How to Reindex Your Macintosh Quicken Data File

Here are instructions on how to reindex your Quicken Data File.

  • Open your Quicken data file.
  • Open the Accounts window and then simultaneously press the Command, Option and B keys on the keyboard.
  • The reindexing will begin. Once it has finished, then go to the File menu and select Save A Copy. Give your file a new name and save it to your desired folder.

[Update Oct 2014: Per Intuit, it is no longer necessary to reindex the Quicken Data file on the Quicken Essentials Mac version.]

You can read a more detailed explanation of these reindexing instructions on Intuit’s web site. The article does also suggest exporting the data in QIF format and then re-importing the data into a new file if the reindexing fails or does not solve your problem.

I’ve supported many people who use Quicken, and this is the first time that I’ve had to reindex a Quicken data file. I was not even aware that Quicken included this feature. I’m pleased about this since it’s common to have to do maintenance on large database files from time to time. I wonder why Intuit has hidden this feature, but I’m glad I know how to do it now. I discovered this procedure while working with a client recently.

This client had a damaged Quicken data file that was fixed after we reindexed it. My client was a long-time Quicken user and this data file had been in use for many years. He used it to track his checking, savings and investment accounts. I provide all of this detail to indicate that this file had seen a lot of activity over many years. Apparently, out of the blue it started to give him problems. Specifically, the symptom was that he would add a transaction to one of his accounts, close and then re-open the data file and the balance for that account would have changed radically.

Intuit’s web site indicates that there are a host of symptoms which can be signs that you need to reindex your Quicken file, including these:

  • Categories/classes are missing from your Categories & Transfers list.
  • You are unable to assign a Category to an item in a split transaction.
  • You are unable to open a backup of your data file.
  • Your reconciliation is off in a previously reconciled statement and you have not made changes to previously reconciled transactions.
  • Duplication or “Unknown” items are listed in the Payee column of the QuickFill Transactions list.
  • You receive errors when performing a Save a Copy.

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