Marvin's Avatar


22 Jul, 2019 02:42 PM

What is the file system naming process used to store my data? In Quicken there was the main file and then separate file names for back ups. Cannot figure out what MD calls the main file and where it is stored as apposed to the back up file. Would some one please explain the MD naming and file location system.

  1. 1 Posted by Marvin on 22 Jul, 2019 02:46 PM

    Marvin's Avatar

    I understand the MD back up naming & file location. However, what does MD call my non back up file and where is that stored?

  2. 2 Posted by -Kevin N. on 22 Jul, 2019 03:52 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Marvin,

    The easiest way to locate your data file is from within Moneydance.

    From the Moneydance menu bar go to Help > Show Documents Folder.

    A file browser will open to the default location for Moneydance data files.

    Your data file is actually a folder of several files. It will be in the following format:
    filename.moneydance where filename is the name that you gave to your data file.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  3. 3 Posted by Marvin on 22 Jul, 2019 04:55 PM

    Marvin's Avatar

    Thanks Kevin, then are all saved files saved with the .moneydancearchive file type? It would seem logical to have the basic file saved plus a separate
    dupicalte back up of that file - not true?

  4. 4 Posted by -Kevin N. on 22 Jul, 2019 06:50 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi Marvin,

    Files with the .moneydancearchive file extension are the daily backups that Moneydance automatically creates. The location and number of daily backups is set in Preferences.
    (Moneydance menu bar > File > Preferences > Backups tab)
    They can be easily accessed via the Moneydance menu bar > Help > Show Backup Folder menu item.

    They differ from your data files which use the .moneydance file extension.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 22 Jul, 2019 06:56 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Your data set is a folder not a file. It contains other folders and files. Its naming convention is yourdatasetname.moneydance. Data set folders can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER.

    There are two methods for making a backup.

    In both cases you can select the backup location and as such it is good practice to set the location on a cloud server such as Dropbox, in case your hard drive fails.
    Manual backup. A manual backup can be made under FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – BACKUP EXPORT. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydancearchive

    Automatic backup is set under FILE – PREFERENCES – BACKUPS. Auto backup makes a backup every time you close Moneydance. Moneydance only keep the last auto backup of the day, overwriting any previous auto backups for that day. You can set the number of backups to be kept. When this number is exceeded the oldest backup is deleted. The file naming convention is yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive
    A moneydancearchive file is a compressed data set.

    The contents of a backup file is AES256 encrypted and provided you have set a password under FILE – PASSWORDS can only be opened by Moneydance by entering your password after using FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP.

    When you FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP you do not overwrite your existing data set. This is in case you later find you need access to your old data set. A new data set is created with the naming convention – from manual backup yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-tttt.moneydance the date time code taken from the backup file - from auto backup yourdatasetname (plus at number) e.g. yourdatasetname 2.moneydance The default data set location can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. You can delete old data sets you no longer want. You can rename a restored data set with Moneydance closed as you would any other folder provided you retain “.moneydance” extension. When you open Moneydance it will open in the “Welcome to Moneydance” window with the data set name listed on the right.

    Hope this helps.

  6. 6 Posted by hilof on 17 Oct, 2019 02:33 PM

    hilof's Avatar

    I recommend you to use Google apps backup service from, and you will forget about all the problems that you face right now. I have never seen such user friendly service and interface. I believe that it will be a valuable help to you.

Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac