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Fresh Start

How do I start over?

Lots of people start over to reorganize, or because they stopped using YNAB for a while and just want a fresh start.

Fresh Start:

  • saves a copy of your current budget
  • maintains your category and account structure
  • deletes all transactions and budget data
  • sets your account balances to zero so you can update them
  • retains budget notes, scheduled transactions and payee settings

Before you Start:

  1. Print out a copy of your current budget as a reference to help you rebuild category balances
  2. Make note of any account balances that you trust are completely accurate right now in order to set them to those amounts once you start fresh

Note: If your current budget is large it may take some time to process all of the many transactions. While doing so it may appear as though it's locked up or not responding. The best thing is to just wait it out as it will come around after a period of time.

Step 1: Go to the File Menu and select Make a Fresh Start.

A pop up will appear:

Click “Make a Fresh Start”.

Step 2: Right click on the account in the sidebar to update the balance.

Click on Adjust Account Balance in the pop up that appears.

A second pop-up will appear:

Enter the new balance and your starting balance will be updated accordingly. Now you are all set and can move over to the Budget and put those dollars to work!

What if I need to see my old budget again?

Go to File > Open to reopen it. The name of your old budget will have the name you gave it, followed by the words "Before Fresh Start on" and a structure similar to this:

MyBudget Before Fresh Start on 2012-12-05~NCC1701D.ynab4

Your old budget may be located in a different folder. YNAB saves your budget in one of 2 locations dependent upon whether you're using Cloud Sync or Local. You can see and edit where those folders are located by going to File > YNAB Preferences in the YNAB 4 menu.