Eliminating the “online updating”delays and errors when opening Money


It seems that even though Microsoft tweaked the Sunset edition of Money to no longer phone home for online updates and activation purposes, remnants of the online handshaking with MSN Money remain in the program and I suspect that, because the address of the MSN Money servers has changed over the years, some serious delays are occurring in the program, as evidenced by the spinning icon near the upper right corner soon after the program is opened to “retrieve quotes, news and exchange rates” according to the Update Results.  This 1 to 2 minute delay can get very annoying, as nothing can be done until the program finally gives up with the handshake and can even cause errors when OFX scripts are waiting to be processed.

By running netstat /b  as an administrator while firing up Money, I got a list of servers that Money is attempting to access:

 

  • TCP    168.0.44:64477     131.253.40.59:http     ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64478     137.117.100.176:http   ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64479     a-0003:http            ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64480     104.25.195.13:http     ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64481     104.25.194.13:http     ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64482     hans-moleman:http      ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]
  • TCP    168.0.44:64495     hans-moleman:http      ESTABLISHED  [msmoney.exe]

 

The first entry is believed to be the MSNbot which used to be within www.msn.com/money but the address of that page is now www.msn.com/en-us/money and that may be the first clue as to what is stalling the Money program.  Hans_MolemanI liked Ron’s statement in the Microsoft Money forum regarding the last 2 entries – “I have no idea why my MSMONEY is trying to connect to a Simpson’s character.  Hmmm.  My first guess is that it is a programmer’s joke…”

Fortunately, there is a resolution to this issue and since Money is offline now, we’ll help it by using Windows Firewall to cut it off from the internet so that it doesn’t work so hard trying to resolve finding the MSN Money pages for a useless handshake.   Note that doing this will make any links to web pages like banks and MSN Money inoperable from with the Money browser.  Pocketsense scripts, MoneyQuotes, OFX / QIF file imports and file backups to Dropbox will continue to function though.  Money will simply act like your PC isn’t hooked up to the internet.  It has been reported that Money will also shut down quicker when exiting the program by doing this.

Simply run “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” which you will find in Windows Administrative Tools, Click on “Outbound Rules”, select “New Rule” > select “Program” > select “This Program” and enter or browse for the path (which should be
%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Money Plus\MNYCoreFiles\msmoney.exe
– you can try just pasting this in) > select “Block this connection” > leave the defaults > and then name your new rule something like “Microsoft Money block”.  Once the rule is created, it can be disabled and enabled very easily within the Firewall program if you wish to experiment its effect.

One other adjustment that I advise:
Customize your Home Page such that the only two modules are Reminders and Favorite Accounts.  Other modules like Bills & Deposits can consume some time and prevent you from working with your file right away.

Now you’ll note minimal delays, if any, when using your Money program, as it no longer will struggle to get hold of non-existent servers and process your upcoming bills.

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27 Comments »

  1. Tom said

    Wow, really nice solution that eliminates my 90 second startup issue with Money.

  2. tony_russo said

    i use win7 and have no startup delay. Now you have me wondering why…Since it’s not broke, i’ll leave it alone (for now). fwiw, i use ms money quotes program to get quotes…

    • ameridan said

      Tony, my delays weren’t bad either until last week. I switched to Windows 10 about a month ago. I have a feeling it has something to do with your browser cache for the MSN Money pages, which eventually will disappear. This fix has no negative effect on MSMoneyQuotes and PocketSense because they are not running within Money – their output is “imported” back into Money instead.

  3. ameridan said

    Tom, I agree. The credit goes to Cal Learner for suggesting this fix in the Microsoft Money forum.

  4. CLearner said

    Nice.
    Suggestion: if you make the path “%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Money Plus\MNYCoreFiles\msmoney.exe” without the quotes, you can just paste that in. That works whether using 64-bit or 32-bit Windows.

    I called my filter “Microsoft Money block” because it make an entry in the inbound and outbound lists. Note there is a red keep-out symbol in front of the name in the lists. That indicates Action:Block. I had first thought it meant I had made an error in making the entry.

