OFFLINE intro

If you agree with me that Microsoft Money is the BEST personal (and small business) financial management software package available, then you’ve come to the right place for improving Money’s OFFLINE capabilities.

  • Even though Microsoft has elected to divorce the program from the MSN Money servers as of January 31st, 2011 (which did much more than just grab statement downloads, including independent stock and fund quotes for ALL of your investments, passing through third-party web-scrapes of your data, supporting Online banking, investment news, tax and exchange rates, LiveID password authentication, etc.), they have made available a **FREE**  legal copy (the SUNSET edition) of the latest updated  OFFLINE  version of  Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe that you can download, even if you’ve never used Money before!  On its own, it will only update via OFX statement files that you download through the websites of your financial institutions.
  • Now by installing Python and downloading Bobby’s PocketSense script package that runs on Python, you will be able to essentially mimic those Online functions that Microsoft will no longer be providing.
  • For those that only need to update quotes (no Account Statement updates) and don’t wish to install Python scripting, Hung Le had written a Java app a year ago that has been recently updated and the link in the original Blog page has been updated with this new version.
  • Another new program is now available for updating quotes from MSN in a very similar fashion to Money’s original online updates.  It is called MSMoneyQuotes and you’ll find links to it in this blog post.
  • I have developed Ameridan’s addon package to PocketSense that allows you to run these scripts (and review your Online investment data) from within your Money program.
Make sure you check out the Look Up Your OFX Settings Blogpage with links to all of the sources of OFX settings that I am aware of.

IMPORTANT!! (Courtesy of Cal Learner)

People using LiveID (Passport) in Microsoft Money should turn that off by logging in offline.   You may have to do this to accomplish that:

Disconnect from the Internet. If using Money Plus, change the date on your computer to a date in January, such as 2011 Jan 15.   Start Money, and log in offline.    Remove your LiveID.   Do not attempt to change your LiveID.

To remove the Live ID, go to File-PasswordManager, and choose to remove your LiveID.   To remove or add a conventional password, also see File->PasswordManager.

If you get a warning that you cannot remove the LiveID, turn off Tools->Settings->ReceiveAccountUpdatesFromMsnMoneyMyAccounts if you set that, even if you leave on Live ID to work with Ultrasoft Money.

SITE NAVIGATION IMPROVEMENTS:
I’ve recently optimized the Blog widget settings to make navigating within this Blog as easy as possible. I hope you find it a little easier to find things – I pledge to continue doing my best to keep it up-to-date as a resource of helpful material for Microsoft Money users as well.

Other helpful information courtesy of Cal Learner…

US Money Sunset (Works with US and Canadian Files only; others see below)

Self-contained installation files for use (including if the original disk requires activation).   No direct online access works with the Sunset versions. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2118008 for an explanation of the Sunset versions

US Money Plus Deluxe Sunset

Downloadable from http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/5/5/2557D51B-AF4C-4123-8198-563ABA07337B/USMoneyDlxSunset.exe  [static link]
or use http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20738

US Money Plus Home and Business Sunset
Downloadable from http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/1/B/C1BA4FFE-E119-4C19-8BD3-442F0E7E98A0/USMoneyBizSunset.exe  [static link]
or use http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7564

Notes for North America:
1. US and Canadian Money 2005 and Essentials users — as well as other US and usually Canadian users — can use Money Plus Deluxe Sunset if they have to reinstall at some point. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2118008  for information.
2. Some US users of older versions of Money (Money 98 through Money 2003)  may have to use an additional step, described in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919524/en-us  , of first installing a verson of US Money 2004 or 2005 to perform a file conversion before installing Money Plus Sunset. Here is a link to a minimally functional version of US Money 2005 (filename webinst.exe) that can be used for conversions: http://download.microsoft.com/download/D/B/7/DB72D4E0-FBD1-4B76-BFA0-1FF20F6AEC8D/M12USWEB.exe

Money 2005 UK – QFE2
Self-contained UK Money 2005 file including all available patches. Replaces all MS Money UK 2005 installation discs. Usually solves “Money cannot locate the file because it’s a read only file or you do not have permission to change it” error message.
Download from http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/5/8/858EDC2F-1806-4D2D-85E3-0FBB08CB720A/Money2005-UK-QFE2.exe.exe

Money 2005 International English QFE2
Self-contained Money 2005 International English installation file from Microsoft, including all updates (For Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and all other English versions other than for US, Canada, UK).
Download from http://download.microsoft.com/download/D/7/4/D7406013-4064-49BB-9AA8-7608655EF70C/Money2005-IntlEngl-QFE2.exe.exe

Money 2005 French – QFE3
Self-contained French Money 2005 file including all available patches. Replaces all MS Money French 2005 installation disks.
Download from http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/3/1/B31D6140-59FE-4D17-AF82-A2E77D0FCFFF/Money2005-FR-QFE3.exe.exe

Notes for all versions…

It is suggested that all Money users keep a good copy of the installation file, even if the need is not immediate. It will be needed if you reinstall Money in the future. Those links can change, so do a search if you don’t find the file you need. Since we don’t know how long these files will be available, it is best to keep a copy of your appropriate installation file in a safe place.

