Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe Review

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The Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe free personal finance software was released in May 2010 to replace earlier versions of Microsoft's Money software program. Those earlier programs include Money Plus Essentials, Money Plus Deluxe, and Money Plus Premium, which were all officially discontinued in June 2009.

Review the details on Microsoft Money Plus Sunset to help you determine if the software has the features you need.

Beware of Upgrading to the Free Option

Unlike previous versions of Microsoft Money, which required you to activate the software online and prove your purchase, Money Plus Sunset is available for free. Money Plus, the most recent retail version, is no longer available for purchase.

Free is a great price, but as a result of paid versions being discontinued, internet services and technical support for the program have expired. You can install Microsoft Money Plus Sunset without having to activate anything online, but if you need help using the software, you'll have to turn to online self-help tools.

You'll also lose software features tied to online functions. If you have an old Money version installed and want to preserve your online functionality, such as online bill pay, online quotes and the ability for Money to initiate transaction statement downloads, don't install Money Plus Sunset over your older Money version. If you do, you will lose access to these features.

Features of Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe

Despite a lack of online features, Money Plus Sunset still offers helpful tools for money management. Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is an especially good option for people who only need to track a few personal financial accounts.

Money Plus Sunset offers decent personal finance tracking features, including:

  • Import transactions to accounts using OFX or QIF files.
  • Manually enter transactions into financial accounts.
  • Use scheduled transactions to plan for paying bills on time.
  • Create and track a budget.
  • Forecast personal cash flow.
  • View and print reports for income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and investments. Monthly financial reports and some income tax reporting are included.
  • Link images and documents to transactions.

Features You'll Notice Missing

The navigation of Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe works identically to the former Money Plus program. However, some features from older versions no longer function, even though the link or tab that once held the feature still appears in the software.

Some of the missing features that made older versions of Microsoft Money convenient include:

  • Transaction and account statement updates from directly within the software (the option to set up Internet Updates still exists in the software, but it does not function)
  • Updates for investment values and transactions
  • Stock quotes
  • Access to tax-planning tools
  • Online bill pay support
  • Tips in an updated Help file (if you click on Help, you will find references to features from previous versions of Microsoft Money)
  • Windows Live ID support (switch to using no password protection or to Money’s standard password authentication method to avoid the headache of eventually needing to use offline authentication to try to open the Money data file)
  • Data sync with MSN Money online services

If you can't do without the discontinued features, consider another Windows personal finance software option.

Considerations Before Installing the Program

Before you download Money Plus Sunset Deluxe, keep in mind that Money Plus Sunset can be installed on its own as a stand-alone software program, or as an upgrade to any U.S. version of Microsoft Money software. It cannot be run with another version of the software on the same computer. Any previously installed version of Microsoft Money will be un-installed when Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is installed.

If you need to reinstall a previous version of Microsoft Money, you will have to uninstall Money Plus Sunset before doing so. Microsoft recommends keeping a copy of older software, along with the most recent activation key, if you previously purchased any version of Money Plus.

Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe runs best on Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. While Microsoft Money Plus Sunset is not supported on Windows 10, you can download it.