Quicken Online vs Desktop: Is Quicken Desktop or Online Best?

Last Updated:Thursday, January 11, 2024

Personal finance management software programs usually make the life of freelancers and one-person businesses easy. Quicken is an excellent example of this sort of software, and today we’ll pit both versions against each other in our Quicken online vs desktop post.

While Intuit has gone on to build QuickBooks, one of the best business financial software on the market, Quicken has taken strides of its own. Quicken is a top choice amongst personal finance software and can handle some small business finance. But would you instead use its desktop version or its online version? Let’s find out!


What is the difference between Quicken online and Quicken desktop?

The main difference between Quicken Desktop and Quicken Online is that Quicken Online works via the Internet and allows you to access their personal finance manager from any device. In contrast, Quicken Desktop enables you to access the full suite from a single desktop where it’s installed.

Originally owned by Intuit, Quicken was purchased by H.I.G. in 2016 and acquired by Aquiline Capital Partners in 2021. Quicken software has grown considerably ever since, and it now has an online and a desktop version.

Quicken used to be one of the few options for manually recording personal finances on a spreadsheet. Personal financial software is available in a wide variety nowadays. However, Quicken remains a good option, especially because it can link to your bank and automatically update your accounts.

Quicken Online and Quicken Desktop are modules of the same software suite, but they differ slightly. If you’re interested in choosing between both, there are a couple of factors worth considering, which we’ll highlight as we go on in this Quicken online vs desktop contest. 

If you don't know much about Quicken and are interested in a personal finance manager, then our Quicken review does justice to what you need to know about this software for your one-man business or personal money management.


Quicken online vs desktop comparison chart

Here is a quick chart with bullet comparisons of both Quicken online and Quicken desktop. 


Quicken Online

Quicken Desktop




$4.99 per month

Quicken online 

Free version



Quicken online 

Customer support

Free Quicken phone and chat support

Free Quicken phone and chat support 


Knowledgebase & Learning

Blog, community, and forums

Blog, community, and forums


Feature set

Limited to a few core features from the desktop app

More features than its online counterpart.

Quicken desktop 

System Requirements

None works on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS 

Specific system requirements are based on the desktop version.

Quicken online.




Quicken desktop 

Cash flow







Quicken desktop 

Internet Connection 


Not compulsory.

Quicken desktop 

Goal tracking 



Quicken desktop 

Overall winner


Quicken desktop


Quicken online vs Quicken desktop pricing

Since Quicken is personal finance management, the pricing of each suite could sway your choice. 

Quicken Online is free to use, with no additional cost. You need to log in on any device to access the basic features it presents.

Quicken desktop, on the other hand, has three main plans. They are:

  • Deluxe at $4.99 per month.
  • Premier at $ 6.99 per month.
  • Home and Business at $9.99 per month.

Quicken is currently running a 40% discount on its offerings.


Quicken Online takes this round. Because pricing is an essential part of the experience of using software that would be managing most of your financial transactions, having it at no cost at all really tilts the software in your favor.

Quicken desktop vs Quicken online free versions

Having a free version accessible to app users can lighten the weight of financial management as you learn to manage your finance process. It is easier to try your hands at the option with a free version. 

Quicken desktop is more of a complete suite ensemble and gives users multiple features, including this comes at a cost. The various plans provide access to different product features. The price is quite negligible though, but if you are unwilling to jump right into using any of the available plans, Quicken Desktop has a 30-day free trial that gives you access to all the features you need to manage your financial transactions and test to help you decide what you want to go with.


While Quicken Desktop might have more features, free products often appeal more to users, which is why Quicken Online takes this category.

Customer support

Customer support is an essential part of any successful software. How do you receive help when you find problems with bill payment or any online banking process conducted through your financial management software? Customer support is supposed to provide the service you need, which is just one of the importance of a good customer support system.

It matters little what version of Quicken you are on; both Quicken desktop and its online version share the same type of customer support.

Quicken support gives you access to Free Quicken phone and chat support. 


This category ends in a tie.

Knowledgebase & learning

So far, in our Quicken online vs desktop, we have found that both money management solutions share some important similarities, and this is one of those similarities. 

Both Quicken online and the desktop version share the same knowledge base besides the ease of usage.

There is a general blog that covers information on how to use Quicken as a whole and a community forum that provides answers to questions on the software.

It's a tie once again.


Quicken desktop vs online features & functionality

We‘ve been able to view Quicken online and its desktop version from the lenses of its price, customer support, and knowledge base, amongst other core features. Now, we take a look at the features of both tools.

Quicken desktop or online for ease of use?

Both Quicken desktop and its online version offer their advantages for ease of use.

Quicken Desktop is a more secure software option, providing security for your account balances and general banking transactions. It helps recover your deleted data. It also has a short learning curve and can be used offline. 

Quicken Online also has some great features that make it easy to use. This includes its accessibility and mobility, as you can use Quicken online on your Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. You can receive notifications on your mobile devices via the app and enjoy the ease of use anywhere, everywhere.


A tie, primarily because ease of use varies from user to user.

System requirements

Are there system requirements for using Quicken in this Quicken desktop vs online comparison?

For the online version of Quicken, there are no system requirements. You can use it on any functioning browser, even if you are working on Mac operating systems. It does not support the Internet Explorer browser, though.

The Quicken Desktop solution, on the other hand, has some system requirements. For Windows users, you cannot use Windows Vista anymore as the minimum Windows version allowed is Windows 8. A minimum of 1 gig ram and 450 MB free disk space; 1.5 GB if .NET is not installed. 

You have to check your screen resolution, as the minimum screen resolution required is 1024x768 or higher screen resolution, 1280x1024 minimum for Large Fonts settings. You will also need a high-speed internet connection as it’s necessary for the installation process. However, this doesn't preclude working offline for desktop users after installation. 


Quicken online wins as it has lesser requirements and can be used anywhere at any time.

Banking and financial institutions 

Many business management software offers integrations with financial institutions. While the list of accounting software that do so might be long, the same might not be the case for personal finance management solutions. This is one place Quicken Online shines as it includes financial institution accounts, giving users access to over 8,500 financial institutions. It also helps you to manage your paychecks at the primary level.

Quicken desktop does much more than giving users accounts with financial institutions. It gives tools to solve specific financial needs such as access to managing investment, rental property management, home, and business financial management, and banking transactions. Not only that, it comes with a great template.


Quicken desktop easily clears this category as Quicken online attends to the necessary needs for mobility while the desktop version offers a more robust banking and financial institution option.

Quicken updates

Which is easier to update between the online and desktop version of Quicken?

Quicken desktop is a bit more tedious to update than its online version as it involves downloading the latest version or its updates and reinstalling it, or buying the CD of the newer version.

Quicken online offers quick updates as its updates are online and are added in real-time.


Quicken online takes the win here.


Is Quicken desktop better than Quicken online? Our conclusion

If you have flown solo with regard to your spending, picking a good personal finance management app might just be your best decision yet to help you manage your finance processes and enhance thorough tax preparation. 

Quicken is a personal finance solution that you can use offline via its desktop software and online through its online software. We’ve outlined key features and functionalities of both parts of the Quicken suite, and you have all you need to make the decision that best fits your business.