Regional versions

Money data files are in a different format for each region. The correct regional version of Money must be used or the data file will not open.

It is possible to convert from one region to another only by exporting data as loose qif and importing to the new regional version of Money. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304254  and  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178830  .

Old Money versions will run only under 32-bit Windows

Old versions (Money 2000 and earlier) include 16-bit code so can run only under 32-bit Windows (XP, Vista, 7 and 8).

There are continuing changes to the way Windows works. There is no certainty that newer 32-bit Windows will continue to run Money well or at all.

64-bit Windows

The U.S. Sunset versions of Money, downloadable above, should run under Windows versions up to atleast Windows 8.   However because of a bug in the file mnyob99.dll, there may be issues with lower versions including XP in conjunction with certain OS updates.   It is recommended that a patched version of this file be used to resolve these issues and insure compatibility.  Read more (and find a link to the patch) here.

Internet Explorer

Money depends on Internet Explorer for some features. Development of Money stopped some years ago, so some features in Money may not work well or at all with the latest versions of Internet Explorer.

Money version downloads

The latest versions are free for anyone to use, but are not supported by Microsoft. The download links above might become unusable at any time.

Remember to keep a secure copy of the downloaded installation file for when you need to re-install. Your data will be inaccessible if your Money program becomes corrupted and you cannot reinstall Money or if you procure a new PC and cannot install Money.

-ameridan

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Windows 10 free upgrade / my experience

I finally took the plunge and upgraded my Windows 7 PC (that was since upgraded to Windows 8.1) to Windows 10 and was very pleased with the outcome.  Not only did Microsoft Money function perfectly, but I was surprised to see my entire desktop appear exactly the same as it was prior to the upgrade.  I should mention that I don’t really like the live tiles Start Menu that Microsoft pushes and therefore use a program called Classic Shell to give me my Windows 7 desktop experience and that too carried over through the upgrade.

One program that “upgraded” itself that I didn’t care for is the Windows Calculator – the new one doesn’t even have the % key button, and there are a few other items that I don’t like as well.  I was able to easily install the Windows 7 version by downloading the modified program at   http://en.freedownloadmanager.org/Windows-PC/Old-Calculator-for-Windows-FREE.html    but note that rather than overwrite the Windows 10 version, it installs as calc1.exe, so the Money keyboard shortcut will still bring up the newer version (calc.exe).  Just pin a new shortcut to the taskbar to bring the calculator up instead.

The Windows 10 upgrade is free until July 29th, but I just leaned today that for those wishing to postpone the free upgrade past that date, they can do so by “claiming” your entitlement under the free upgrade offer and then rolling back to your prior operating system. With that entitlement in place, you can schedule the final upgrade for when you’re ready, even if that’s after July 29th.   A step-by-step guide is presented at   http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-lock-in-your-free-windows-10-upgrade-and-keep-using-your-old-windows-version/

Microsoft no longer seems to be using an Internet Explorer version longer than 15 characters, so at least for now, there is no need to alter the registry in order to get Money to function with Windows 10.   I’m leaving all that advice in the blog though, just in case…

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Resolving errors for those having multiple accounts at Chase and other OFX 103 banks

A commenter on the Pocketsense blog named John has come up with a solution for those that are getting errors while trying to download OFX data for multiple accounts from a particular financial institution.  I encouraged Kevin N. to try this out and he has verified that these instructions function as written.  It is very possible that Robert will incorporate these suggestions into Pocketsense in the future, or a similar strategy, but I’m writing this up to help others having difficulties with Chase and some other banks needing a solution.

Background:

This situation only arises if that bank or brokerage house has chosen to upgrade to their server to OFX version 1.03, which adds an additional requirement of a 128- bit universally unique identifier (UUID) number being part of the OFX request, as another layer of security.  Pocketsense currently allows for this requirement by generating a value and appending it to your sites.dat file as the variable ClientUID (if it doesn’t already exist in that file).  Should you have multiple accounts at that institution though, you are going to run into problems trying to use that same ClientUID for the subsequent data requests.  Some users that have 2 accounts at one bank (Chase as an example) – one for them and another for their spouse, get around this by running two separate instances of Pocketsense to get around this annoyance.  But say you had some IRA accounts there as well, a Roth and a traditional and the same in your spouse’s name and a joint checking account, etc.  Well this is where John’s solution saves the day.

