Quicken Window Tips

Time To Read 7 MIN READ

Quicken is a powerful personal finance tool with a wealth of features. There are so many features that it is easy to miss many of the things you can do. To help you find new ways to use and improve your Quicken experience, we’ve assembled a number of tips. You’ll find tips here for both beginners and power users. The more you know, the better your Quicken experience will be.

Check for product updates

If you want to check to see if you are on the latest version of Quicken, go to Help Check for updates. It will let you know if you are on the most current software version. If you aren't on the latest version, you can update right from that screen.

Use Net Worth to see a graph of your assets and liabilities over time

net worth graph

When you look at the Accounts bar, you will see your Net Worth listed near the bottom of the bar. This amount is the sum of your assets and liabilities. You can select Net Worth to get more information about your financial worth. This includes graphs such as Net Worth by Assets and Liabilities. This graph will show you how your assets and liabilities have changed over time.

You can recategorize a group of transactions, payees, bills, or deposits

Did you ever regularly assign transactions to one category, only to realize there was a better category? You can use Recategorize to change categories for a large group of transactions, payees, bills, or deposits. Go to Tools Recategorize. Then use the Find feature to find items within a particular category. You can choose from:

  • Transactions
  • Memorized payees
  • Scheduled bills and deposits

Select the category and you can find the items using that category. Select the items you want to change, then the category you want to assign them to. 

Did you know Quicken comes with a calculator?

Do you need to do some quick math? You can do it without leaving the Quicken application. Go to your Tools menu and select Calculator. You’ll see a simple, easy-to-use calculator. You can enter numbers using the buttons on the calculator or your keyboard. You can even paste in a number using the big Paste button.

Do you know about EasyAnswer?

Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out which report will give you the information you need. EasyAnswer, located on your Reports menu, helps you by presenting reports identified by the question they answer. You can answer questions such as:

  • How much money did I spend on …?

  • Am I saving more or less?

  • What am I worth?

  • Did I meet my budget?

  • How are my investments performing?

If necessary, the report then walks you through the options you need to get your information. You’ll also get to see the name of the report that tells you what you need to know, so that you can go there directly in the future.

Did you know Quicken can find your data files for you?

Have you ever forgotten where your data file is saved? To get help with this, go to your File menu. You can find all of the data files stored on your computer using Find Quicken Files. You can also identify the location of your current Quicken data file by selecting Show this file on my computer. It will take a minute or two to scan your computer, but Quicken will find everything for you.

Do you know about the Transactions Report?

When you look at your register in Quicken, you can see a lot of information about your transactions, but you can also use your Transactions report to get more information about your transactions. The Transactions report will not only list your transactions for a selected time period, but it also gives you summary information such as Total Inflows, (The total amount of money added to your accounts) and Total Outflows (The total amount of money subtracted from your accounts). You can also set up Subtotals, which is a great way to look at your weekly, monthly, or other periodic spending. The Transactions report can be accessed at Reports Banking.

Using the Memorized Payee List

Did you know that Quicken automatically saves a list of your payees. You can access that list at Tools Memorized Payee List or by using the Ctrl + T shortcut. You can use this list to set up your payees with the information you want to appear every time there is a transaction, such as a default Category, Tag or Memo. You can also lock a Payee, which means that even if you edit the payee in an individual transaction in your register, it will not change your memorized information for that Payee. To edit a Memorized Payee, select the payee in the list and choose Edit.

Did you know that many charts and reports are interactive?

If you click on a segment of a chart, it will provide more information. For example, if you are looking at your Spending chart and select one of the segments, it will take you to the spending for the category it corresponds to. If you are using our Budget feature and click on a category, it brings up a window that allows you to view your pending history or your transactions that month.

Do you know about the Tag List?

Do you like to tag your transactions? Tags are an excellent way of adding extra information about transactions that go beyond the information in Categories. For example, if several expenses are going to a single event, such as an upcoming wedding, you could use a Wedding tag to mark all of those expenses. Unlike categories, Tags are completely up to you. There are no pre-set tags.

The Tag List is where you can go to see all of the tags you are currently using. You can also add new tags. To view the Tag List, select Tools > Tag List, or use Ctrl + L.

