Advanced Troubleshooting to Correct Problems With Quicken Data Files


Although data integrity problems do happen, often what is thought to be a data integrity problem, turns out to really be an issue with preferences, customizations, or misinterpreting the data Quicken shows you. Before troubleshooting data integrity issues, review your settings and customizations to ensure they are correct.

When data integrity issues do occur, common causes include improperly shutting down your computer, power failures, hardware failures, or even accessing your data on a network or removable drive. Symptoms of a problematic data file can include:

  • Categories or numbers wrongly associated in reports when all report settings are correct.
  • Dates missing from reports when all report settings are correct.
  • Missing categories or tags.
  • Inability to assign categories in split transactions.
  • Data file backups that cannot be restored.


Note: When possible, the easiest solution is often to restore a backup of the Quicken data file that was made before the problems occurred. Ensure you are on the latest release of the program.

  1. Accept any transactions that are waiting in the compare to register screen prior to doing a validate. The Downloaded Transactions tab will be located at the bottom of your account register if you have transactions waiting to be accepted.
  2. Click on File on the top menu bar, then select File Operations > Validate & Repair.
  3. If you are currently in the data file you would like to validate, it will already be selected.  If you want to validate a different file, then you will need to click Browse to locate that data file.
  4. Put a check next to Validate file.
  5. If you are experiencing investment-related issues, put a check next to Rebuild investing lots and Delete investing price history.
  6. Click OK.

If the Validate utility detects problems within the file, you will receive a prompt to view the data_log in Notepad. This file is a record of the parts of your data that were repaired. The Quicken program saves a backup copy of this file before you validate. This file is located in the Validate folder in the same location as your Quicken file on your hard disk.

If you receive the message "Damaged data block" in the Data_Log after the validate completes, the file is not repairable.  We recommend either restoring a backup prior to getting this message.

Advanced Recovery Procedure

If you're able to open the file, but are experiencing extreme latency with just one account, unexpected data that cannot be resolved by Validate or Delete/Re-enter, or other conditions that indicate a structural problem with your file, try these steps.

Note: Even if this file is not in the best condition, always make a backup before performing complex procedures, to ensure that you have a "fall-back" file you can revert to get back to where you were when you started.

  1. Go to File > File Operations > Copy (do not choose Year End Copy for this procedure).
  2. Leave all of the settings, including file name and checkboxes, at their default (change nothing on this screen).
  3. After the Copy is complete, choose to Open New Copy.
  4. In the New Copy, go to File > File Operations > Validate & Repair > Validate to ensure there are no lingering issues with the data in this file.
    • If your issue was with Investing account(s) latency or other data issue with an investment account, be sure to also select Rebuild Lots during this procedure.
  5. When this process is complete, review the Data_Log.txt for messages pertaining to the quality of your data and resolve any that are advised with instructions you should follow.
  6. Test your regular procedure(s) to see if the issue you were encountering is now resolved.

This process separates your data (transactions, lists, etc.) from the underlying tables and drops that data onto a new set of tables. If this process fails to resolve the issue you were encountering, then you issue may not be resolvable and we recommend that you keep the old file as an archive copy and start a new file to use going forward.

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