How to Open Old Microsoft Money Data Files in Newer Versions

Microsoft Money software
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If you have Microsoft Money backups from older versions of the software—especially versions before Microsoft Money 2005—recovering the data from the backup files may prove difficult. Using a more recent version of Microsoft Money to restore a backup data file created in an earlier version of the software usually encounters problems, due to changes in data file structure between versions.

Even though you cannot directly restore the backup file from the old version of Microsoft Money, you can open and convert the original data files. 

Finding Your Data Files

You can recognize Microsoft Money data files by the ".mny" extension at the end of the file. Depending on the settings of your computer, the file extension may not be immediately visible, but the extension is still there. You can usually find out the file extension by right-clicking the file and choosing "properties."

Unless you specifically changed the save location in your Microsoft Money settings, the program saves data files by default in the "My Documents" folder on your Windows computer.

If you are still having trouble locating your Microsoft Money data files, you can perform a Windows search for ".mny," which will bring up any files using that extension.

Converting Original Data Files

Once you locate your Microsoft Money data files, follow these steps to convert them:

  1. Copy the Microsoft Money data files from your old computer to removable media, like an external hard drive, a USB thumb drive, or a CD.
  2. Copy these files into the "Windows Documents" folder on your new computer, or to a folder that you create on your Windows desktop (you can choose to copy the files to any folder or location on your computer, but using a folder on your desktop makes things easier for most users).
  3. Open the new version of Microsoft Money.
  4. Click File, and then select Open.
  5. Navigate to the "Windows Documents" folder where you copied your Microsoft Money data files (or the folder on your desktop, if you chose to save the files there instead).
  6. Microsoft Money will begin to convert the data files to the latest format.

Information on Microsoft Money Support

Microsoft discontinued sales of its Microsoft Money line of finance software products in 2009, and it discontinued support of the products in 2011. If you still use Microsoft Money to manage your finances, Microsoft offers an alternative version called Microsoft Money Plus Sunset, which replaces Microsoft Money Essentials, Microsoft Money Deluxe, Microsoft Money Premium, Microsoft Money Home, and Microsoft Money Business editions. However, before installing it, find out if installing Microsoft Money Plus Sunset is right for you.

Microsoft Money Plus Sunset is a free download. The software continues to work for basic money management tasks, but it does not include tech support or any internet features.

If you want to replace Microsoft Money, read more about what to consider when replacing Microsoft Money as your finance software, including recommended finance software products and reviews.