Quicken is still one of the most popular personal finance software on the market and in this Quicken For Mac review, we take a closer look at what it can do and how it compares to the Windows version.
Although there are much better alternatives to Quicken for Mac on the market nowadays such as the excellent Empower (FREE) , it’s still a powerful budgeting tool that’s easily still one of the most widely used personal finance packages out there.
So there’s currently no such thing as Quicken 2021 For Mac, Quicken 2022 For Mac or Quicken 2023 For Mac.
Instead, Quicken has switched to a subscription pricing model with improvements and updates rolled out on a continual basis.
We’d love to say that using Quicken on a Mac has finally caught up with the Windows version but as we found, unfortunately there’s still a long way to go.
The Quicken brand was given a fresh new look in October 2023 to celebrate 40 years of Quicken although sadly for Mac users, this didn’t finally mean parity with the Windows version.
A result of this rebranding is that Quicken now confusingly refers to the desktop products of Quicken as “Quicken Classic” which embraces both Quicken Deluxe and Quicken Premier which are the only desktop versions of Quicken available to Mac users.
Here we’ll take a closer look at Quicken for Mac in 2023 and examine why it’s still a poor man’s version of Quicken on PC.
You May Also Like:
- What Is Quicken?
- Quicken For Mac vs Quicken For Windows
- Quicken On The Web
- Does Quicken For Mac Support Direct Connect?
- Quicken For Mac Improvements
- Quicken For Mac Pricing
- Quicken For Mac Versions Compared
- Is Quicken Safe To Use?
- Is It Worth Getting Quicken For Mac?
- Can You Pay Monthly For Quicken?
- What Happens If I Stop Subscribing?
- Is There A Free Quicken Mac App?
- Does Quicken Work On M1 & M2 Macs?
- Quicken For Mac Alternatives
What Is Quicken?
Quicken is a personal finance management application that was first released back in 1984.
Over the past 40 years, it’s become one of the most widely used personal finance and budgeting software on both macOS and Windows.
Quicken used to be owned by Intuit but was purchased by H.I.G Capital in 2016.
Quicken is still very popular with Windows users although the Mac version of it has never been as good leading many Mac users to ditch the product in favor of alternatives.
Quicken For Mac vs Quicken For Windows
Quicken is available both as a desktop version for Mac and Windows but also in a more limited Cloud version known as Quicken On The Web.
Although there are desktop Mac apps for Quicken, there is no one-off purchase of Quicken for Mac available anymore. All of the desktop versions are integrated with the online versions.
In some ways this introduction of the online version (albeit more limited in features) is better for Mac users because for many years the desktop version of Quicken For Mac has lagged behind the Windows version.
Unfortunately, this disparity hasn’t changed much in the desktop version of Quicken For Mac in 2023 which still isn’t as good as the Windows version in terms of interface, navigation and features.
Quicken for Mac also isn’t as intuitive as Quicken for Windows especially when it comes to finding things on the dashboard or the ability to organize widgets on the home screen.
Some of the features that are still missing from Quicken For Mac compared to the Windows version are:
- Excel export support
- You can’t compare buy and hold options
- No Debt Reduction Plan tools
- No property value tracking
- No loan amortization tracking
- No credit score reports
- No paystub tracking
- No retirement planning (which means you can’t connect retirement accounts in Quicken for Mac)
- Asset allocation views
- No true multi-currency support
- Reporting is far more limited especially when it comes to reports on transfers
- The bills and payees statuses can be confusing with debts often showing where bills have already been paid
- Less banks are supported in the Mac version of Quicken when it comes to connecting and syncing accounts. This is partly because banks are phasing-out Direct Connect which is used by Quicken to connect to financial institutions.
- Limited investment tracking such as lack of the Morningstar Portfolio X-ray tool and lack of cost-basis calculations.
- The Rental Property Manager is only available in Home & Business which isn’t available for Mac
If you request these features to be added to the Mac version of Quicken, the standard reply is that if enough users vote for it, it will be added in the next version.
Finally, although Quicken does import Quicken for Windows files into the Mac version, the results can be extremely messy.
Because there are many features missing from the Mac version, importing Quicken files between the platforms isn’t as smooth as it should be and you may find yourself spending a lot of time cleaning them up.
The only advantage of Quicken for Mac over Quicken for Windows is for those that have financial accounts in both Canada and the USA.
The Mac version of Quicken can sync simultaneously with Canadian and US financial institutions whereas the Windows version can only sync with one country at a time. This will obviously only be an advantage for a limited number of users that have accounts in both Canada and the USA.
