Is it normal for a moneydancearchive to shrink overnight by 66%?

nhamdak's Avatar


02 May, 2018 03:55 PM

I've been exporting a backup (a moneydancearchive file) to USB whenever I make major changes. Until today they've been about 22 MB in size. I have not deleted any data, but today suddenly it is a mere 7 MB.
I did set up sync for the first time yesterday evening. Would that shrink the size of the archive file? Or does file compression sometimes change its size by that amount?
A quick examination doesn't show any loss of data, but I'm wondering if I just go back to yesterday's backup.

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 02 May, 2018 06:18 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I have two identical data sets. With exactly to same accounts transactions etc in them. I keep both data sets up to date. The second data set was created from a restored backup of the first some time ago. The only difference is that one is synced the other is not. The synced data set is nearly half the size of the non-synced data set. This is also true of there backups. The non-synced data set contains 127 files the synced data set 12. Looks like syncing could be pruning out the dead wood.

  2. 2 Posted by nhamdak on 03 May, 2018 02:01 PM

    nhamdak's Avatar

    Thanks derek, that's reassuring. I was hoping that syncing was the cause.
    Is there any way to confirm via computer that two different data sets have identical sets of transactions? Getting just counts of transactions per account would be helpful, or some hash or checksum just to verify that everything came over OK. Quicken had various data auditing routines that were helpful in that regard.

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 May, 2018 05:17 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    I don’t know of any way to verify all is well in the way you describe.
    But the bottom line is if transactions were missing of extra duplicate transactions added the balances in each account in the two data sets would not be the same. As presumably they are I would not worry.

    Hope this helps

  4. 4 Posted by dwg on 03 May, 2018 10:12 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    The way to check if a backup is sound is to do a test restore and examine the data.

    When you set up syncing Moneydance does a number of things. One that is readily apparent is that it consolidates data into the main trunk file and removes the individual transaction files. Now some of this data could well already be in the trunk file in any case so beforehand you may have duplicated data on your system. Also the space consumed by small individual files is considerably more than if the data is in one file (small individual files are much better for incremental changes being moved between and applied on different systems, so there is a trade off)

    So I'm not surprised that your data is considerably smaller after initially turning on synchronisation - the consumed space will grow again.

  5. 5 Posted by nhamdak on 05 May, 2018 03:47 PM

    nhamdak's Avatar

    Since my first post I've done a restore and checked the data as dwg suggested. It all looked OK and all the balances seemed OK. (I have yet to look into the Python extension feature of the program, which was a big draw for me. It might be possible to create a SHA-256 hash sum of all the transactions in an account, and compare it to a similar sum from a prior copy or on a different machine, just to make sure all the transactions are intact. Coming from Quicken one worries about individual transactions being corrupted in a not-immediately detectable fashion!)
    The more important news is that I've also since re-set my syncing method, and so this yielded a second experiment on the question in the discussion title.
    The results were close to identical: before turning on Syncing (this time to Dropbox Folder) the moneydancearchive files were 22.6 MB . I turned on Syncing and Dropbox uploaded 6 files, one of which was a relatively large trunk...mdtxn file. After that the moneydancearchive file size fell to 6.9 MB. Dwg's explanation of this makes a lot of sense.
    So yes, it is NORMAL for moneydancearchive files to shrink dramatically when one first turns on Syncing. Don't be alarmed! Mine shrank by 66%.

  6. System closed this discussion on 04 Aug, 2018 03:50 PM.

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