Adding Categories and Tags in Quicken for Mac


Associating Categories with your financial transactions is a fundamental part of Quicken. Categorized transactions drive several keu features: Reports and Graphs, Tax Reporting, and Budgets.

Tags add another layer of power to reporting and manaing your transactions. They can be useful in many situations. However, you should consider the use of Categories as required, whereas Tags are optional. Learn more about the differences between Categories and Tags.

Categories can be customized to fit your needs

Quicken provides a comprehensive list of default categorizes that has been designed, over many years, to cover the needs of the typical household. Common spending, income and investing needs have been anticipated. However, you are free to customize the category list to fit your specific needs. You can add new categories and sub-categories, rename existing categories, merge similar categories and delete categories you don't need.

That said, we recommend customers new to Quicken to start by using the default category list and customize this list as you become more familiar with the capabilities of Quicken. Also, using the default categories will result in better automatic categorization as you start downloading transactions. (Quicken will learn your custom categories over time.)

Finally, don't worry about "getting it wrong." Quicken makes it easy to bulk recategorize many transactions at once, merge existing categories, or change your existing category structure.

Add a new Category

Add a category or subcategory

You can add a new category or subcategory at any time.


  • While editing or entering a transaction
    • To add a new, top-level category:
      1. Simply type the new category name in the category field. That's it.
      2. The category will be created when you save the transaction.
    • To add a subcategory to an existing category:
      1. Type the top-level category name, then type a colon (:) followed by a sub-category name
        • Tell me more
          For example, assume you have an existing category called "Entertainment" and you'd like to add a subcategory called "Concerts".


          In the category field just type: Entertainment:Concerts

          When you save the transaction the new sub-category will be created
      2. The category will be created when you save the transaction

  • Add from the Category List
    • To add a new, top-level category from the Category List:
      1. Choose Window > Categories.
      2. Click the Add button (shown with a + sign) at the bottom of the category list and choose New Category.
      3. Enter information for the category in the sheet that pops up.
      4. Select Tax-related, if appropriate.
        • Tell me more
          If you make a category Tax-Related, you can assign a specific Tax Line-Item to that category from the list that appears. These line items come from the latest Federal Tax code.


          Categories associated with the Tax Line-Item are used to populate the Tax Summary report.


          Multiple categories can use the same Tax Line-item.
      5. Click Save.
    • To add a new, sub-category from the Category List:
      1. Choose Windows > Categories.
      2. Click to select the category to which you want to add the sub-category.
      3. Click the Add button (shown with a + sign) at the bottom of the category list and choose New Subcategory.
      4. Enter information for the subcategory in the sheet that pops up.
      5. Select Tax-related, if appropriate.
        • Tell me more
          If you make a category Tax-Related, you can assign a specific Tax Line-Item to that category from the list that appears. These line items come from the latest Federal Tax code.


          Categories associated with the Tax Line-Item are used to populate the Tax Summary report.


          Multiple categories can use the same Tax Line-item.
      6. Click Save.

Add a new Tag

While editing or entering a transaction

  1.  Simply type the new Tag name in the Tag field. That's it.
  2. The Tag will be created when you save the transaction.

 Note that you can add multiple Tags to a transaction. Just type a comma (,) after the Tag name and type another tag.


Add from the Tag List

  1.  Choose Windows> Tags.
  2. Click the Add button (shown with a + sign) at the bottom of the tag list.
  3. Enter information for the Tag in the sheet that pops up.
  4. Click Save.

Managing and organizing your Categories

From the Category List you can do a number of interesting things.

  • Drag and drop one category onto another category to make ut a subcategory.
  • Drag and drop a sub-category out of another category to make it a top-level subcategory
  • See unused categories
  • See which categories have Tax Line-Item assignments

Search Support:

Search form

Tip: To find out which version of Quicken you are using, open Quicken go to Help menu and select About Quicken.