Payee Settings

YNAB’s Payee Settings allows you to:

  • rename payees.

  • manage duplicate payees.
  • create payee importing rules.
  • decide which payees show in the dropdown list.

To access Payee Settings go to View > Go to payee settings. Alternatively you can access this with a keyboard shortcut.

Command - Y

Control - Y

The Payee Settings Window

If there are no payees selected when you open the payee window, select one from the list on the left.

If you have a transaction selected in the register when you hit Ctrl-Y, it will open to that payee by default. 


Renaming Payees

In this window you can rename a payee by choosing rename in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 

Simply type a new name and save.


If you want to see a payee as an option in the register, check the box: List and Autocomplete this payee.

When checked, this payee will autocomplete as soon as YNAB recognizes what payee you are typing.   For example, if you type “Groc”, YNAB will recognize that as Grocery Store and autocomplete the text for you.

YNAB will tell you how many transactions are using this payee and you can view those transactions in the register.

If you uncheck that box, you’ll see a red icon in the payee list to remind that you this payee is not activated.  Deactivated payees will not appear in the dropdown menu in the payee column of a transaction.

At the bottom of the window, you can make some additional choices regarding autocompletion.

If you want YNAB to autocomplete the memo or amount fields, check the appropriate box. YNAB will use whatever the value was in the last transaction.  Please be aware that checking these boxes will affect all payees, not just the payee currently being viewed.

For category autocomplete, you can select a category in the dropdown list.

Managing Duplicate Payees

You may find that one payee is entered into YNAB more than one way.  Perhaps it was entered one way by the import process and you typed it in a couple of different ways.  This can be really frustrating when you use that payee again.  YNAB gives you an easy way to clean those up and merge them into one Payee.

In this example, Walmart is entered three different ways:


This can happen because you entered it a couple of different ways and it could happen because of how your bank names the payee on import.  Often times an imported transaction does not list the name of the business - just an address.

All three payees have been selected and YNAB indicates that at the top of the window.

YNAB gives you the option to combine or merge these payees.  Enter the name you want to use for all these payees.

An import rule has been automatically activated. Now, whenever a payee is imported with a payee of “Wal-mart” or POS-Wal-mart 356 North Rd, it will appear in the register as “Walmart”.

You can add additional import rules manually by clicking on the green plus sign.  You can set the rules to any of the following choices:

To delete a rule, click on the red button.

You can create a rule that applies to another existing transaction in the file and then click Rename existing payees.  It will find the other payees according to the rule you created.

Payees that have rules associated with them will appear in bold in the Payee list.

You can also rename payees from within the account register.  Right-click on a transaction or select a transaction and go to the Edit Transactions menu.  Choose Rename like payees.  A popup window appears.

You can either choose a name from the list or type a new name.  Then click rename and all payees will be changed.