Let us guide you through setting up Quicken
Thank you for choosing Quicken!
This guide is for new Quicken users to get up and running. . .but returning users are more than welcome!
Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive guide. If you need help with a specific topic or message, search your topic or error using the search tool at the top of this page.
I am new to Quicken. What do I do first?
[uncheck authors when you're ready]
- Create your data file
- Tour Quicken
- Setup your accounts
Take a tour of Quicken
Here's a quick intro to the areas you'll use most.
- Download new transactions from your accounts linked to Quicken and check for software updates in one step. Click the blue circular arrow to open the One Step Update window.
- The Account Bar on the left lists the accounts you have added to Quicken. Click on each individual account to show a list of transactions within an account's register.
- Click the Gear icon in the Account List to view, edit and make other changes to your accounts in one place.
- Click on Add an Account at the bottom of the Account List to set up more accounts in Quicken.
- Tabs along the top of Quicken gives you access to tools and features organized around common financial activities.
- In your account's register, you can click on a single transaction to make changes, or click on a blank line to enter a new transaction.
- In your account register click the Reminders icon (blue alarm clock) to view account reminders and how they impact your balances.
- Your account's register has a Gear icon, too -- for tasks, preferences, and reports related to the account you have open.
- Click Help to connect with other Quicken users in our Live Community forum.
Set up your first account
Follow these simple instructions and you will be up-and-running with Quicken in less than 10 minutes.
- If you're not already there, click on the Home tab at the top of the Quicken window.
- Click Getting Started in the See Where Your Money Goes section.
- Enter or choose the name of your bank. This is where your primary checking account is located. Your primary checking account is the one you deposit your paycheck or money into and pay your bills out of.
- Enter your bank sign in information. For most people this is the same sign in they use for their bank's website. If you are unsure what this is, contact your financial institution.
- Click Connect.
- Set preferences for your Quicken accounts. You can skip this step if you don't see this particular screen. Some people don't. Here, you can give nicknames to your accounts. Also, if there are accounts you don't want to add to Quicken, select ignore instead of add.
- Quicken creates your accounts and downloads your transactions...
Congratulations! You've just added your first Quicken account!
If you want to set up more accounts, click Add another account. If you don't, no problem. You can always add more accounts later.
Update your accounts
Now that you've set up an account, you'll want to keep it up-to-date. To display and update your Quicken accounts:
- Click the One Step Update icon. (Or choose Tools menu > One Step Update.)
- Enter the account password.
Tip: If you want Quicken to remember the password, check the box next to your password.
- Click Update Now.
Quicken downloads any new transactions and updates your account balance.
Categorize your transactions
Categorizing your transactions lets you see where you're spending your money. The good news is that Quicken does most of this work automatically for you!
Quicken assigns categories to your transactions when it downloads them from your bank. For example, if you used your ATM card at Kroger, Quicken knows that Kroger is a grocery store and it automatically assigns the category Food & Dining:Groceries to the transaction.
In most cases, Quicken can accurately guess the category. In some cases, however, it won't recognize the transaction the first time it sees it -- for example, your rent check. Quicken also might assign a category to a transaction that you don't want -- for example, during that trip to Kroger you may have bought pet food, which you want to track under the category Pets:Pet Food & Supplies instead of Food & Dining:Groceries. Naturally, you'll want to assign the correct categories to your transactions. Here's how…
Use the Spending tab to categorize transactions
The steps below use the Spending tab to assign a category to a transaction. The process is identical if you use a Quicken account register. However, a key advantage of using the Spending tab is that it alerts you if you have any uncategorized transactions. Nice!
Set up your bills and income
OK. So now you have a one or two accounts set up in Quicken and you can download transactions and use categories to see where your money is going. What's next? What more could there be? Beyond tracking your spending, Quicken actually makes it easier to spend your money. And we mean that in a good way!