Script modification:

John has a nice color coded presentation for his modification at  http://pastebin.com/9UJ333RZ , (you just delete the text that is brown and add the text that is green to your ofx.py and site_cfg.py scripts), so I am not going to try and duplicate that effort.  Essentially what he has done is come up with yet another variable for each sites.dat entry for those multiple accounts at the financial institution causing you headaches, called siteClientUID which you manually enter and is used instead of  ClientUID.  An easy method for coming up with a version 4 UUID value to assign to these siteClientUID entries is by simply going to https://www.uuidgenerator.net/ .

SiteName : CHASE
AcctType : BASTMT
fiorg : B1
url : https://ofx.chase.com
fid : 10898
bankid : (use appropriate routing #)
brokerid :
appid : QWIN
appver : 2400
mininterval :
ofxver : 103
siteClientUID  :

Read the rest of this entry »

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Intuit puts venerable Quicken up on the block – How will this impact our Money data downloads?

I’ve just learned of an announcement from Intuit that could spell the end of our scripted access to OFX/QFX downloads within 2 or 3 years. The reason financial institutions keep the portal servers going for access to our financial data is because of agreements with Intuit for updating account data for their Quicken program. The announcement is actually a couple of months old (August 20th) where they state that because about 2/3rds of Intuit’s business now comes from online and mobile activity, they intend to sell its Quicken unit, the group that creates the personal finance software that made the company famous.  Here’s more from an Read the rest of this entry »

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Keeping track of your FICO scores

I’ve been tracking my free FICO scores for some time now and thought I would share how and why I do this in Money in case you might want to add this function yourselves.  Discover provides a monthly update to your TransUnion FICO score on their credit card statement and Citi does the same with your Equifax FICO score.  As to why –  why not?  We track everything else that involves our finances, and Money makes it easy to view in our Portfolio review screens.  From the Portfolio screens, it is also easy to right-click and select  “See Price History” allowing you to view a graph of your FICO score history.

All you need to do is add the scores into your Watch account by creating a dummy transaction with zero shares of each FICO score you’re able to get …

moneyfico

and then select “Update prices > Manually” every time you receive a score update.

-ameridan

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Windows 10 Compatibility with Microsoft Money

Well tomorrow Microsoft is supposed to start installing Windows 10 as an “upgrade” to PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.x and it appears that some early testers have observed hiccups without official acknowledgement of fixes being offered.  I for one plan on not accepting the Windows 10 upgrade for a while (assuming of course that I will be offered the option and it won’t just install on its own). We have until July 2016 to get the free upgrade to Windows 10, so there is no need to rush it!

Of course, patching the dll as previously discussed in the Windows 8 Compatibility discussion will be necessary if you are installing Money on a clean install of Windows 10 or upgrading from Windows XP or Windows 7, but if the PC is simply being “upgraded” from Windows 8 to Windows 10, I’m thinking that you should have already patched the dll in order to get Money working.

[added 10/30/2015] Microsoft did NOT patch Windows 10 contrary to what some people have stated in the Microsoft Forum.  They did happen to release a version of Internet Explorer recently with a version number less than 16 characters long, but they could again update IE and use a version number with too many characters.

Additionally please note that the “bugs” in Money’s “MNYOB99.DLL” file have been there for years according to Raymond Chen and by his description of those bugs, it is surprising that Money has worked consistently with the older OS’s all these years.  Windows 8 was hit and miss regarding the dll patch, but the patch is definitely recommended for Windows 10 PCs.  Go here for the instructions.

I happened to note that Robin Wheeler has observed that Microsoft Money is expecting that the version number for Internet Explorer should be defined with no more than 15 characters.   The current version number in the registry for Internet Explorer 11 is 9.11.10240.16384 and she has found that the value needs to be truncated by removing the 16th character (4) in order for Money to run.  Great observation Robin!  This could be a pain if Microsoft is going to update Internet Explorer (or Edge which is the name of IE’s replacement) using version numbers greater than 15 characters long.

*** Should be easy for someone to write a python script to keep the version number truncated in the registry as it changes in the future.***

So, to clarify, in order to resolve the error: [updated 8/2/2015 to include 32-bit variance]

  1. Open Registry Editor (RegEdit).  (Search for it using Windows 10 search box, and then right-click and choose “run as administrator”)
  2. Navigate to the following registry key for 64-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
    or for 32-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  3. In the right pane, look for Version registry value.
  4. Modify the value data to 9.11.10240.1638 so that it contains no more than 15 characters.

