Microsoft Money with OneDrive RRS feed

  • Question

  • Does anyone know is Microsoft Money work with OneDrive or not?


    Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:37 AM

All replies

  • Sure. All you are doing is uploading your backup, same with anything else
    Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:18 PM
  • Can you explain how to do that?

    If i moved mymoney into OneDrive and then click on the Money icon should it open?

    Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:34 PM
  • First, Money remembers where a file used to be. If you move it and just click the Money icon, it will look in the old location and not find anything.

    Second, never open a file that is in a OneDrive folder. Money is constantly updating the file in real time and expects the file to be constantly under it's control. If the file is in a OneDrive folder, OneDrive may try to sync the partially updated file, causing Money to either not be able to correctly write to the file, or otherwise corrupt the file. You do not want a corrupt file.

    So, you can keep a backup in the OneDrive so that it can be retrieved from anywhere as needed, but never open it from that folder.

    Bob - MSN Mobile

    Sunday, August 19, 2018 4:08 PM
  • I keep my data file (*.mny) in my Onedrive folder and use it without difficulty. I keep backups elsewhere. However, if I open the file from my laptop it gets saved under a different name, probably due to the issues Bob mentions above.

    Dr AS

    Monday, August 20, 2018 3:56 PM
  • Here is the warning that was placed in the Microsoft Money Plus Readme file installed with Money:

    20:         Running Money With Data File on Network Share Not Recommended
    If Money is running across a network share, and that share becomes unavailable, Money may not work correctly. Microsoft recommends that you keep both the Money file and the Money data file on a local drive instead of a remote network drive, mirrored share point, or offline folder. 
    You can keep Money backup files on a network share, but you should run Money from the drive where you keep the main Money file.

    Bob - MSN Mobile

    • Edited by BobSmiley Tuesday, August 21, 2018 2:28 PM
    Tuesday, August 21, 2018 2:28 PM
  • OneDrive is not a network share.

    If you work on a file in OneDrive you are working with a local copy which is later synced with the your OneDrive remote account.

    If a data file stored in OneDrive is accessed from more than one system, care should be taken to ensure that your OneDrive settings mean that the local copies of the OneDrive account are all updated.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 6:40 AM
  • The warning also included "mirrored share point". This is because the mirroring process may lock the file just as Money is about to write to the file, or in the middle of a series of writes to ensure that the data is correctly entered in multiple database locations. Do you really want to take a chance of corruption?

    Bob - MSN Mobile

    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 2:46 PM
  • OneDrive will not store your *.mny or *.mbf  file in encrypted form ~ put simply, it is not secure ~ though some some form of encryption is used during OneDrive data transfer. 

    My suggestion would be to use an encryption program of your own choice, I use Cryptomite; encrypt the backup *.mbf file made when you close your (*.mny) Money data file; and only store the encrypted backup file on the OneDrive server.


    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 3:47 PM
  • Microsoft have announced that Onedrive is compliant with GDPR, the Euro regulations for data protection, so encryption should not be necessary. Of course, this will not help if somebody swipes your password!

    Dr AS

    Thursday, August 23, 2018 5:32 PM
  • I've occasionally thought about trying this, but I share Bob Smiley's concerns that Money is just not very robust in how they use the file. My experience with Money suggests they make ZERO allowance in the code for any use besides local file, single user access. Simultaneous multiple user access to the file will cause corruptions sooner or later, probably sooner. Using the file over a network share, even single user at a time, will cause corruptions sooner or later, maybe later. Given this, I'd expect the only relatively safe way to use a Money file from OneDrive is if you only ever used it for writing from the same machine/user account and any other machine/user account opens the file read only.

    In order to use the same Money file from my desktop or laptop, I use Money on each machine from a script file that a) create/checks for a "lock file" to assure non-simultaneous access, and b) if the data file is not locally stored, copies it to local storage before opening Money and moves it back to the network share after closing Money and before deleting the lock file.

