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 126.96.36.199:http ESTABLISHED [msmoney.exe]
- TCP 168.0.44:64478 188.8.131.52:http ESTABLISHED [msmoney.exe]
- TCP 168.0.44:64479 a-0003:http ESTABLISHED [msmoney.exe]
- TCP 168.0.44:64480 184.108.40.206:http ESTABLISHED [msmoney.exe]
- TCP 168.0.44:64481 220.127.116.11: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. I 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.