Ability to have two different files (not accounts) open at the same time

EdwardRG's Avatar


01 Apr, 2020 10:04 PM

On Dec 16 2019 Roney raised a suggestion for this same topic with the subject "Open two moneydance files at the same time". While mhoggie's comment about opening an Account in a separate window is a useful technique, as noted by Roney, it only applies to Accounts within the same file, and does not help with the separate file issue raised by Roney.
The original Suggestion post was subsequently closed (Mar 16 2020) without anyone, including IK, commenting further but I have re-opened the same topic to see if we can get a more informed response.
In my particular case I have two completely different sets of Accounts, each with their own Category lists, reports, etc., in two separate files. Yes, technically speaking I could have all the Accounts in one file, but that means one common set of Categories, reports, etc. which is inappropriate for my requirements.
Because I have a "Contra Ac." in each of the two files, for reconciling some common transactions between the two, it means I have to take screenshots of (e.g.) one set of transactions, open the "other" file (which closes and backs up the already open file), do "whatever" in the Accounts in the newly opened file, then re-open the original file (which again closes and backs up the file I've just been working on). Of course then typically I realise I have forgotten a transaction, which means I have to go through the whole process again. :-)
By the way, I too am an ex-Quicken user, and that did allow the two concurrent instances of Quicken files, giving the independence required. Don't get me wrong, I am a happy Moneydance convert, but it is a shame to have lost this dual active file functionality with the switch from Q to MD.
Any further thoughts from anyone?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Maddy on 01 Apr, 2020 10:22 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    Hi Ted,
    Thank you for contacting Moneydance support.

    I am afraid that opening two Moneydance data files at the same time would be highly problematic. Both instances of the running Moneydance program would be accessing the same configuration files at the same time. This could lead to system instability and potentially crash the program.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by EdwardRG on 01 Apr, 2020 11:03 PM

    EdwardRG's Avatar

    Thanks for your prompt response Maddy.

    Hmmm, Quicken must have had a different program/file structure and
    approach then.  Unfortunate ... but I understand your concern over the
    likelihood of instability and crashes because of the concurrent use of
    the config files.

  3. 3 Posted by mgb on 08 Apr, 2020 08:05 PM

    mgb's Avatar

    This may be more than you want to bite off, but (for unrelated reasons) I'm running Moneydance in a virtual machine (VirtualBox).
    Once you've gone that route it's trivial to have separate instances of Moneydance concurrently running in separate VMs.

  4. 4 Posted by EdwardRG on 08 Apr, 2020 08:24 PM

    EdwardRG's Avatar

    Good thought - might give that a try when I get really bored with the
    (New Zealand) lockdown!  Actually your suggestion also brings to mind
    another possibility ... I normally do all my/our financial stuff on our
    main desktop PC, but I guess I could have the file for the primary
    account set open on that and open the secondary account set on my laptop
    at the same time.

    Stay well.  :-)


  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 08 Apr, 2020 09:20 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    Quicken works differently.

    With Moneydance and the way its configuration data works a User can only have one open file at a time, so it is necessary to use a method that allows you to have multiple user accounts open at the same time and run moneydances on files for that user. Virtual machines can achieve the objective as well as using multiple computers and perhaps remote consoles if you want the data on one screen, perhaps using a program like VNC. Multiple computers would be the quickest and easiest approach to take I would think.

  6. 6 Posted by EdwardRG on 08 Apr, 2020 09:27 PM

    EdwardRG's Avatar

    Thanks for that dwg!

  7. System closed this discussion on 08 Jul, 2020 09:30 PM.

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