If you’re really unhappy with Quicken For Mac and want all the features you get in the Windows version, your only option is to run Windows on your Mac and install the Windows version of Quicken.
We’d probably also advise doing this rather than trying to import lots of data from Quicken for Windows into Quicken for Mac.
If you go down this route, we strongly recommend using Parallels which is by far the easiest way for anyone to run Windows on a Mac.
This also works for running Windows on Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs too.
If you’re thinking of giving-up on Quicken for Mac however, we’d encourage you to check out some of these personal finance apps for Mac all of which are excellent alternatives to Quicken.
Quicken On The Web
There’s also a limited cloud version of Quicken called Quicken On The Web which offers some of the features that are in the desktop version.
Quicken On The Web is integrated with the desktop version of Quicken For Mac and all changes are synced via the Cloud. In the online version of Quicken, you can do all the essentials including:
- See balances, transactions, accounts, budgets and investments
- Track investment performance
- Track spending and expenses
You can also customize the dashboard of Quicken Online and in some ways it’s easier to navigate that the desktop version of Quicken For Mac.
If Quicken keeps adding features to Quicken On The Web, then it will be a good thing for Mac users as means the platform you are using won’t be as important as it used to be.
Does Quicken For Mac Support Direct Connect?
Quicken For Mac does support Direct Connect which also supports Bill Pay.
Direct Connect provides a convenient way for Quicken to automatically import your bank statements, transactions and credit card movements from your bank account to help you manage your finances better.
Not only this but compared to other connection protocols, Direct Connect allows you full control over your funds including the ability to pay bills via Quicken Bill Pay and transfer funds between accounts.
This ability for Quicken to connect directly to your bank via Direct Connect has many advantages including:
- Allows the app to help you manage your finances in real time, spot spending trends and advise you.
- Allows bills to be paid and reconciled automatically in the app via Bill Pay
- Allows you to transfer funds between accounts including loans, credit cards, savings and checking accounts.
- Allows you to track the performance of 401K retirement funds.
- Reduces the need to keep logging-into your online banking to keep an eye on your finances.
- Brings together accounts from different banks into one place.
- Allows you to edit your lists of payees by adding or removing payments quickly in Quicken without having to log into your bank account online.
However, it’s important be aware that Direct Connect is slowly being phased-out by banks and in most cases being replaced by Express Web Connect+ (EWC+).
EWC+ still allows you to sync transactions but does not support Bill Pay or allow you to transfer funds between accounts.
EWC+ also uses a slightly different authentication system to Direct Connect.
The first time you connect via EWC+, it takes you from Quicken to your bank’s website where you have to log into it so that Quicken can receive a secure token.
Your bank login details are then securely stored by Quicken For Mac in this token but you can revoke it from Quicken at any time.
You may have to repeat this authorization method for EWC+ periodically depending on your bank’s policy.
Some argue that this is less secure than Direct Connect+ as Quicken stores your bank login details on its Cloud servers whereas Direct Connect stores then offline on your computer.
On the plus side, all banks offer EWC+ for free whereas some charge for Direct Connect.
For more on this, check out our look at Direct Connect vs EWC+.
Quicken For Mac Improvements
The most noticeable improvement in the latest version of Quicken For Mac in 2023 is the responsiveness and speed of the application.
Quicken For Mac launches much quicker than ever before with charts and graphs also loading faster than previous versions.
We think the most welcome improvement to the latest edition of Quicken for Mac however is the new investment portfolio view.
Quicken has never been the best at investment tracking but the new portfolio view is a big improvement on previous versions.
The new investment dashboard allows you to select account by type (such as Brokerage, Retirement or Education) and then view snapshots of holdings by Type, Security Type and Asset Class.
This makes it much easier for Mac users to use Quicken to balance their portfolio according to risk profile and market movements.
Depending on which subscription you have, the latest desktop version of Quicken For Mac has also introduced:
- Bill center dashboard and PDF download of bills
- Improved ability to track the principal and interest on your loans
- What-if analysis on loans
- Customizable investment portfolio with IRR and ROI
- Tax optimization on investment sales
- Free bill pay with Quicken Bill Pay (Quicken Premier for Mac and above) which offers an alternative to Direct Connect Bill Pay which is now being phased-out by many banks.
- Priority customer support access
All versions of Quicken on all platforms have also been improved with the following features:
- Backups that are around four times faster than previous versions
- Over 500 customer requested improvements or reliability fixes
- Now supports connecting to over 14,500 financial institutions
- 11,000 online bill payment providers with PDF download of bills
- New look bills and income section
- 5GB of free Dropbox offline backup
Quicken For Mac Pricing
Quicken is available in 4 versions:
- Simplifi ($2.39/m)
- Quicken Deluxe ($2.99/m)
- Quicken Premier ($4.19/m)
- Quicken Home & Business (Windows only)
However, only Quicken Deluxe and Quicken Premier are available as desktop apps on a Mac.