Customize your Register Columns

Do you ever look at your transactions register and see columns you don’t need or want or even understand? Is there information that you wish you could see in your register but it doesn't have a column? Good news! The register is customizable. You can add the information you need and remove the clutter you don’t want to see.

To customize what columns you see in your register, click the gear icon on the right side of your register. You’ll see a list of columns, some of which are selected, and some are not. While there are certain columns you probably can’t do without, such as Amount or Payee, there are many columns that are more helpful to some users than to others. Click the checkbox nest to a column name to either add or remove that column from your register. The information is still being tracked, of course. You simply have the option of whether or not you see it in the register. If you never use Tags or add Attachments, for example, you can deselect those columns so you don’t have to see them in your register. On the flip side, if it is important to you to see if individual transactions are Tax-related or Expensed, select those columns.

Having just the columns you need in your register can make for a cleaner look that is easier to review and keep up to date.

Review your transactions as a calendar

Did you know you can access your transactions as a calendar rather than a list? The Calendar view can be very helpful in putting your spending in perspective. This will help you determine when transactions occur, both as a day of the month and a day of the week.

In Quicken for Windows, press CTRL+K to see your Calendar. You can also access it by selecting Calendar from the Tools menu.

In Quicken for the MacCalendars appears as a tab on the Quicken Feature Bar.

View and edit your account details

Did you know you can easily view your account details and settings. This allows you to make adjustments to things such as your Account Name and Account Description. You can also take actions such as hiding or closing an account.

To edit account details in Quicken for Windows, right-click the account you want to edit on the account bar and select Edit/Delete Account.

To edit account information in Quicken for the Mac, CTRL+Click on the account you want to edit on the account bar and select Edit [account] Settings.

Get a report on your cash flow

Quicken has many reports you can run to help you track and understand your finances. One useful report is the Cash Flow Report. Cash flow is a summary of the amount of money going into and coming out of your accounts. The Cash Flow Report provides information about your inflows (income or other money going into your accounts) and outflows (money that was spent or otherwise left your accounts). It is broken down by Category and the default a yearly summary. It can be helpful to see how much money is being spent cumulatively in a given category.

To view the Cash Flow Report in Quicken for Windows, select Reports Banking > Cash Flow.

Use your Dropbox account

When you set up your Quicken subscription, one benefit you get is free cloud storage with Dropbox. Dropbox is an online service that can be used to store your Quicken backup files. It creates a folder you can access from your computer that takes anything you store in it and backs it up in online cloud storage. Quicken encourages you to use Dropbox to store a backup your Quicken data file, but Dropbox can be used to store any files you want to keep safe and be able access from multiple computers. For more information, please read our Dropbox FAQ.

It is a good idea to regularly save a backup of your Quicken data file. Having a backup of your data file (also called a dataset) allows you to recover your information if your data file becomes corrupted or you encounter other issues.

To save a backup of your data file in Quicken for Windows, go to File Backup & Restore Back up Quicken file (you can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+B). If you have set up your Drobox account, use Change to navigate to Dropbox and save your file.

To save a backup of your data file in Quicken for the Mac, go to File Save a backup. If you have set up your Drobox account, use Where to navigate to Dropbox and save your file.

Review your Memo field to find more information about a transaction

When you view your register, the Memo field is packed with information. Often, the Memo field will include a date, especially for a card transaction. This date can be useful for tracking when a transaction occurred. The Date field in your register lists the date money moved into or out of your account. The Memo field date is from when the payee entered the payment request. This is usually the date of the transaction. Other common features in the memo field are addresses and payment methods.

Getting the latest transactions is as easy as OSU

Did you know you use One Step Update (OSU) to add the latest transactions from your bank into Quicken?   OSU contacts all of your financial institutions and gets the latest transactions. If you are using Quicken for the Web or Quicken Mobile, it also syncs your transactions with those Quicken versions. Be sure to use OSU before and after every session.

Global Search makes finding transactions easy

Did you know you can use theGlobal Search on the Title Bar to find transactions for a specific amount, payee, category, tag, memo, date, or check number? The global search finds information across all of your accounts.

