Thinking about Daily Backups overwriting previous versions

tonyt's Avatar


11 May, 2022 04:27 PM

I think I am right that automatic backups overwrite each other, that is, only one backup per day is kept as if several are made on the same day they are overwritten, just leaving the last one made intact.
I spend 2 hours doing some major work with MD, All is good and I close app. Later that day I do some more work on the same file and encounter major problems. I have to close the app again in order to sort it out. All my good work has now been lost as it has been overwritten by the latest backup. I now have to go back and spend the 2 hours redoing what I did before,
If sequential backups were kept I would have been able to restore to the one where all the good work had been done.
I am sure this is the case but am happy to be proved wrong. I know I could export manual backups but that is not the point.
3 questions on that basis:
1 Am I right in my thinking?
2 Why are sequential backups not kept?
3 Should this not be an option in preferences to keep either one backup per day or all backups?
I look forward to comments
PS On a Mac, latest MD preview and latest Big Sur

  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 11 May, 2022 05:07 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    Correct, the auto backup (upon close) keeps only one per days and overwrites the last one.... However, you can manually make as many backups as you like with File/Export Backup menu command.

  2. 2 Posted by tonyt on 11 May, 2022 06:06 PM

    tonyt's Avatar

    This information confirms what I said in my post, but the questions remain. Also, if I have to rely on manual backups, why is there no keyboard shortcut to trigger one rather than having to mouse to file / export backup each time!
    Thanks for the confirmation though.

    Sent from Tony's iPad

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 11 May, 2022 10:10 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    The automatic backup was only ever intended to be an end of day backup, just like a daily system backup. It was never meant to be a session backup.

    That being said a user wrote an extension some time ago that would rename the backup to add a time stamp to the name and thus make it a session backup, it would do that when Moneydance started each time.

    I do not recall what version it was written for, it was certainly post MD 2015 so possibly still works, if you search the forums you should find it.

  4. 4 Posted by tonyt on 12 May, 2022 05:43 AM

    tonyt's Avatar

    I do understand as per my first post. My question is now twofold.
    1 could there / should there be be an option to keep all backups?
    2 could there / should there be a shortcut key to backup as there is for save and many other functions?
    I have looked for the extension by searching forum with no luck.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 12 May, 2022 06:25 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    Tony you are making a suggestion to expand/add options to the existing backup capability. That is something for Sean to consider. Could it be done, sure it would require something like a checkbox on the backup configuration page and coding changes to the file name creation.

    I'm surprised you cannot find the post, you contributed to the thread:

    I would expect to see keyboard shortcuts for routinely used actions, I'm not convinced doing an on demand backup fits this criteria.

  6. 6 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 May, 2022 07:02 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    Perhaps if you know you have messed up your data set there should be a way to deliberately exit Moneydance without creating a backup. Thus then you could restore the backup which would be unaffected by the last session.

  7. 7 Posted by tonyt on 12 May, 2022 07:23 AM

    tonyt's Avatar

    I totally agree! Isn't there an auto backup taking place as well though during each session which would overwrite the good stuff if you made a major mistake, or am I mistaken? Probably!

    Sent from Tony's iPad

  8. 8 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 May, 2022 07:28 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I believe the Data Set is being saved at intervals but I don’t think a backup is created until you close Moneydance.

  9. 9 Posted by tonyt on 12 May, 2022 07:30 AM

    tonyt's Avatar

    If the data set is being saved, would an option to close without making a backup work as the datafile would have been updated?

    Sent from Tony's iPad

  10. 10 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 May, 2022 07:48 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    The Data Set would still be messed up but if you choice to closed the session without making a backup then the backup available to restore would be from the previous session. Thus, when you restored this backup the new Data Set would not the one messed up.

  11. 11 Posted by dwg on 12 May, 2022 08:18 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    When you using Moneydance data is being progressively saved into small transaction files. These are being used to replicate the data to other machines that are participating in a syncing relationship and will be rolled into the trunk file during a later Moneydance restart. These files have no relationship to a backup.

    If you have the presence of mind to know you have made a mistake and need an older backup, you could potentially go into preferences and turn off auto backups, but I think it would be easiest to start a file manager session on the machine and copy the existing backup to a safe location before exiting Moneydance.

    If you want an inbuilt facility to have session backups I think you would have to log that as a suggestion.

  12. 12 Posted by tonyt on 12 May, 2022 08:27 AM

    tonyt's Avatar

    Requested and thanks for the info.

  13. 13 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 May, 2022 08:31 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    dwg idea is a current workable solution if you mess up and need to restore a backup from the previous session of the same day.

  14. 14 Posted by jeff_l on 12 May, 2022 09:00 AM

    jeff_l's Avatar

    An observation, as you are using a MAC, I think you should investigate Time Machine, which can be set to hourly automatic backups without any further intervention. The OS will also automatically take snapshots of any changes even without an external Time Machine.

    Fellow user

  15. System closed this discussion on 11 Aug, 2022 09:00 AM.

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