Assigned split transactions to new category -> erased all splits

I have my paycheck and my wife's paycheck set up in YNAB with multiple subcategories. For example, my paycheck was:

  • Total = Salary minus deductions -> split transaction
  • Salary -> Inflow to be Budgeted
  • Health Plan -> Medical
  • Medicare -> Tax
  • Federal Tax -> Tax
  • State Tax -> Tax
  • Disability -> Medical
  • Retirement -> Fidelity (transfer)
  • HSA -> WageWorks (transfer)


I have used the "Medical" category to track payroll deductions, but also to track co-pays, prescriptions, over the counter drugs, massages, etc. I wanted to separate the insurance payments from the other medical expenses, so I created a new Insurance category. Then I did a search for "Employer + Medical" and YNAB showed me all the payroll deposits with *only* the breakout subcategories for the Medical deductions. I did "select all" and then changed the category to "Insurance."


That was a HUGE mistake. It completely wiped out the sub-transactions for every payroll deposit, and categorized the entire deposit as "Insurance." It eliminated the retirement deductions, the tax categories, everything. Instead of the list above, I now have:


  • Total = salary minus deductions -> Insurance

All the split categories were erased. So now I can't track my retirement, my taxes, anything. It all got wiped out. And on top of that, the transactions to my health savings account and my retirement account are now orphaned - they appear in the WageWorks and Fidelity accounts, but the corresponding transfer no longer appears in my checking account. Clicking on the double-arrow to open up the other side of the transfer crashes YNAB.


How can I undo this? It was a lot of work to itemize all the deductions on our paychecks, and I don't relish the idea of manually recreating over three years of deposits!

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  • Try the Undo command. If it doesn't work (and it won't if you've refreshed or restarted the browser window), then you're basically SOL.

  • Hi TheCat !

    I'm sorry for the trouble! Since YNAB has already refreshed (you mentioned clicking on the transfer caused it to crash), you won't be able to undo that change. 

    You can go through and change each of those transactions back or you can recreate them, which may take a bit less time. 

    If your salary breakdown is the same for each transaction, you can create that transaction and mark it to repeat daily. YNAB will create copies of the transaction and you can change the date to when it took place. 

    If you'd like to give that a try, here are the steps:

    1. Click to add a new transaction.
    2. Under the date selection, select "Daily" from the Repeat drop-down.
    3. Enter the splits as you normally would.
    4. Save the transaction

    This will enter one transaction for today and create a copy for tomorrow under the Scheduled Transactions section in your register. Now that you have a copy, there are a few more steps:

    1. Click on the date of the scheduled transaction, and change it to when you need it.
    2. That will enter a copy of that transaction on the date you enter and keep the transaction as a scheduled transaction.
    3. Repeat step 1 to make as many copies as you need to replace the transactions on the given dates.

    Once you've replaced all of the transactions, you'll need to delete the original transactions (that are now incorrectly categorized as just 'Insurance') and then delete the scheduled transaction.

    Please let me know if you have any questions about that!

  • This is a great example of why YNAB a should enable restoration of a previous version, as we had with YNAB4. 

    Like 1
    • Hi jayne_m !

      A "Save A Copy" option has been added to our radar, but it's pretty far out on our list of things to tackle. If you haven't already, would you mind submitting a Feature Request for that option? That lets the rest of the team know you'd rather see that option sooner than later. :)

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