How to Download Paypal Transactions Into Quicken

PayPal screen on a computer
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Quicken has supported PayPal downloads for several years, although the mechanism of this support has evolved over time. Adding your PayPal transactions into Quicken requires three basic activities: Establishing a PayPal account in Quicken, downloading your PayPal transactions to an export file, and then importing your export file into Quicken.

Adding a PayPal Account to Quicken

To add a PayPal account to Quicken:

  1. Click Add an Account, located at the bottom of the Account Bar. If you're using Quicken 2017 or newer, click the (+) icon at the top of the Account Bar instead.
  2. Click Checking.
  3. Enter "PayPal" as the financial institution name.
  4. Enter your account login name and password.

Downloading Transactions From PayPal

To download transactions from PayPal to Quicken you will need to download the Quicken file in the QIF format, and then you must import that file into the correct cash account in Quicken.

From within your PayPal account:

  1. Click Reports from the top menu bar.
  2. Click Activity Download from the left menu bar.
  3. In the Create New Report box, select the relevant transaction types and date ranges for the export file. You can export activity for the prior 36 months. In the Format option, select Quicken (QIF - USD only).
  4. Click the Create Report button to generate your history. When the report is done processing, it will appear in the Activity Reports section of the page, immediately below the Create New Report box. You will receive an email when the report is ready for download. Alternatively, you can remain on the page and periodically click the Refresh label above the completed-reports grid.
  5. Click Download when the report is ready to save the QIF file on your computer.

Importing Your PayPal Transaction History Into Quicken

The QIF file contains the information you'll want to import into Quicken:

  1. From the File menu, click File Import then QIF File.
  2. Browse your local filesystem for the QIF file. 
  3. Select your PayPal account in the Quicken Account to Import Into list.
  4. Add any additional information you want to bring into Quicken, using the Include in Import options.
  5. Click Next to complete the import. Transactions will now be imported into your PayPal account in Quicken. You can delete the QIF file from your desktop.

For Include in Import, select Transactions. You may also select any of the other options as well:

  • Memorized Payees – Include items from the Memorized Payee list.
  • Account List – Include items from the Account list.
  • Special Handling for Transfers – Use this if you've exported several QIF files from more than one Quicken accounts in the same file—and you're using Import to re-create all the transactions by importing from several QIF files. This option prevents duplicate transfer transactions when you import data from both the "to" and "from" accounts involved with transfers.
  • Category List – Include items from the Category list.
  • Security Lists – Include items from the Security and the Security Prices lists.
  • Business Lists – If you've purchased Quicken Home & Business, select this check box to include items from the Invoice Items list and the Business Templates list.

Staying Synched to Quicken

Customer discussion forums for both Quicken and PayPal point out that PayPal frequently changes its behind-the-scenes file formats in a way that temporarily breaks connected applications like Quicken. Although the export-and-import method should always work it's not a perfect world. That said, once you've got your PayPal account properly synced with Quicken, the account should remain in sync automatically. You'll only need to perform the export-and-import procedure if you're setting up an account for the first time—and need the historical data—or if the sync protocol between Quicken and PayPal is temporarily disrupted. However, you need to have the transactions available in Quicken before the sync feature can be patched.