    • ameridan said

      Thanks Cal. I incorporated your suggestions.

  5. John said

    It worked for me. I had to type the path name mnycorefiles before it would find the exe file. The two arrows at the top of money stops immediately. I tried two or three times. It worked each time.

  6. I save my Money backup to Dropbox. If I make this change can I still do that?

    • ameridan said

      I think so, but I’m not positive. Dropbox is a folder on a local drive that syncs itself with your cloud folder. My automatic weekly backups also go to Dropbox, so I won’t be able to confirm for 2 more days, however if the rule complicates things for you, it can be easily disabled or deleted. Let us know…

    • tony_russo said

      you guys trust the “cloud” for your money file backups? i’m way too anal for that – local backups only, thumb drive(daily) and external hard drive (weekly)…guess i am still old school

    • I don’t store any PII in Money – about me or my accounts.

    • ameridan said

      I can now verify that this fix has no effect on file backups to Dropbox.

    • Thanks ameridan!

  7. RCS said

    Thanks for this. I set that up, but it seemed to take about the same amount of time (30 seconds). I’ve got a fairly new MacBook and Win 10 in a VM.

    • ameridan said

      Something tells me that the only reason you’ve set up a VM is to run the must-have Money program 😉
      I’m thinking that, unlike virus software, firewall software within VM is not the same nor effective as the actual MacBook firewall software.

  8. gunther schwarz said

    New subject:
    For some reason I goofed up my python scripts. When I run “getdata.py” it seems to download everything and then disappears without any question asked and nothing downloaded into Money

  9. ameridan said

    Click on the combined OFX file in the xfr folder and if it doesn’t open on its own, help it along by pointing to mnyimprt.exe in the MNYCoreFiles folder, and if you see the option, click on “Always open with this program”.

    Then again, maybe it errored out before it got to that point. Run setup.py and test each account individually to see where the problem lies. If it is the occasional problem with a bank server, it may even fix itself tomorrow…

    • gunther schwarz said

      You are correct, evidently it didn’t find the import program and as soon as I pointed it to the correct one everything is working fine now.
      Thanks, gun

  10. Scott said

    This is a winner solution and works great. Thanks for the work

  11. David Mariotti said

    How would you make this change under XP?

    • ameridan said

      (Wow, WordPress has improved. Never was able to have videos directly viewable in comments before)

  12. William R Wood said

    Thanks the Firewall fix worked, now the update spinner only stays on for 2 seconds instead of 2 min. Great fix.

  13. Bill M said

    I don’t know what I did wrong, but using Windows Firewall to block “%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Money Plus\MNYCoreFiles\msmoney.exe” (without the quotes) did not work for me. However, blocking the Update Utility, “%ProgramFiles% (x86)\Microsoft Money Plus\MNYCoreFiles\daupdate.exe” worked like a charm. The update only locks it up for about 2-3 seconds.

    Looking at my install of MSMoney, I’m running “Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe – Version 17.0.120.3817” on Windows 7 Professional.

  14. Pedro said

    This fix didn’t work for me. The wheel continues spinning, and spinning, and spinning. As I use a security system (ESET Smart Security), I applied the rule within the software’s firewall. It managed to block internet access from Money but, nevertheless, the issue remains. In fact, when I try to open my money file disconnected from the internet, it takes even longer for the wheel stops sppinning. Looks like it keeps on trying to connect until it finds a valid connection and, as it doesn’t find, it eventually stops. But it takes a long time. Any ideas?

  15. ameridan said

    Pedro, please follow the instructions. The Windows Firewall rule that is needed is for blocking outbound requests and I think that ESET Smart Security is primarily protects inbound requests, so the exception you input has no effect.

  16. Pedro said

    Unfortunately, same thing happens when using windows firewall. The online update wheel still spins for a long time. Too bad. After years living with it, I thought I had finnally found a solution for this really annoyning issue. If you have any further insights on how to solve it, please let me know. Thank you.

  17. Pamela said

    Excellent workaround to resolve the start-up delay. I can now import .OFX files without waiting. Thank you so much!

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