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Create a backup of your company file

Learn how to create a backup for your QuickBooks Desktop company file to protect against accidental data loss, and find answers to frequently asked questions about backups.

You can save backup copies of your QuickBooks Desktop company file to protect against the accidental loss of your data.

Backup copies provide important insurance. If you lose data for any reason, you can restore your company file using your backup copy.

For more information about restoring files, see Restore a backup company file.

Note: If you do not currently have a data backup solution, QuickBooks offers multiple products with an automatic data backup and recovery feature. To find out if these products are right for you, contact our sales team at 888-566-4671.

If your company file is synced with Intuit online services using Intuit Data Protect, see Intuit Data Protect: Frequently Asked Questions.

If you need to email a copy of your company file, see Create or restore a QuickBooks Desktop portable company file.

Back up your company file

When you create a backup of your company file, you save a copy of the file to a location you specify. You can select a file hosting service (such as DropBox), or a flash drive or other removable media to save backups somewhere other than your main local drive in case of a system failure.

As you set up your backup, you can also set up backup reminders that prompt you to back up when you close your company file a specified number of times, or create a schedule of regular backups.

Perform the following steps to back up your company file:

  1. Select File, and select Switch to Single-user Mode.
  2. From the File menu, select Backup Company, and select Create Local Backup.
  3. In the Create Backup dialog, select Local Backup.
  4. Select Options to open the Backup Options dialog.
  5. In the Tell us where to save your backup copies field, select Browse and select the location in which to save the backup copy.
  6. (Optional) Specify whether to add the date and time of the backup to the file name to make it easier to identify a specific backup file, and whether to set a limit on the number of backup copies to save to the folder you specified to save hard drive space.
  7. In the Online and Local Backup section, optionally select the Remind me to back up when I close my company file option to set a frequency for backup reminders.
  8. Select one of the verification options to verify the data you save and alert you to any data corruption.Company file backup options menu in QuickBooks
  9. Select Ok.
  10. In the Create Backup window, specify whether to back up automatically, and select Options to set options for automatic backups.Create new company backup file menu in QuickBooks
  11. Optionally select New to set a backup schedule in the Schedule Backups dialog.Schedule backups of company file in QuickBooksYou can give your schedule a description, specify a backup location, and set the options for what days and times the backup should be performed on.
  12. Select Finish.

QBBBackup Temp folders questions

Learn answers to questions about QBBackupTemp folders in the following sections.

The QBBackupTemp folder is a holding area for QuickBooks Desktop file components during the QuickBooks Backup (.QBB) file preparation process.

This temporary folder is deleted automatically when the backup is completed to clear up the memory used by QBBackupTemp Folders.

The Windows user does not have delete permission for the file location. That means that while Windows allows QuickBooks Desktop to create the temporary folder, it won’t allow it to be deleted.

This is a temporary folder that should be deleted automatically when the backup is completed. However, in some specific backup error cases, the temp (.tmp) folder may remain.

In these cases, you would receive a backup failure error message.

If necessary, contact your system administrator to delete the QBBackupTemp folder or add Windows (user or folder) permissions.

Yes, these are temporary folders which can be safely deleted.

To delete them, the folders are located at C:\Users\Public\Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files.

Questions and answers about backup files

Check out the following sections for answers about general questions about backups.

A backup file contains everything you need to re-create your company file and QuickBooks Desktop environment, including all of the QuickBooks files (templates, letters, logos, and images) related to your company file.

QuickBooks also backs up your QuickBooks Statement Writer, Cash Flow Projector, Business Planner, and Loan Manager files, if you use these features.

The backup file is saved with a .qbb extension.

No. QuickBooks Desktop backs up all data within a company data file.

QuickBooks Desktop only backs up the company file you're currently in when you open the Backup and Restore wizard.

To change the company file being backed up, open that company file, select File, and select Create Backup.

No, payroll forms are not included in the backup.

To send a backup to your accountant or bookkeeper:

Preferred method: QuickBooks recommends that you print a copy of your form and fax it to your accountant. If you are subscribed to QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll, you can archive a copy as a PDF and email it to your accountant.

Advanced method: If you need your accountant or bookkeeper to review and edit payroll tax forms you started and saved, you must send the folder that contains your saved forms with your backed-up company file.

Follow these instructions carefully to avoid losing your work and having to create your forms again:

  1. Navigate to the directory where you saved your company file, and locate the folder called [Company Name] Tax Forms.For example, if your company is called XYZ Company, the name of the folder is XYZ Company Tax Forms.
  2. Tell your accountant or bookkeeper to place the Tax Forms folder in the same place on their computer in which they put your company file.QuickBooks Desktop can't locate and open your forms if the folder is not in the same place as your company file.
  3. When your accountant or bookkeeper returns your company file to you, remind them to return the Tax Forms folder as well or you will not receive any edits they made to your forms.

Yes. If you've already backed up once before and don't need to change any of your option settings, you can select Finish in the wizard at any time to back up using your current settings.

No. Backups can't be merged.

If you need to exchange data with your accountant, consider using an Accountant's Copy instead.

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