Both the Deluxe and Premier desktop apps work on macOS Sonoma and the previous two versions of macOS which are Ventura and Monterey.
They also work natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon M-series chip Macs.
Quicken also now group Deluxe, Premier and Home & Business as “Quicken Classic” on the Quicken for Mac website.
This is presumably to separate them from the relatively new Quicken web app called Simplifi which, as the name suggests, is supposed to be a simpler way of managing your finances quickly on web or mobile.
Simplifi only works in any browser on a Mac – it is not available as a desktop version on macOS.
Simplfi is the long term replacement for the old Quicken Starter edition which is now no longer available.
Simplifi is designed to help you keep on top of your finances in “under 5 minutes per week” and is basically a stripped-down version of Quicken with a cheaper pricing model.
Currently Quicken is offering 40% off everything although this is a limited offer and promotions often change throughout the year.
Quicken Home & Business is Windows only and not available for Mac.
Note that Quicken does not offer monthly payment subscriptions. All subscriptions are paid annually in advance.
If you fail to renew your subscription after a year, you’ll still have access to your account and be able to enter transactions manually but you won’t get any future product updates or sync your accounts.
There are also free Quicken mobile apps available for iPad, iPhone and Android devices for all Quicken versions.
All Quicken products can be tried free for 30 days before you have to pay for a subscription.
You can see how the different versions of Quicken For Mac compare below.
Quicken For Mac Versions Compared
|Simplifi||Quicken For Mac Deluxe||Quicken For Mac Premier|
|Mac App, Cloud & Mobile|
|One Month Budgeting|
|Import Accounts From Quicken|
|12 Month Budgeting|
|Principle and Loan Interest Tracking|
|What If Analysis on Loans, Investment, Retirement|
|Realized & Unrealized Gains|
|Cost Basis & Schedule D Tax Reports|
|Quicken Bill Pay|
|Priority Customer Support|
Is Quicken Safe To Use?
Like all personal finance apps, Quicken uses high grade encryption to manage your accounts and connect to financial institutions.
Quicken is perfectly safe to use and doesn’t actually “touch” your money so it can’t actually move your money apart from instruct your bank to pay bills using Quicken Bill Pay.
Is It Worth Getting Quicken For Mac?
If you’ve got years of transactions in previous versions of Quicken for Mac then Quicken For Mac is still worth getting.
Although some other personal finance apps can import Quicken data, they often do a poor job and you’re much better sticking with Quicken in that case.
However, if you’re expecting the same product as the Windows version or need investment tracking, there are much better alternatives worth considering.
Can You Pay Monthly For Quicken?
No, Quicken subscriptions must be paid for annually, up-front.
What Happens If I Stop Subscribing?
If you cancel your Quicken subscription after a year, you can still view your transactions and manually enter data. However, your accounts will not sync with Quicken anymore and you won’t receive any updates.
Is There A Free Quicken Mac App?
No but there are free Quicken apps from the iOS and Android App Store that you can download. However, you’ll need to buy a desktop Quicken subscription to use them and activate them with your Quicken ID.
Does Quicken Work On M1 & M2 Macs?
The latest version of Quicken For Mac works natively on the latest Apple Silicon M1 and M2 Macs such as the M2 MacBook Pro and this is one of the reasons it’s much faster than previous versions.
Previously, Quicken for Mac still worked on M-series Macs running thanks to a free tool in macOS called Rosetta which automatically translates Intel only apps to work on the M1 and M2 chip Macs.
However, this is a slightly slower process and Quicken is not optimized for Apple Silicon chips.
If you’re still working on Quicken 2007 however, it will still convert them to work on the latest version of Quicken on M1 and M2 Macs.
Quicken For Mac Alternatives
Quicken is still one of the most widely used budgeting tools on the market but there are much better personal finance software on the market nowadays.
One of the poorest aspects to Quicken is the investment tracking.
Especially if you invest in cryptos on your Mac, there’s no support for crypto investment tracking in either Quicken For Mac or Windows.
You can read our full Empower review for more.
Alternatively, if it’s just budgeting you want to focus on, you may want to to give Moneydance a try.
Moneydance is a Mac desktop personal finance software with some really robust budgeting tools and no subscription.
You can also check out our guide to the best Quicken for Mac alternatives for more.