If you're like most people, you have pretty much the same bills every month and you get paid on a regular schedule. If you tell Quicken what your bills are, and when you expect income, it can remind you when your bills are due, and project your account balances into the future. This will help you avoid late fees and overdraft charges, and perhaps put some of that “extra money” you might have into your savings account. Imagine that! Here's how in a video and some step-by-step instructions…
Create a budget
If you've been following along and setting up Quicken as you work through this guide, you now know where your money is going, and where you stand regarding your upcoming bills and income. Knowing these critical facts about your finances sets the stage for the next huge benefit of Quicken: keeping your spending in line with your income. And relax, you don't need to track each and every penny; tracking just a few critical spending categories is usually enough to keep your expenses under control.
How does Quicken do it? This will sound familiar: a section on the Home tab makes it easy to see if you're coming in under your target or if you're in danger of blowing your budget.
Use Quicken on your phone or tablet
The Quicken 2015 Mobile App will be available on October 1, 2014. Thank you for your patience!
The Quicken 2013 Mobile App will only work with Quicken 2013 and Quicken 2014 Mobile App will only work with Quicken 2014.
Quicken on your mobile device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod running iOS 5 or later and Android phone or tablets running 2.2 or later) syncs with your desktop data and makes keeping track of your money super easy while on-the-go. You can also receive various alerts and notifications regarding your account balances, fees, and spending patterns. All of which are completely customizable, of course! Here’s how to get started:
- Click on the Mobile & Alerts tab.
- Click Get Started.
Snap and Store Receipts
Snap a picture of your receipt with your phone or tablet - and easily keep track of your most important purchases in Quicken.
- Snap a picture of your receipt.
- Confirm the image.
- Enter the retailer and the amount. Your receipt will be securely stored in your Quicken Cloud account and be available on all your devices.
- Quicken will automatically attach the receipt to the transaction in your Register the next time you sync your desktop.
- You can also add picture attachments on your desktop and the view them in your Quicken app on your phone or tablet.
Get more out of Quicken
When you start to feel more comfortable with Quicken, here are some things you might want to check out.
- Pay your bills online: You can set up Quicken to pay your bills online without needing to go to your bank's website. For more information, in the Quicken Help Contents, choose Stay on top of your bills > Personal bills, expenses, & income > Paying bills online.
- Manage your investments: You can add brokerage accounts to Quicken and track your investment performance from within the Investments tab. (Quicken Premier, Quicken Home & Business, and Rental Property Manager only.)
- Track your business: If you own a business, you can track your income and expenses and performance. (Quicken Home & Business and Rental Property Manager only.) If you have a rental business, you can keep track of your properties. (Rental Property Manager only.)
- Plan for tax time: The Tax Center in the Planning tab helps you keep track of information you'll need for tax time.
- Report on your finances: Take a look at the reports and graphs in Quicken. You'll find reports like Income vs. Expense and Spending by Category – both very helpful when you're trying to figure out where you stand. Choose Reports menu > Reports & Graphs Center.
- Add your paycheck: The Paycheck Setup wizard helps you enter all the income and deductions listed on your paycheck. Quicken uses this information in tax-related planners and calculators. Click the Planning tab, click the Tax Center button, and then click Add Paycheck.
- Use the All Transactions register: The All Transactions register lets you review and work with transactions from all your spending, asset, and liability accounts in one place. This helps you easily identify uncategorized transactions, and edit your transactions in one place.
- Set your preferences: You can configure Quicken so that it works the way you do. Choose Edit menu > Preferences.
Get help when you need it
We want to make sure you get the help you need. If after reading this guide you have questions, you can turn to the following resources.
- Quicken Help includes explanations about how features work and steps on how to do most tasks. From the Help menu, choose Quicken Help.
- Quicken Support If you run into a bug or other malfunctions in Quicken, contact support at quicken.com/support.
- Quicken Community An online forum where you can get answers from other Quicken users and experts. Click the Help button in the lower right corner of Quicken. You can also access Live Community at qlc.intuit.com.
- McGraw Hill's Quicken: The Official Guide Offers a more thorough introduction to Quicken and all of its features. Available at many bookstores and online.