    Monday, September 10, 2018 6:19 PM
  • Where is your lock file? Other devices won't see it till it syncs to their local OneDrive folder, and they can lock that local copy. So I can't see how your lock file approach is anything besides a placebo.

    I have had my MNY file in my OneDrive folder for years, and have never had it corrupted. My modus operandi is:

    1. Primarily I run Money Plus on one laptop only. The MNY file syncs to my other devices, but they generally don't do anything with it.

    2. If I am going to be away for a while, I will take a small laptop, and will run Money Plus thereon. But I will make sure that (a) the version on my main laptop has synced to the small one before I access it there and (b) that when I return home I wait for the updated file to sync back to my main laptop before running Money Plus thereon again.

    3. NEVER have Money Plus open on more than one device. This is asking for trouble, such as duplicate-on-clash, leaving you with 2 files, scratching your head over which updates you are prepared to lose.

    4. I noticed recently that OneDrive says my MNY file is open in some program even when I have closed Money Plus. This is disconcerting. Strangely I was able to move or rename the file. I do not know if OneDrive is being truthful or just playing safe. But I do notice that the file syncs ok, somehow, despite this, which is weird, and contrary to what OneDrive claims. So this makes me extremely wary about obeying points 1 to 3.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:59 AM
  • I agree my approach wouldn't work with OneDrive. But I don't use it with OneDrive, just with network folders on the LAN. 

    If I open the Money file, using the script, on the desktop, where the file is stored, the script creates an XML file in the folder where the Money file is located. When I try to open the Money file, using the script, on the laptop, it looks in the \\desktop\folder where the Money file is stored, for the lock file. It it finds the lockfile, it reads it and tells me which machine has the file locked and since when. If it doesn't find the lockfile, it creates one, copies the Money file to the local machine, executes Money, waits for Money to exit, copies the file back to \\desktop\folder and deletes the lockfile.

    If I open Money, without the script, on either machine, I'm on my own.

    I put up with these kludgey gyrations because of hard experience that Money corrupts its files quite readily if you have it open twice or try to use it over the network. Sure, it's easy to say never open the file on two devices at once. I've never intentionally done that. Before I setup the script, I did it, unintentionally, once or twice and then had to pick up the pieces later. Now my script catches me on the rare occasions I get interrupted while using the desktop/Money, and forget until I try to open Money on the laptop, and the script catches my mistake.

    And the problem isn't (just) mismatched updates--like two users editing the same worksheet in Excel that can't agree what a formula should be--it's a broken data file that Money can't use. Money just wasn't designed for either case, or both simultaneously, to be reliable. And they aren't.

    Above I recommended against trying to store a Money file on OneDrive and run it from locally synced copies. I stand by that recommendation. Anybody who wants to do that better make sure they have a robust backup scheme.

    As I run today, at any point in time, I have something like 60 different backups of my MNY file, of different file versions, half and half .MBK and .MNY, on my RAID-1 NAS, in the cloud, and in my safe deposit box. And that's ignoring copies in File History, system image backups, server folder snapshots, all on the NAS, and NAS backups to an online 2.5" portable, and, occasionally, to an offline 2.5" portable. (The latter one is part of a pair that rotates to the safe deposit box every six months.) And ignoring the extracts of my data separated from the Money file that I periodically dump. I'm kinda manic about protecting my Money database. It's got >25 years worth of data in it.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:52 AM
  • I too have many years (18 not 25) of Money data and would not like to loose access to it. But I have never understood why retaining multiple backups makes any sense. So long as one backup will open successfully, that is all that matters. Obviously it is a good idea to prove, from time to time, that restoration does work correctly.

    For anyone new to this forum I recommend creating 7 backups, all kept in 1 folder, and named: 1 - Monday, 2 - Tuesday thro 7 - Sunday.   When exiting Money, point to 'Today' whatever that is, and overwrite that backup. If you do access your Money data file every day then your oldest backup will be just 7 days old, but probably you'll occasionally miss a day and consequently your oldest backup will be 2 or more weeks old.

