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How to Archive Microsoft Money Data

When to Archive the Data File

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How to Archive Microsoft Money Data
I have read arguments for and against archiving Microsoft Money data files. Some Microsoft Money users swear that archiving part of a large data file with years of transactions in it will speed up the Microsoft Money application. Others say that the size of your data file has little to do with the performance of Microsoft Money.

Microsoft Money Archive Considerations

Before you archive Microsoft Money data, consider the following information:

  • Archiving removes the transaction history Microsoft Money needs to report income and expense trends. You need to decide how far back you want your reports to go before you archive Microsoft Money.

  • Archiving usually does little to condense the size of current data file, and if you only have a couple of years worth of transactions, archiving accomplishes nothing. There are Microsoft Money users with data files as big as 100 MB, so file size is usually not an issue.

  • Investment accounts and any associated accounts and transfers will not archive, potentially causing incorrect account balances.

  • Splits containing transactions from unarchived accounts will remain in your registers, causing incorrect account balances.

  • If you decide you want your old data back in your current data file, you will not be able to import the data from the archived file.

  • Before you archive in an attempt to speed up Microsoft Money, try removing some unused stocks (even in watch accounts) and remove old investment prices where you don't need them.

Tips for Archiving Microsoft Money

If you still want to archive your Microsoft Money data, follow these tips:

  • Understand what an archived data file is. When you archive, you are splitting off data from a chosen date going back. You will be able to open the archive file in Money, but as mentioned above, you cannot rejoin it with your current data file.
  • If you want to archive last year's data, wait until after January to do so. This is to ensure that all Microsoft Money accounts have been reconciled and to avoid splitting up your tax data.
  • Before you archive, copy your Microsoft Money data file to removable media such as a CD, DVD or flash drive for use in the event data is corrupted during the install. Data corruption is infrequent but not unheard of. If you need help locating your Microsoft Money data file, read Where is my Microsoft Money Data File?
  • Before you archive, create and print reports from Microsoft Money that show the balances of every account you track. Then run the same reports after you archive and compare the results. If the balances are incorrect, you can opt to either make adjusting entries or overwrite the new data file with the old one you made a copy of.

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