She questioned why Money looks at the IE version #.   Unlike a program that generically invokes a browser by simply looking up the registry to identify the default browser, Microsoft Money is designed to use Internet Explorer exclusively as the entire user interface and consequently it looks up the registry to find the installed version.  If no entry is found, it will default to prompting you to install Internet Explorer 6 – which of course will never install with Windows 8 or 10.

I’m going to inject my theory here at the risk of being proven wrong (I don’t have Windows 10 yet), but based on past experience, I don’t think it matters if Windows default browser is set to Edge or Firefox or Chrome – Money is always going to use Internet Explorer, or at least what the registry leads Money to think is Internet Explorer. Based on all of the changes reported to work for “Version”, it seems that it can be almost anything, as long as it isn’t longer than 15 characters AND as long as a version of Internet Explorer can be found, that is what is invoked to open up Money.

What isn’t clear yet is whether a clean install of Windows 10 (vs. an upgrade) and/or future iterations of Windows 10 will always install a version of IE, whether Edge will always act like a future version of IE, and whether Microsoft will continue to use the registry as a means to fooling legacy programs like Money into thinking that the current browser will behave properly with Money as IE has up through Version 11.

I’ll do my best to keep track of any issues and solutions that keep me from using Microsoft Money as I really have no intentions of not using this fantastic program.

[UPDATE 9/10/2015]

I’ve just read that upgrading to Windows 10 sometimes messes up the read/write permissions of your Documents folder and since I recall that some readers have reported that they had trouble saving their Money files, i thought I would add instructions for this issue in this blog. I automatically assumed that readers reporting this issue had their Money data file in the wrong location since Windows 7 & 8 never messed up the file permissions.

“I can’t use my files after updating. How do I get rid of the read-only attribute in my Documents and Download folders?”

Removing read-only attributes is usually a snap, and should take only a minute or two. Here’s how:

  • In an admin-level account, right-click the read-only files or folders and select Properties.
  • Under the General tab, untick the box for Read-only and then click OK.
  • After a few seconds (depending on number of affected files and folders) all the selected files/folders should no longer be read-only.

NOTE: I recommend that you check your browser setting in Money since the internal browser reports to site servers that you are using outdated IE9:

Under settings you can change Browser Settings from Browse Internet from within Money
to
Always use default browser to browse Internet

-ameridan

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New Money addon program released ~ MS Money Quotes by Gaier Software

     MSMoneyQuotes by Gaier Software, LLC

[UPDATE 1/3/2015] Dan has just released version 2.0 for 2015 that obtains financial data from an entirely new online quote service built for the new MSN.com and MSN Money websites, and is also used by the Windows 8 Finance app. The new online quote service is more reliable, has better symbol coverage, and should be here to stay for a long time. It is backed by a Morningstar quote feed and should prove to be more useful to more users than MSN.com has been this past year!

Well, I stated in my previous blog post that this addon program looked promising, and indeed, even though Money is offline now,  with MSMoneyQuotes, we once again have the ability of  feeding live (20 minutes delayed) MSN online quotes data into our Money database once again – even if your Money program isn’t currently running! For those using Pocketsense, simply make sure that you run this program prior to Pocketsense each day (or stop retrieving quotes with Pocketsense  ~ comment them out in sites.dat file by inserting # in first column, and use it for statement downloads only)  so that your quote price is input into Money as online rather than update.    Online allows for continuous updating throughout that day whereas Update only holds the first price entered that day.    There is even an option for updating quotes every 15 Read the rest of this entry »

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Restoring Microsoft Money Quote Updates…

Restoring Microsoft Money Quote Updates

I was sent a link from Gaier Software and in the interest of helping them promote this promising new Microsoft Money “add-on” program, I’m posting their announcement here.
-ameridan

I’m a former Microsoft employee who worked on the Microsoft Money product and MSN Money website for almost a decade. Yep, I was the software developer who built the Portfolio Manager for both products, worked on the quote services that powered them, and in 2009 built the Money-to-Quicken Converter for Intuit.

Since Microsoft pulled the plug on the quote servers in the summer of 2013, I often get asked if it’s possible to build something that would restore Money’s ability to get quote information. It turns out it is possible!

So in my (very limited) spare time, I’ve been tinkering with building such a tool over the last 6 months. The Money code is old and complex (written in C/C++, Win32, COM for those technical folks) and it took a fair amount of time and effort to work through some hurdles, but I finally have something that works. Read the rest of this entry »

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