Some tips on speeding up a slow Money file

Some Microsoft Money files run very slowly. This can be due to a number of problems - some that you have control over, others not. My personal Microsoft Money (Money Plus Premium version) file performs reasonably well (except when downloading OFX statements from the bank). It's specifications are 1GB RAM, 2.8GHz Pentium 4 processor and a couple of large disks - it is nothing extra special compared to computers you may buy nowadays.

Firstly, the computer you are running the program on can have an effect - make sure it is more than the minimum specifications that are required for Money (see products FAQ articles for links to minimum system requirements for the Money software).

Money 2005 is known to run a bit slower than most. This seems to be a problem with the software, but follow some of the other tips to try to speed it up. Money 2006 (for US and Canadian users) has been reported to be a bit quicker, although some users haven't seen any improvement.

On Money 2004 and some earlier versions, there is a cash flow chart at the bottom of the account register - you could try turning this off as this will be recalculated every time you enter a transaction. This chart is based on actual transactions, scheduled bills and deposits as well as budget entries. To turn it on again, see Article 40.

You could try defragmenting your hard drive, especially if the Money file is large.

The number of scheduled bills and deposits you have can also have a huge effect. The more you have, the more time it takes for Money to calculate the cash flow, or the budget values. Consider trying to reduce the number of these you have (not always that easy, I know).

It is worth trying some of the following options to speed things up too (take a backup before performing these):
  1. Repair the Money file (Article 22)
  2. Archive the file (not recommended as per Article 66 though, but you could try entering the archive date as a date before the date of the first transaction in the file - this won't archive anything, but will rebuild the Money file - this has helped some people. Its worth adding here that the Money 2007 archive will remove unused payees from the file.
  3. Remove some unused stocks, especially in watch accounts
  4. Remove old investment prices - these cause your file to be big more than slow it down, but it helps some people (see also Article 147 for a more automatic mechanism).
  5. If you're really desperate, and can handle it, you could try exporting all of your data into QIF files, and then reimporting it into a new file. This is not one for the fainthearted, see Article 28.
  6. If you have Money 2007 or Money Plus then use the bill removal tool to remove your bills (see Article 418). This can speed things up as many parts of the program use the bills place, and recreating it will remove any broken bits which can have a knock on effect in the whole product.
  7. If you have Money Plus (2008), the spending tracker can cause huge problems. It could be worth removing this from your home page.
It might not be possible, if not, remember to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee beforehand, and consume it whilst you wait.

Category: FileManagement

Keywords: QIF, Bills, Quotes, Defragment, Archive, Export, Spending Tracker, Speed, Cash Flow