your data with other desktop or mobile systems, but the data stays with you. We have no plans to move to a 'cloud' based system. We don't want our customer's financial data, nor the responsibility for holding onto it.

    To import from Quicken, you'll first need to export all of your data from that program into the QIF format, which you can then import into Moneydance:

    Since you are importing many years of data, you will likely have to do a significant amount of manual cleanup, due to the limitations of Quicken's export options and formats. Here are some common issues after QIF imports and possible solutions:

    If you have issues with the import and can describe the situation in more detail, long time users may also chime in on this thread with their own suggestions.

    I encourage you to download our free trial version from and experiment with the program before you decide if you would like to purchase it. The demo version is fully functional and allows you to manually enter 100 transactions. Imported transactions are not limited, so you'll be able to fully test things like importing from other programs and connections with your bank. If you decide to purchase the program at a later date (from you can keep all your data, the license key simply unlocks the ability to manually enter more transactions.

    Infinite Kind Support

  3. 3 Posted by dtd on 14 Aug, 2022 12:01 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user - Ethan's message is helpful.

    I converted about 2 years ago with 35 years of Quicken data. As you say, there is still "look back" - I tend to do so as a strange diary - what did I do back then?

    QDF is a no go - proprietary. Make a QIF file of all your data. If anything is inactive make it active so it goes too. Click ALL the boxes to make a comprehensive file.

    Get the trial version of MD- it is fully functional, with 100 manual entry limit - QIF imports don't count. Import the QIF file.

    Then - no it won't be perfect. QIF is a compromise as there are no great transfer systems.

    Someone will post a more comprehensive "now what do you do" - but initial balances and such will be in there.

    It's a bit of work - but worth it.

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 14 Aug, 2022 06:56 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    Try it out for yourself.

    The downloaded version of Moneydance is a full working version with the only limit being a maximum of 100 manually entered transactions, with no time limit. Imported files from other financial programs and your bank have no limit on imports, provided that you do not confirm them. If you decided to purchase, you are sent a key by email that unlocks the 100-manual transaction limit. If after testing with this free trial version you purchase and change your mind see the 90 day money back guaranty at

    For the future Moneydance never sunsets the version it releases. So, you don’t have to upgrade. If you won’t to upgrade the next version is free (say 2021 to 2022) and from then on you get a 50% discount. All upgrades within a version are free.

    Make sure you are running this build of Moneydance
    You need to use Quicken to export your data in a QIF file type. Ensure any closed account that have transfers to any open accounts are included in the QIF file, re-open these accounts if necessary. Export everything Quicken export will allow.

    Open the QIF file in a text editor. You are looking for the date format used in the file e.g., D25/03'2019 Day Month Year or D5/ 17'19 or D05/31/2017 Month Day Year etc. You will need this information later. If you get this wrong, it will be apparent as the dates in Moneydance will be all over the place and you will need to start again creating a new data set.

    QIF files were never meant for transferring data from one program to another, but it’s all that is available, you will need to spend time cleaning thing up when import is complete.

    When you first start Moneydance it opens in the Welcome window click on “Create a new account set”. If you have opened Moneydance before creating a new data set under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW.
    Select “Create New File” (Data Set) and click NEXT. Type in an Account Set Name (Data Set) and click NEXT. Change Primary Currency (base currency), if required. File Type, leave at “Standard Account set”, click FINISH.

    In the Side Bar (list on left) under BANK deleted the two default Bank accounts, highlighting them in turn and using ACCOUNT – DELETE ACCOUNT.

    NOTE: If you have accounts with currencies that are not in your base currency (foreign currencies) perform the steps under NOTE 1 before importing your QIF file as follows.
    Drag and dropped the QIF file into the Side Bar (list on left).
    Wait for the Analyzing data window to close, this can take a few minutes. Nothing may appear to happen until the Import window opens.

    IMPORTANT: Checked all listed accounts are of the correct type and currency and changed if required.

    The “Date Format” should be set to the date format used in the QIF file not the date format you want to use in Moneydance. Select the correct Decimal Character. Later Builds of Moneydance may also include a Text Encoding dropdown, leave at default selection.

    Click Import and wait, the process can take some time. Again, nothing may appear to be happening until the process is complete, indicated by the Merging data window closing.

    IMPORTANT: When import is complete close and reopen Moneydance.

    Some or all of the accounts maybe hidden in the Side Bar, list on left. To make accounts visible click the “+” at the bottom of the Side Bar, then Advanced, then OK. If this does not help, try closing and re-opening Moneydance.

    Any accounts that are inactive (closed) should be made inactive. This will remove them from the Summary Page, two columns on the right, in the Account Section as well as from reports. There are two methods to accomplish this:
    1. By highlighting the account in the Side Bar and clicking ACCOUNT – EDIT ACCOUNT and ticking the inactive box – OK.
    2. Click TOOLS – ACCOUNTS and in the windows that opens double click on the Account Name and in the window that opens tick the inactive box - OK. In the list of Account names Accounts in lighter text are inactive. After making the required changes click DONE.

    To remove Accounts from the Side Bar, right click and select REMOVE FROM SIDE BAR.

    You can also click the “+” button at the bottom of the Side Bar, click Advance then use the Advance window to determine which items are visible in the Side Bar.

    On the Summary Page, two columns on right, if you have Investment Securities, they will be shown in a section STOCK PRICES. This may include securities in which you no longer have holdings. To remove these from the list double click on Security Name – EDIT and then untick SHOW ON SUMMARY PAGE box – OK - X

    Some QIF files don’t include initial account balances. If you think this is the case you can add initial balance to affected accounts as follows.
    Highlighting an account, then click ACCOUNT – EDIT ACCOUNT and add an Initial Balance.

    For investment accounts QIF file don’t always carry security prices other than buy sell prices, so investment account balances maybe wrong until you update with current security prices.

    Reminders are not included in QIF files.

    Now the real work starts to check balances and tidy thing up. This is especially true of investment accounts as not all action types are supported. But worth it in the end.

    For information on how to use Moneydance see

    Note 1: This section only applies if you have accounts with currencies that are not in your base currency. For these currencies ensure “Show on summary page” box is ticked under TOOLS – CURRENCIES – highlight subject currency and double click – EDIT.
    Note: QIF file do not contain exchange rates. To overcome this QIF file shortcoming the Currency/Security History window under TOOLS – CURRENCIES - highlight subject currency and double click must have current and dated exchange rates filled in which cover the date range of transactions in non-base currency account. If your version of Quicken allows you to export a CSV file for a given currencies exchange rate this is the way to go. Use IMPORT button in Moneydance under the Currency/Security History window to import the exchange rates. If this route is not available you can manually add exchange rates or you can import CSV exchange rate files downloaded from sites on the web. If you have investment account, their balances will probably be incorrect. This is due to the fact that the currency set in the security history windows will be in the Moneydance base currency. You can change to the correct security currency and provided exchange rates exist the values will be converted. As you do this re-calculation occurs, but I think the results should be correct. No guarantees the section will work correctly.

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5 Posted by Treasure A Aubl... on 15 Aug, 2022 12:57 AM

    Treasure A Auble's Avatar

    Thank you all for your input. I will give it a go. It does look like the process is not for the faint of heart. I will lock myself up in my office and see if I can follow your guidance.

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