    I have always had a pair of HDDs side by side with the  ***.mny data file stored on C:\***  and the backup folder stored on D:\***  

    The point is that to re-input data to a seriously old restored backup will (probably) take a ridiculously long time.

    By all means keep a copy of the backup folder on a USB stick in some fireproof place in your own home.

    I don't use  'the cloud'  but if I did I would certainly encrypt my backup  ***.mbf  files before uploading them.


    Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:39 PM
  • Agreed, a backup is only a backup if you can use it, so periodically testing your backups/their restore tools, to prove you are really backed up is essential.

    The reason for retaining multiple, version dispersed, backups is in case an error goes undetected for a while or if you do something inadvertent (delete a transaction, say, or an accidental overachieving find/replace) and don't detect it for a while. Since I have had to go back several or many backups multiple times over the decades I've used Money, either for recovery, or on an easter egg hunt for missing data that I though I'd had in there at some point, I continue to retain this defense-in-depth. It's just disk space. These days disk space is pretty cheap.

    The reason I keep both MNY copy and MBF is a restored MBF != the same MNY file pre- the restore, on either a byte-wise or content-logical basis.

    Naming backups as you propose is incompatible with the Money standard backup on exit, so I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't ready to wrap Money in their own script to do the backup. I do run a nightly scheduled task that backs up changed MNY file that uses a date based naming scheme along the lines you describe. (This is my "copy" version backup, detected using the Windows Archive attribute, and protected against making the copy if Money is running since that backup is likely to be broken. Creating these kinds off scripts and scheduled tasks to run them is beyond many users' skill/willingness.)

    I've never thought a C:/D: backup, online on same host, was a great answer since there are lots of single point failures in a given machine that can deny access to, or destroy, both filesystems. Granted alternate solutions to this imply more hardware than some people want or need to mess with.

    I've never really thought there was a fireproof place in my homes, plus there are hazards, e.g., tornado, that aren't fire; thus I cyclically rotate a pair of portable HDDs, wrapped in ESD bubble pack, and stored in ESD bags, to a safe deposit box. Since going to the SDB is a bit of a hassle, my rotation cycle is once every six months. When we moved to where we live now, I explicitly picked a credit union location for our SDB that was out of the tsunami hazard zone. I consider this my "house burns to the foundation" backup.

    Since this SDB backup can be as old as six months, once cloud storage became more or less free and readily available, I wrote a script that crawls the same folders that would get on the SDB backups, looks for files newer than the last rotation date, and syncs them off to the cloud. (I use OneDrive since my annual Office365 rent gets me a "free" TB.) I 7zip and AES-256 encrypt these, but I'm not really sure this is worth the headache. Maybe I put too much trust in OneDrive, but I don't think there are very many ways somebody could get at that data without also having ways to get at the original storage locations where it came from and where it's not file-encrypted. As I write this, my CloudBkup folder, with just over three months worth of changes in it, is sitting at 4.03GB. I haven't captured very many photos in it this cycle or that number could potentially be a lot larger.

    YMMV. But general principles: consider online and offline backups, and, for each, consider onsite and offsite locations. A backup isn't it it doesn't work, so periodically test restore, and test it after you change any part of the backup tools chain. For some things, e.g., an image file, keeping multiple versions in backup is meaningless or unnecessary. For a dynamic file where the contents of the file change continuously with use, I recommend multiple versions retained in backup. Again, YMMV.

    Saturday, December 22, 2018 6:25 PM
  • Dick I completely agree the point you make about finding transaction information (in old backups) that may have been accidentally deleted in recent times. Also, with data storage now so relatively inexpensive, I completely accept that there is no overriding reason not to retain ancient backups. 

    Money data on a USB stick inside an insulated metal box in the cellar of my stone house, well away from the sea, remains under my control. My concern with OneDrive or any other cloud based storage is that the owners of that facility might deny me access or be unable to allow me access. Debating which of these 2 solutions is the better seems sterile; obviously the very safest solution is to keep encrypted backups in both places 

    Sunday, December 23, 2018 3:24 PM