I have successfully archived off older years from the file.

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moneydance

13 Mar, 2021 05:35 PM

I didn't want merely to filter out old information from my reports; I wanted to expunge it completely.

I've seen the various posts defending the removal of the "archiving" function, mostly on the grounds that there is no technological imperative to do that anymore now that disk and processing space are plentiful. There are, however, very good *Information Management* reasons to get rid of old information, and often good legal reasons, too.

For those who are interested, here's how I did it:

1) I saved/printed a full current Trial Balance (list of accounts and current balances). This becomes the Control Sheet.

2) (Working on a copy of the file) I chose my start date, and produced another Trial Balance as of one day prior to that start date.

3) I created a new Expense category called Archive Balance Expense (It could have been an asset account, or income account; I chose Expense.)

4) Going through each account one at a time, I manually entered a single transaction on the day before the start date;
   Description: Post-archive opening balance
   Category: Archive Balance Expense
   Amount: = the balance that appears on the start date, based on all the earlier entries.

5) I then deleted all those earlier entries, and checked that today's total matched what was on the Control Sheet.

6) Continuing this way with each account, I was able to retain all entries from the start date until today, with the addition of one pre-start-date entry.

7) When they were all done, I generated a new Trial Balance sheet to compare it to the Control Sheet.

The whole thing took about 2 hours, and reduced the size of the data file down to two-thirds the size of what it was.

The first time I reconcile each account (e.g., against a bank statement) it is off by the amount of the pre-start-date entry. Ticking that entry to mark it cleared brings me back to where I need to be.

  1. 1 Posted by mhoggie on 13 Mar, 2021 05:53 PM

    mhoggie's Avatar

    just a user,

    I'm with you for the reasons to archive old years. Another reason to delete the old transactions is due to the way the "New Style" budget will scan all records each time you open the budget. If you have 10 years of transactions, it can take 30 second to open the budget while you keep clicking the icon because nothing is happened. But the way MD is designed, deleting transactions will not reduce your database size as you might expect. It just inserts markers where something was deleted. Not the reason you indicated for removing old transactions, but some may think deleting old transactions will reduce the database size. If someone is determined to reduce the database size, they will need to play with the import, export, backup, restore methods to reduce the database size. I think that's why MD doesn't have the archive feature anymore. Just too many issues to deal with.

  2. 2 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 13 Mar, 2021 06:15 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Sorry, but this IS NOT TRUE (as such).... It's a myth.... The database is called trunk. This contains purely your dataset - the final records - no journaling... However, the journal files do take space and can be deleted.. (to be honest, I fail to see how anyone would actually use the journal files).....

    DO NOT READ ON IF YOU WANT A SUPPORTED SOLUTION. DO NOTHING BELOW UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THE RISKS AND HAVE DONE A GOOD BACKUP..... CONSIDER THIS AN EXPERIMENT IF YOU ARE INCLINED TO PLAY..

    ALSO, DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE SYNCING... THAT WOULD REQUIRE EXTRA STEPS....

    DID I SAY BACKUP, YES BACKUP FIRST...!

    Restart MD Several times, to flush Trunk, and then with MD Closed you can:
    - Delete safe/tiksync/out/.mdtxn, */txn and /in/.mdtxn - processed.dct - archive/. ... and if you feel like it.... attach/. (but you will loose all your attachments)

    and you will reduce your dataset even further.... I reduced mine from 90MB to 20MB without even having to delete real transactions.... and yes, all data was there, all reports were OK, net worth was the same etc....

    IF YOU DO THE ABOVE, AT YOUR OWN RISK.. I DID IT AS AN EXPERIMENT. YOU SHOULD TEST FIRST!!

    (not support, just a fellow user)

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Ethan on 15 Mar, 2021 02:16 AM

    Ethan's Avatar

    I'm curious if any of you have investment accounts? It seems like this process would create some of the same issues that the original archiving function suffered from, especially for investments. If you delete your original purchases, Moneydance will have no information to be able to calculate your cost basis, or really much of anything useful related to investment performance. A dummy transaction in the account won't help with that. I guess maybe one could try to avoid touching investment account history, but if you delete older transactions in your other accounts that were transfers between them and your investment accounts, you may then delete either those purchase transactions, or transfers to or from your investments, again likely ruining those accounts. There may be other problems the old archiving function had that may be replicated here, but that's just the first major thing that comes to mind.

    Ethan
    Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by moneydance on 15 Mar, 2021 01:10 PM

    moneydance's Avatar

    Ethan, thanks for weighing in.

    I do have investment accounts, but I use them to track current value of the portfolio rather than historical gain or loss. What you say is true: if you wanted to track the total historical fluctuation, you can't get rid of those old entries.

    I didn't purge the old entries in order to reduce the database, but I did see a reduction from 18MB to 12MB.

  5. System closed this discussion on 14 Jun, 2021 01:10 PM.

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