Articles on websites & etc.

§ Home > Index > General Interest

Import QIF Files in Quicken 2005, 2006, 2007

In Quicken 2005 and beyond, Intuit has disabled QIF data import on checking, savings, credit card, 401(k), and all other brokerage accounts. However, QIF import is not completely disabled, and there are simple workarounds to import QIF transaction files directly into those account types.

Import QIF via Temporary Account

When you select the "File -> Import -> QIF File" menu option in Quicken, a dialog will appear listing the acceptable destination accounts. Disabled account types will not be listed. One way to get around this limitation is to create a new cash, liability, or asset account. Quicken will allow importing QIF files directly into those account types, although there will be no reconciliation step. Once the transactions are there, you can select all the transactions and use the move transactions feature to move them to your bank account. This method is described in further detail in this article: Moving transactions between Quicken 2006 data files. This method has been tested in Quicken 2006.

Importing via a temporary account takes a lot of clicks. Furthermore, by using an asset/liability account, you may lose the extended information required by brokerage/invesment account transactions. An easier and more reliable method may be the one below.

Import QIF via Account Header

Another way to import the QIF file is to specify the destination account in the file. To do this, open it in a word processor or text editor (like Notepad, Word, Wordperfect, etc.), and manually add an "account header". The account header is a special transaction that tells Quicken the destination account details for the subsequent transactions. The Quicken Interchange Format (QIF) files Specification describes it as follows: "The account header !Account is used in two places, at the start of an account list and the start of a list of transactions to specify to which account they belong."

To add an account header, simply place the following lines at the top of your QIF file:


You have to customize the above text in the two places that are highlighted. Replace the word Checking with the name of your destination account. Make sure to supply the exact name used by Quicken. Next, replace the word Bank with the type of destination account. The account type can be Bank, CCard, or Invst.

Import the modified QIF file as usual. It does not matter what is the destination account selected in the drop-down box labelled "Quicken account to import into." When you click "Next" to perform the import, Quicken will show a dialog box saying, "Transactions found for Checking account. Import transactions into Checking account?" You can click "Yes", and voila, the transactions will be in your bank, credit card, or investment account. You will be able to review the transactions prior to posting them into your register. This method has been tested in Quicken 2005, 2006, and 2007 for banking transactions. It may not work for investment accounts.

If you are not sure how to create the account header for a particular account, you can export a few transactions from the account to a QIF file, and then open that file in a word processor. You can study the lines between the !Account line and the next occurring ^ (caret symbol). The account type will be prefixed with the letter T. This may not work for all account types.

It appears that Intuit left this feature in place so that QIF files can be exported and imported between different versions of Quicken, and for backup purposes in the same version. Thus QIF files exported from older versions of Quicken can still be imported into the latest versions, regardless of account type. According to the Quicken Support site though, this is not supposed to work.

Please be aware that the above methods are described "as-is". You may not receive technical support from Intuit to use them. Make sure to backup your Quicken data prior to making any changes.

Special thanks to Harry Dolan for this tip!

QIF Account Header

The full account header has the additional fields shown below, but these are not necessary for a simple import.

Field Indicator Explanation
N Name
T Type of account
D Description
L Credit limit (only for credit card account)
/ Statement balance date
$ Statement balance
^ End of entry

Have you heard of the new, free Automated Feeds offered by Google Merchant Center? Learn more in Aten Software's latest blog post comparing them to traditional data feed files.
Created 2007-01-17, Last Modified 2016-12-01, © Shailesh N. Humbad
Disclaimer: This content is provided as-is. The information may be incorrect.