How to get Quicken to start on a specific page

The Home page in Quicken is useful and easy to customize, but you don't have to start at the home page. If there is a page you use the most in Quicken, or one you want to automatically check every time you start up the program, you can make that your default startup page. To do that, you just need to select that page in the Preferences.

Remember, you can get to Preferences by selecting Edit Preferences. From there, choose Startup. Select the appropriate screen under Startup location.

The next time you launch Quicken, the page you select will be your new default startup page.

Another thing you can do on the Startup preferences page is set Quicken to automatically Download transactions on startup. This can save you a step when you first launch Quicken.

Use import to get more than 90 days of transactions

Did you know that Quicken can only access your most recent 90 days of transactions from your financial institution (FI) when you add an account?

Some FIs support downloading transactions that can be imported into Quicken. You can use that option to import past transactions into Quicken. Users often want to have at least the current year’s transactions to start with. You can find the list of FIs that support downloading transactions into Quicken on the support site.

Moving your account bar

You can use Navigation preferences to customize your Quicken experience. Your account bar, for example, normally appears on the far left side of your screen. You can use the Navigation preferences to move the account bar to the right side of your screen.

Navigation preferences also control other parts of your Quicken experience such as whether to use Classic menus or to display the Quicken toolbar.

Remember, you can get to your preferences by selecting Edit Preferences. From there, choose Navigation.

Do you love keyboard shortcuts?

Keyboard shortcuts make navigating through Quicken faster and easier. We have many keyboard shortcuts that can help you get straight to where you need to go. Here are some popular shortcuts. For a full list, look up Keyboard Shortcuts in the help.

Action Keyboard Shortcut
Toggle between standard and full screen F11
Select an item in a list First letter of item, then press DOWN ARROW as needed
Print CTRL+P
Go to the Home tab ALT+Home
Go to the Write Checks screen CTRL+W
Go to the Calendar CTRL+K
Go to the Account List CTRL+A
Go to the Category List CTRL+SHIFT+C
Go to the Tag List CTRL+L
Go to the Bill & Income Reminders dialog CTRL+J
Go to the Manage Hidden Accounts dialog CTRL+SHIFT+M
Go to the Memorized Payee List CTRL+T

How to change colors in Quicken

Are the regular colors of Quicken giving you the blues? You can change those colors, just select Colors under preferences. From there you can change the color of the background, the charts and graphs, and the tabs.

Remember, you can get to your preferences by selecting Edit Preferences. From there, choose Colors.

Do you prefer wide or narrow register rows?

When you are viewing transactions in the register, do you find yourself wishing that the entries had more space so you could easily read the text. On the flip side, would you rather have shorter rows so that you can see more entries? Quicken gives you a choice between comfortable, standard, and compact row heights. Here is a quick look at the difference:

Remember, you can get to your preferences by selecting Edit Preferences. From there, choose Register, then Row Height.

Add or remove columns from your register

When you start using Quicken for Windows, your register comes with a set of default columns such as DatePayee, and Category. Did you know that there are actually many columns to choose from? To see a list of columns, click the gear icon located on the far-right side of the column header above the scroll bar. Use this to turn on columns you’d like to see, like Memo or Tag, or turn off columns you don’t need. You can even use this control to set your column preferences for all your accounts with one click.

See two lines of information in your register

Did you know you can adjust your register to show a two line display? The Register normally displays a single line of information, which is sufficient in most cases but sometimes there is more information to see. You may find that a two-line display gives you a better view of your information. to make this change

To switch between one-line and two-line display in your register, press CTRL+2.

Make a backup of your data file regularly

Just like all programs that store key data, the safest and smartest thing you can do is to make sure you have a backup of your file. To make a backup of your data file, press CTRL+B. You can also find the option on your File menu.

If you want to set up periodic backups, go to Edit Preferences. From there, choose Backup. You can set Quicken to automatically make the backup or to give you reminders to perform the backup yourself.


Quickly find matching transactions

Have you ever looked at a transaction in your register and wanted to see other transactions from the same payee or in the same category? There’s a quick way to do that. Just right-click on the transaction in the column you want to search by. You’ll see a list of options, including the option to search based on that value.

Right Click Select
Payee Payments made to [payee]
Category Amount spent on [category]