Archiving Microsoft Money Data Files

Archive in Microsoft Money hasn't changed much since Money 1.0. Money 1.0 also really explained what it does, which might not be exactly what you may expect:

When you archive your file, Microsoft Money backs up the complete file for archival reference, and then removes old transactions from your current file to keep it to a manageable size.

When you remove old transactions from the current file, it will be easier to work with because you work with a smaller number of transactions in your accounts. The transactions that remain are those you are currently working with, and the starting balance of each account in the Account Book is automatically updated to adjust for the deleted transactions.
Many people recommend that you don't archive your Microsoft Money file. This is because, as mentioned above, it removes your transaction history and might not have the huge effect on the size of the Money file which you might expect. If you're thinking of speed, then the file size is not the only reason why Microsoft Money might run slow (so archive may not help). See also Article 250 for some tips on speeding up a file. You can not easily reintegrate an archive later on, if you decide later that it was a mistake.

Trend data in the cash flow is based on transaction history, so you'll be removing it from your file and so this will make trending less accurate. There are frequent posters to the newsgroups that have files in excess of 30MB, some even 50MB or more (my file is 30MB), so large sizes are possible.

An archive, however, can be useful in fixing file problems - the recommendation in this case is to archive with a date before the first transaction in your file, so you don't lose data.

If you must do an archive, you will find some details are not archived. This is usually because they are essential to do certain things in Money. Some of these are:
  • Investment accounts and their associated cash or contributions account.
  • Transfers into an Investment cash or contribution account.
  • Transactions in accounts that are not being archived.
  • Transactions that contains a split to/from any account not being archived.
  • Transactions that contains a split to/from any Investment account or its contribution account.
The archive file will be a copy of your Microsoft Money file before the archive, however, there is no easy way of merging this with your current file, so if you find at a later time that you want the old records, you can only merge them in using QIF export and import (Article 22).

The Microsoft Money 2007 archive will remove unused payees from the file, should there be any after the archive has complete.

Category: FileManagement

Keywords: CDRW, safety, USB drive, backup, archive, speed