Backing Up MoneyWell

This article solely relates to the new version of MoneyWell (that is available from the App Store and released in March 2023) and is entirely not relevant to any of the previous versions, MoneyWell 3, MoneyWell 2 or the MoneyWell 1.

If you are using MoneyWell 2 or MoneyWell 3, please read this article instead, Backing Up MoneyWell

Whether you've just started using MoneyWell or have been using it for many years, you've probably spent a long time entering lots of important financial information into MoneyWell.

Thinking about backing up that data now (before you need it) is really important.

For a lot of people, by the time they realise they need a backup, it's too late.

We recommend 3 levels of backup for your MoneyWell data:

  1. Local backup (against data entry errors)
  2. Off-computer backup (against computer failure)
  3. Off-site backup (against physical threats to your data)

Local Backup

MoneyWell performs a limited version of this for you - every time you open the app, it creates a snapshot of your data before you make any changes. If you need to rollback to one of these versions we have a support article which helps you to do this, Restoring from Backup.

You can find these snapshots by opening MoneyWell and heading to the Menu bar then to Help -> Show Backups Folder. This will open a Finder Window containing all the snapshots. They are saved as a ".mwarchive" file with a naming structure that follows:


Off-computer Backup

Backups from (1) are stored on your computer's drive. If your computer fails, these backups will be lost, so you need some additional form of backup.

Time Machine

We recommend Time Machine which is built into macOS. It's very easy to setup, and if you plug in a new external drive, macOS will usually ask you if you'd like to set it up as a Time Machine drive. 

Apple have an article here with detailed information.

Manual Backup

You can also use an external drive manually. You can use the file stated in (1) or you can create a backup file at anytime by opening MoneyWell and going to File -> Export -> Export as Archive. This will then prompt you to save the ".mwarchive" file somewhere. You can then back this file up to and external drive manually.

To restore from this ".mwarchive" backup, please see our article, Restoring from Backup.

Off-site Backup

We hope it will never happen to us, but sadly, statistics say that some people will experience some form of physical data loss caused by fire or theft. In these cases, it's likely that your backups from (2) will not be sufficient. For this reason we recommend an off-site backup. 

One option could take the form of a Time Machine or manual external drive backup which you keep in the glove compartment of your car (downside - you have to remember to move it to and from there and keep it up to date). 

A more automated option would be to set up a backup with one of the cloud backup providers available. (Here is a comparison article of some of the services available). They usually charge a small monthly fee, and work by installing a menu bar app on your computer which monitors certain folders you specify and periodically uploading. In the even that your data is lost (for whatever reason) you can download an archive of your data. Some will even send you a physical drive with the data on (if you have a slow internet connection or need it really urgently).

Test your Backup

A final point to remember: Once you've got your backup system set-up, congratulate yourself, and then set a reminder in your calendar for a few weeks time to do a test restore of some data from each of your backup systems. Possibly more devastating than losing data because you didn't have a backup would be to lose data despite having a backup system because you haven't checked that it's working.

As always, if you have any questions regarding backup as it pertains to MoneyWell data, please contact us.

You can find more information on restoring from a backup from our help article, Restoring from Backup.

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