FAQ

Here are the Frequently Asked Quesions on using historical data downloader.xls and the daily download page.

What's the difference between the Bulk Download, and the Daily Download?

The Bulk downloader is an excel spreadsheet macro designed for large historical data downloads. This is best for getting years of data for analysis. This function can be slow as it takes a while to retrieve 2000+ stocks over many years.

The Daily downloader is a fast online function for downloading smaller amounts of data. 1 day - 1 month. This is best used on a daily basis to keep your historical data up to date. 

How do I use the historical data downloader?

Please see our guide.

What Stock Exchanges Are supported?

The list of supported stock exchanges are listed on Stock Historical Data.

How does the spreadsheet work?

The spreadsheet downloads data from yahoo finance one stock at a time. It reformats the file into metastock format, and saves the file as '.csv' onto your hard drive.

I want to get Historical Data on a stock exchange not on your list.

The historical data downloader spreadsheet can download historical data for ANY stock symbols for ANY stock exchange stored on yahoo finance. The instructions to download these can be found at Other Historical Data.

I don't have Microsoft Excel.

If you don't have access to Microsoft Excel, you can use our online downloader: daily download. This is limited to one month of data at a time.


The spreadsheet is taking a long time. How do I stop it?

You can stop it by pressing ESC a few times.

I've stopped the spreadsheet in the middle of processing. How do I start it again?

You will need to
- save the current spreadsheet as an .xls file
- close excel
- reopen the saved spreadsheet
- Press 'Download'.
This will resume processing where it left off.

The symbols I'm looking for are not downloaded.

Instead of using the symbols we've gathered from yahoo, you can use your own list of symbols for download. This will work for any stock exchange. See Other Historical Data.

Some stock symbols have a download status of 'Data unavailable'. What does that mean?

'Data unavailable' means the spreadsheet failed to download historical data for that symbol from yahoo finance. Either yahoo does not contain data for that stock symbol, or data for that symbol is not available in the time period. e.g. GOOG historical data is available after Nov 10, 2004. Downloading data for before this period will result in 'data unavailable'.

You can check if the symbol is valid at yahoo finance symbol lookup.

Some stock symbols also vary between different providers. Some have dashes and some have dots.
Yahoo finance Aaron's, Inc. symbol: AAN-A
Google finance Aaron's, Inc. symbol: AAN.A
Check the validity of your stock symbols if some of them don't work first time.

Also, some stock exchanges require a yahoo suffix appended onto the end.

What is the historical data file format?

They are saved as .csv (comma separated values). One file is created for each stock symbol.
 

What is the historical data format?

The data is in metastock format.
  

What is Metastock Data Format?

Is the data adjusted for dividends and stock splits?

Yes, you can download the files in two formats:
- the close price is unadjusted (raw)
- the close price is adjusted for dividends and stock splits.

Does the downloader work on MACs?

Unfortunately the spreadsheet is setup to run on Windows only. MAC users can use our online download function.

I'm getting an error when I use the spreadsheet

"Privacy warning: This document contains macros, ActiveX controls, XML expansion pack information, or Web components. These may include personal information that cannot be removed by the Document Inspector."

Since the excel macro accesses the internet, and saves files to your local drive, this is classified as a security risk. You can try changing the settings in the Trust Center. See this post on modifying your settings. I suggest placing the excel spreadsheet in a Trusted Location. Remember that macros are very powerful, and granting them access to your computer can harm your computer. Please see our disclaimer.

I'm trying to download data back to 1980, but the spreadsheet will only download data back to 2003

The spreadsheet downloads historical stock data from yahoo finance. The amount of data you can download depends on the amount of data on yahoo finance.

I want to check the data downloaded against what's data available on yahoo finance

- Go to the yahoo finance website: finance.yahoo.com
- Type in the stock symbol into the 'get quotes' search box.
- Select 'historical prices' on the left hand side
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page. The link you're interested in is 'Download to Spreadsheet'

What is a yahoo suffix?

Yahoo finance caters for many worldwide stock exchanges. In order to distinguish between stocks belonging to different stock exchanges, a suffix needs to be appended to the end.
'BHP' = BHP from the NYSE.
'BHP.AX' = BHP from the Australian Stock Exchange.
'BHP.MU' = BHP from the Munich Stock Exchange.

I can't download Dow Jones historical data

This is a limitation set by yahoo finance. Unfortunately they do not allow download, or quotes of the Dow Jones (^DJI). source: http://developer.yahoo.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=6943

You're awesome! How can I thank you?

If you liked this free service, you can buy me a coffee.

Wait. I have more questions.
If you have questions that are not in the list above, you can contact me.